What is God really like? He isn’t what we make Him, or decide He should be. He is. What does He look like to you?
Is he a kindly grandfather in the sky? A Santa Claus – type, watching out to see who has been naughty and nice so He will know who should get the best goodies? Perhaps the most well known picture is that of a helpless God, knocking and pleading for entrance into your heart’s door.
That’s an appealing picture, because it makes you bigger than God. If He is standing outside and begging helplessly for you to notice him, that means you are really the one in charge — not God. And that’s a pretty good definition of sin. Satan fell from heaven, because he wanted to be “like God.” (Is.14:12-14) He tempted Eve to eat the fruit because then she would be “like God.” (Gen. 3:5)
And if you think you are the one holding the strings to your life and that you have God on hold, you are making the same mistake. You are not the God.
I challenge you to look in the Bible for a glimpse of a bigger God. Don’t gloss over the parts of the Bible that don’t fit your picture of God, but look in the Scripture to find Him. He paints the picture for us.
And it’s a beautiful picture! We see a perfect, holy God who can’t bear the stench of sin. He is so clean and right and wonderful that soiled and filthy people can’t come near him. (Psalm 5:4-5)
We see that God looks at a spoiled world, a ruined people. All of us are like stupid sheep who insist on going the wrong way, hopelessly willful and selfish. (Isaiah 53:6)
And we see love that endured hell itself to bring forgiveness.
When we think about the horrible things Christ endured in his last days on earth — the betrayals, the beatings, the horrible painful death — we catch just a glimpse of His love for His people. But the horrible pain wasn’t the worst part. There on the cross, Jesus became sin for us. (Romans 5:8 and II Cor. 5:21)
Have you ever felt guilty? Ashamed? Think of what it was like for Christ to take the guilt and shame for all His people. Sin separates from God, and there on the cross the Father turned His back on his own Son. (Matt. 27:46) Jesus hung there in agony, burdened with the guilt of the sins of those He came to save — dying alone.
That’s the worst of hell. It’s a place where there is no God, made for those who say, “No God for me!” (Ps. 14:1)
Jesus overcame hell and death and rose from the dead. And He isn’t spending his time now begging for people to notice Him. He’s calling his own to himself. (John 6:37-40) No one comes to God because he is smarter than others or more spiritual. He comes because God calls him. (John 6:44-45) Those of us who are saved were dead people, called to life by Christ. (Eph. 2:1)
We have forgiveness, not because we prayed a prayer or did good works, but because we believe that Jesus did it for us. We trust Him and surrender in obedience to Him. (Acts 13:38-39)
If you have a desire for God, it comes from Him. If you want Him, it’s because He wants you and is calling you. He is a good God — and He is the one who can give you true peace and joy. (John 6:35, 37) I know that for sure, because He has done it for me!
Don’t take my word for it, but check these things out in the Bible. And let me know if you have questions or if I can help you in any way.
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown