Why you must think rightly about God
by Gini Crawford, MSW
2/11/2010 revised 6/6/2019
When someone says “God,” what do you think of? In a novel, God the Father is made out to be a friendly woman. People have said, “The novel makes me crave God’s presence.” There is a huge problem with this because they are yearning after a man-made image of God, instead of God Himself. To describe God in such human terms, I believe, is doing what the second of the Ten Commandments tells us not to do.
Then God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God...You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God...You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” Exodus 20:1-7 NASB®
God is zealous that devotion be given exclusively to Him, and not to a false image of Him. Wouldn’t it be disheartening to have someone not to like you for who you are, so they make up a fictitious you? My family wanted me to be different than I was, but at least they didn’t make up a pretend child. When we don’t take the time to get to know the real God - and He wrote a Book so we could - we are being very dishonoring to Him, and even denying Him. Ouch! We need to recognize God for Who He is, not who our imagination or someone else’s imagination makes Him out to be! And we can know the real Him through the knowledge and understanding that comes from His Word.
Life Application: No one has a perfect and comprehensive view on Who God is. We can all have ideas of Who God is that are contrary to His Word. What are some you have had? (I use to think of God as a kind and very old man, who always had to sit down probably because he was so old.) God has revealed Himself very clearly in His Word and explained Himself through His Son, Jesus - so you need to take the time to study Who God is through the Bible. Read Isaiah 55:8-11; John 14:9 also John 1:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:20-21.
Life Application: Read Exodus 32:1-8; Isaiah 44:6-1; 1 Thessalonians 1:9b. When we create God in our mind contrary to His Word, we are fashioning a false god (idol) and serving it. In other words, we are not trusting in God and giving Him the devotion He deserves, but instead we are trusting in and worshipping some man-made god. Just to remind you, this is sin.
How you perceive someone is how you act towards that person. It’s the same way with God; how you perceive Him is how you will act toward Him. An example would be, when you think of someone as a threat, you act as if she is, even though your perception of her may be wrong. Some people, when you say “God,” get a feeling of dislike or even hatred, so they want nothing to do with Him. This could be because of what has happened or what they have learned. Their father abused them so they think of God that way. The leaders of the church they went to taught one thing but did another, so they think of God and His Word as worthless. Their professor in college taught that God is just a part of psychological evolution and a crutch, so they are an atheist. Trauma has happened to them and they feel God could have stopped it, so why trust Him.
Life Application: What comes into your mind when you think of God? Is your view of God wrong? Read Romans 1:18-32. From this Romans passage, these people knew of God but certainly had a wrong view of Him, which resulted in them living in many wicked ways! How does your perception of God make you act?
If you know God by His Word - the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, the Bible - you know how incredibly wonderful He is. The real God is to be trusted in. His power is always driven by love, not self-centeredness like humans. His grace towards us lasts into eternity, while human grace in most cases is hard to find. Even though God is the Self-Existent One who needs no one, yet He sacrificially loves us, pursues us and dies for us so we can be with Him.
Life Application: No other religion can claim a god like the Christian God, Who fervently pursues humankind to the point of death on a cross, so that we can be in an intimate relationship with Him, have His righteousness, and the certainty of a wondrous eternity with Him. Read John 1:17-18, 3:16-18, 6:67-69; 14:1-11; Romans 3:22, 8:1-2, 31-39; Ephesians 2:1-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Titus 3:4-7; Revelation1:5-18. Explain God from these passages.
Why is it so important, to truly know Who God is? It is because God commands you to know Him! To not just know of Him, but to experience Him! God also wants you to believe in Him. And how can you believe in the right God if you don’t know Who He is? Many people throughout the world believe in a god, but they don’t believe in the One True God. Their view of God is false because of what they have learned. God wants you to have faith in Him and to love Him. And how can you possibly trust in and love someone whom you don’t know.
Life Application: Read Jeremiah 9:23-24; John 17:3; 1 John 5:20. Thinking of these passages, why should you get to know the One True God?
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12 (NIV)
If you think of God rightly, you will have the knowledge and desire to become a Christian, giving you eternal life; you will be following God’s Word, and doing it for Him (not for some false god). It will also give you the longing to love and serve Him. It will literally make you want to fall down on your knees and worship Him, as well as dream of the day you will be able to talk to Him face to face.
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