Founders Journal #5- The Challenge of Seeing God as He Truly is...GOD.
So much of the "Christian struggle" seems to be a battle of seeing God as He truly is: GOD.
And not just Who He is as God, but the type of God He truly is.
So much of God's interaction with the Israelites throughout the Old Testament was focused on reminding them that He is GOD.
Such a simple concept that can be so easy for even Christians to forget on a daily basis.
But the significance of accepting or neglecting this seemingly basic point cannot be overstated.
If God truly is the God He says He is throughout Scripture, then that means:
everything is under His control (Colossians 1:16-17)
His plans and purposes can not be disrupted (Job 42:2)
His plans and purposes are ultimately for my eternal best. No matter what my feelings or emotions or eyes lead me to currently believe or to doubt, God will never give me something that is not for my best, nor will He withhold something from me that is for my best. (Romans 8:28)
Once I accept Jesus, there is literally nothing that can separate me from Him. Nothing past, present, nor things to come can separate me from His love for me. (Romans 8:31-39)
He will provide EVERYTHING I ever need. He is my provider. (Matthew 6:25-34)
He is greater than ANY trial or difficulty I will encounter. (John 16:33)
But what about when we doubt these things and see God as something different than He truly is? This is when we go astray.
It can be so easy to falsely believe God is:
Not in charge, and only slightly above earthly kings, rulers, and myself
Not really in control nor aware of what I am going through
Resentful or bitter towards me
Not actually aware of what is ultimately best for me
Prone to change or leave me at any point
Very far from me (not lowly & accessible)
Indifferent towards me
I have come to recognize that when I believe any of these lies, I am extremely vulnerable to then:
Try and keep some distance between God and myself out of fear that He will lead me to do something that's not for my best
Become overwhelmed by fear and anxiety because there are so many things that seem out of control and unable to be controlled by earthly rulers or systems
Walk on eggshells out of fear that God is just waiting for me to screw up so He can strike me down or rebuke me.
Falling prey to my emotions and feelings as my source of truth even though I have experienced them lead me into things like porn, social anxiety. and feeling like my value hinges upon my ability to get people to value or approve of me.
So who is GOD?
His greatness is truly unsearchable (Psalm 145:3), but some of the items God has personally most reminded me about who He is throughout Scripture over the past year include:
His GOODNESS - which is often demonstrated by:
How He is slow to anger; He often provides His people with chance after chance to turn back to Him before He "gives them over" to what they choose in living apart from Him. He even builds reconciliation directly into His covenant terms (Lev 26:40-42) and provides details on what the people should do if/when they fail to obey the law so that they can be brought back together with Him. All of the heroes of the faith appear to have screwed up at some point in their life or repeatedly, yet God is patient with them.
How grace always comes before obedience (He gives the law to the Israelites AFTER He delivers them from slavery). God CHOSE Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, etc.. None of them had done anything to merit or deserve God's blessing upon their life. It was solely God's GRACE. Making it clear that there is nothing we must do in order to earn His love for us. He even vowed to protect Cain after Cai