Archive | God’s Character – Attributes RSS feed for this section

Do You Have a ‘Lopsided’ God?

8 Sep

It was interesting to see some celebrities highlighted online who have lopsided smiles”—smiles that pull naturally to one side or the other. These asymmetrical smiles sometimes resemble a grin, like the smiling person is perpetually ready to crack a joke. Or maybe they know something we don’t.

It’s a matter of opinion, but I think Mona Lisa’s smile is a tad lopsided, which makes me wonder what she was thinking about.

Lopsided smiles are interesting, adorable and captivating. But lopsided things aren’t always so positive. 

Lopsided can also be false and hurtful . . .

especially in the case of the “Lopsided” God.

Lopsided God? Yes, unfortunately.

Perhaps it’s more like our lopsided view of Him.

The lopsided view of God does not resemble the true God of the Bible, but many who claim to be Christians believe in and act based on their falsely-created god.

We have a lopsided view of God when we emphasize only one aspect of God’s character.

Think about how a person might respond to the circumstances of life with these lopsided views.

We also have a lopsided view of God when we practice religious pluralism—when we think we can serve other gods and say there are many valid ways to God (idolatry)—when He clearly says He is the only God and there is only one way to live with Him in eternity (Deuteronomy 6:5; John 14:6; Matthew 7:13-14; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5; Joshua 23:16).

We wouldn’t want people to see only one part of our character, and neither does God.

Charles Stanley wrote, “In every temptation, there is a deception about the character and motive of God, plus an attractive promise of a better way.” *

If we truly want to know the God of the Bible, we must seek Him in the Word. It is how He reveals Himself to us.

“We need to be reading the Bible so that His words will be woven into the fabric of our being,” Stormie O’Martian wrote in The Power of Praying Through the Bible (page 331). “We must know it so well that it becomes our guide, a source of renewal and knowledge of God’s will. We must let it increase our understanding of who God is and who we are in Him.”

The Bible says there is one true God, the sovereign Creator (Isaiah 42:5; Ephesians 1:11) and we need to get to know Him for who He is: eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, unchanging, holy, just, loving, truthful, holy, compassionate and merciful, the righteous judge, forgiving … and so much more.

All of God’s divine attributes combine to form one consistent whole.

We must adjust to who God is, and not try to adjust Him to our “lopsided” views.

Advertisements

When You ‘Don’t Know Beans’

16 Aug

Some of the folklore surrounding one of the more “delicate” circumstances during NASA flights is that Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space. The supposed theory was that beans cause “gas,” and passing wind in a space suit would damage the suit. 

Although many find this idea humorous, it’s entirely untrue. Although astronauts are put on a “low residue diet” three days before their flight, they are not prohibited from eating beans. And passing wind will not damage space suits.

“If gas could damage a space suit,” one source said, “there’s be a lot more astronaut fatalities.” *

So if YOU believed that – you don’t know beans!

DoYouKnowBeans_aboutGodI wondered where that phrase came from, and discovered the phrase apparently originated in a riddle told in old country stores. The question was asked, “How many blue beans does it take to make seven white beans?” Those who didn’t know the answer were told, “You don’t know beans!” (The answer is, seven blue make seven white, because when you peel the blue beans, you get white beans.) **

Today, the phrase “you don’t know beans” refers to people who don’t know something that should be common knowledge or common sense.

There was a time I “didn’t know beans” about God’s true nature. Sometimes I thought He was an old grandfatherly figure, loving but basically powerless. Other times, I considered Him an angry tyrant.

It took me years to understand God is great, good, loving, everywhere present, all-knowing, all-powerful, kind, involved, just, sovereign, purposeful, wise …. in short, He was nothing like I imagined.

The reason I didn’t know “beans” about God’s nature for so long was simple. I didn’t know God’s Word. I allowed the imaginations of my own heart and the weaknesses of my own thinking – plus the philosophies of this world – to corrupt my perception of the true nature of God.

It’s crucial we study the scriptures, because the Word of God – as well as His creation – reveal much about Him.

