Happy Monday everyone, here's a quick thought to help you navigate this week with a right view of God.
AW Tozer once said that "our idea of God is the most portentous thing about us." He posited that whatever idea, or mental framework we are holding to when it comes to what or who we think about when we think about the highest power in the universe, will ultimately direct and determine the flow of the rest of our lives. He goes on to say that "we tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God."
I think he's right. Think about it;
The agnostic will make choices, have feelings, and hold values that reflect an idea of God that is undetermined, loose, or unknown.
The atheist's life will broadly reflect their belief that there is no God, that God is nothing.
The one who thinks God is an impersonal force will live like God is an impersonal force.
The one who believes God is far away, distant and detached, will live according to that idea.
The one who thinks God is an angry, ill-tempered, or hard to please micromanager will, you're getting it, live like God is angry, ill-tempered, or hard to please.
A good activity for followers of Jesus is to take inventory and examine our lives, the choices, values, decisions and actions, and ask the question, "does my lifestyle line up with what I say I believe Jesus to be like?" It might reveal there is a gap between what you say you believe and what you actually believe God to be like.
I say all of this not merely to remind you how important your idea of God (theology) is but to set you up to reset it based on this image given to us in Psalm 145. According to the psalmist, this is who God is, and this is what God is like.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. Psalm 145:8-9
God is gracious (generous, giving, benevolent).
God is compassionate.
He is slow to anger.
He's rich in love (which means he's got plenty to go around).
God is good to all (you included and those you love included).
He has compassion (he's sympathetic, concerned and caring) on all he has made.
How incredible is that? If this is all true about God, no matter what is going on in our world, if God is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love, we can be free to really like our odds of things all working out well for us in the end!
And if you are struggling to believe that this is true about God, asking yourself, "how can we know that God is like this?" "What evidence is there to make such a claim?" Look at Jesus, His life, His death, and His resurrection.
He truly is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, rich in love, and has been, is being, and will be good to all that He has made.
Rest in Him. He's good. He knows you. He's for you. He's got you.
Have a great week!