I would imagine that many of you read the title of this blog and were shocked! Before you brand me a heretic; allow me to explain. I do not imply that God has a problem with knowing exactly who He is. Rather, it is we, His creation, that is confused concerning God’s true identity. There are hundreds of misconceptions about who God is and what He is like but I think most of them could be placed under two major headings.
The Transcendent God. People see God as so holy, so powerful, so pure that He could not have a relationship with fallen humanity. It is true that God is totally above all creation. 1 Chronicles 29:10-12 ; 1 Samuel 2:2
The Benevolent Grandfather. Some people see God’s purpose is to make us happy and give us what we want. He is like a celestial vending machine; insert your prayer and out drops your answer. He is the “grandfather” who grants all our wishes.
But I think the picture below shows the proper balance of who God really is.
This is the famous picture of President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office. Underneath the desk is his son, John Jr. President Kennedy was the most powerful man in the world. He was to be respected and honored. And yet, he was a father who loved his son. He had a relationship with his son, so “John-John” could pop out from under his desk and speak to this powerful figure without.
When I came to Christ, I belonged to a church that had an emphasis on external standards. They required people to follow a certain set of rules and requirements. They had a standard of dress that was rigidly followed. Certain places, like movie theaters, we’re off limits. No one was allowed to own or watch a television due to its influence.
Looking back, I have a new understanding of why they created those rules. Where they went wrong was they took the principles taught in Scripture and made them laws to be obeyed. The Bible does teach modesty but they tried to legislate it. The Bible wants us to live holy but holiness isn’t achieved by complying with rules. By keeping the “rules” they thought they could gauge if they were (or were not) pleasing God with their lives.
There is no “standard” for everyone. God has created us all different and what He requires of each is different. If we truly want to please Him with our lives, we must allow the Holy Spirit to lead us. John 16:12-14 Romans 8:14 Galatians 5:17-19
It has been said that no one likes change; except a baby with a dirty diaper. Of course some change is inevitable: aging, changing of seasons, diminishing eyesight, etc, More than 90 percent of girls – 15 to 17 years – want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest. When Miss America contestants where interviewed and asked if they were content with their physical appearance; the majority said they had one (or more) things they would like to change. Television is saturated with commercials with products that ‘guarantee’ you can look twenty years younger, remove age spots, grow new hair [men]. and never have acne again!
With all the emphasis on physical change, it appears that no one is interested in inward change. Attitudes. Being a more loving person. Patience. Purity. Godliness. 2 Peter 1:5-7 Galatians 5:22-23 Why are not more people interested in character development? Because inner change is hard work! But the rewards are much greater than physical change!