No, we can’t know everything about Him. As many have noted, He is God and we are not. In ourselves, we cannot think or act like Him (Isaiah 55:8). But there’s no excuse to be ignorant about His basic nature and how He deals with humanity.

The truth is:

  • Our thinking must be transformed through the Word (Romans 12:1-2).
  • God tells us our only reason for boasting must be that we “understand” and “know” Him (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
  • Jesus wants us to know His Father (John 17:1), and His love in us allows us to know God (1 John 4:6-7).
  • Jesus’ disciple, Peter, tells us to grow in the knowledge of Jesus, God’s Son (2 Peter 3:18).

So there might be a lot of things we “don’t know beans” about – but knowing God doesn’t have to be one of them! He is ready and eager to reveal Himself to us, but we need to seek Him! (Psalm 119:10a).

What has God shown you about Himself this week?

– Dawn

* http://www.superkids.com/aweb/pages/humor/042207.sht

** http://www.brownielocks.com/wordorigins.html

 

Don’t Assume God’s Not Working

22 Jul

Kathi, holding a tiny baby, walked into a drug store and asked the clerk if she could use the store’s baby scale.

“Sorry, Ma’am,” the clerk said. “Our baby scale is broken. But we can figure the baby’s weight if we weigh mother and baby together on the adult scale.

“Then we can weigh the mother alone, and subtract the second number from the first.”

“Oh, that won’t work,” Kathi said.

The clerk, puzzled, said, “Why not?”

“Because I’m not the mother,” Kathi said. “I’m the aunt.” *

I laugh as I read that, because I’ve often assumed something wouldn’t work, but I had a skewed perspective … or a limited one.

Have you ever assumed that God’s not working in a situation, only to find out some time later that He was working behind the scenes, planning for something spectacular or even “impossible”?

Once, when I felt led away from one job to another, I couldn’t figure out why God didn’t give me the “release” to change jobs right away. A little frustrated, I determined to work hard and “finish well” for as long as God kept me in that job.

Then, months later, God opened an incredible opportunity for ministry and gave me the “go ahead;” but when I went into my boss’s office to tell him I was moving on, I was shocked that he seemed relieved!

A week or so later, I discovered why. I was one of his employees slated for layoff!

God had a greater plan that I could not see, and His timing was perfect.

M. Blaine Smith wrote about his experiences with God’s unseen activity in an article titled “Help from Behind the Scenes” (12-15-97). “If I could glimpse the unseen circumstances that are affecting my destiny,” Smith said, “I would often be encouraged by what I found.”

But then he said, “If I truly knew everything going on behind the scenes that’s affecting my life, I would be unsettled by plenty of it, for I wouldn’t automatically know how to put it all in right perspective.”

How does he resolve his feelings about this? “Yet I have an extraordinary basis for knowing ~ simply as a matter of faith ~ that Christ is working behind the scenes to bring about his best for my life,” he said. “Without knowing any of the details of what He is doing, I have profound reason to be hopeful.”

Over and over again in the Bible, we see that God worked behind the scenes for our good and His glory.

God gave Gideon a glimpse behind the scenes of how He was going to defeat the enemy Midianites (Judges 7:9-15). God opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant to see the powerful angelic army “behind the scenes,” ready to fight against the enemy (2 Kings 6:15-18) ~ one of my favorite Old Testament stories.

Smith notes that, at Jesus’ birth, “few realized that God was acting in a way which would forever alter the course of human history and the destiny of innumerable lives.”

But I’m thinking about the “behind the scenes” story of Jesus’ death! I am awed by this scripture: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7-8).

Apparently, Satan and his evil cohorts had no idea of the scope of the incredible behind the scenes plan of God in Jesus’ death and resurrection!

Friend, our loving, sovereign God is always working behind the scenes. There’s no need to worry … no need to fear … no need to manipulate circumstances.

We can rest, knowing everything is under control. Let that truth give you hope today!

Comment opportunity:  Has God ever pulled back the curtain to let you see behind the scenes to what He is doing in your life? Or have you been surprised by God’s activity on your behalf? I’d love to hear your stories!

* adapted from Cybersalt Digest, Issue #3674

%d bloggers like this: