WHAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU THINK OF GOD?
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” – A.W. Tozer
Our belief in God is the foundation of our lives as Christians. Yet how we perceive His nature is of infinite importance and can tremendously affect how we live. Without a true view of God… a view based on His revelation in His Word… we will miss out on the joy-filled, love-drenched, peace-infused life He has promised and planned for us.
“We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God.” – A.W. Tozer
What is your view of God? What comes to mind when you think about Him? Is He the sound God of Scripture who reigns in majesty and holiness? Or do you find your view of Him to be flawed, incomplete or unworthy of His magnificence?
A faulty view of God may stem from our parental models, our religious experiences or our susceptibility to secular, worldly beliefs. How we see God can radically influence our outlook on life. It can affect how we assess day-to-day happenings… and how we approach anxious or turbulent times, times of sadness and suffering, times of trouble or distress… even times of success and joy.
“It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate. If we would bring back spiritual power to our lives, we must begin to think of God more nearly as He is.” – A.W. Tozer
Every wrong perception of God runs counter to His divine attributes. If our view of Him is not built on the bedrock of His truth, our faith will quickly erode away when difficulties rain down on our world. Our outer profession of faith may conflict with our inner perception of who God is. Allow Him to replace any faulty view you may have with a true view grounded in His truth and grace.
» Faulty View: God is unloving – He appears stern, cold, lacking compassion – Causing one to feel unworthy, empty – Life is lived apart from God, searching for love, attempting to fill the void within
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion.” – Psalm 103:8
» True View: God loves us beyond measure – Our compassionate God cherishes us, gives us our worth, fills the God-shaped void within – Life is lived with inner joy, confidence, basking in His love
» Faulty View: God is unapproachable – He appears distant, austere, too busy to care – Causing one to feel unaccepted, unvalued – Life is led seeking to be noticed, to win others’ acceptance and approval
“Let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16
» True View: God is gracious and merciful – He desires our fellowship – Our God is altogether good, accepting us despite our weaknesses and failures – Life is led with Spirit boldness in the sunshine of His favor
» Faulty View: God is condemning – He appears disapproving, vengeful, eager to dole out punishment – Causing one to feel fearful, never good enough – Life is lived with guilt, angry at God, striving to measure up to unattainable standards
“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1
» True View: God is forgiving – Our Redeemer declares us not guilty – All expectations have been met through Christ – Life is lived in freedom, seeking to please Him not out of fear but out of love
» Faulty View: God grants our wishes – He appears as a sort of genie, answering every prayer – Causing one to face disappointment, faltering faith when prayers are unanswered – Life is lived unhappily, unfulfilled, blaming God for all that goes wrong
“Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.” – Isaiah 14:24
» True View: God is sovereign – Our all-wise, omniscient God answers our prayers in His will and timing, desiring our greatest good – Life is faith-filled, hopeful, trusting that His way is best
» Faulty View: God lacks power – He appears weak, limited in capabilities, unable to protect – Causing one to feel vulnerable, defenseless – Life is led in one’s own power, mustering up strength to carry on, fighting one’s own battles
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty.” – 1 Chronicles 29:11
» True View: God is omnipotent – Our Defender, our Deliverer rules mightily over His creation – Life is lived under His umbrella of protection, stepping out courageously for His kingdom with His power
» Faulty View: God abandons – He appears untrustworthy, unfaithful, failing to provide – Causing one to feel unsafe, insecure – Life is led faithless, searching for loyalty, dependability, security
“Surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:20
» True View: God is always with us – Our Immanuel is ever faithful, unchangeable – Life is led with a deep, enduring peace, knowing that our Good Shepherd cares for His own
» Faulty View: God is permissive – He appears open-minded, tolerant, an “anything goes” attitude – Causing one to feel free to sin – Life is lived without restraint, doing as one pleases, taking undue risks, assuming God’s grace will cover all
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
» True View: God is perfect – He cannot tolerate sin – Our Savior, Jesus Christ, paid the penalty for our sins, clothing us with His righteousness – Life is lived in His forgiveness, seeking to honor and follow Him in all our ways
» Faulty View: God is merely a friend – He appears as a buddy, a peer, lacking transcendence and majesty – Causing one to lack respect for His absolute holiness – Life is led without awe of God, failing to revere Him or obey Him
“Just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” – 1 Peter 1:15
» True View: God reigns in majesty – Our Most High God rules with all authority and supremacy, setting us apart as His holy children – Life is led in praise, worship and surrender to Him, revering Him for both His transcendence and immanence