What do you really know about God? Everyone has their own concept about who or what they think God is, even if they don’t believe in God. The idea of God is so pervasive in our culture that you must have formed some opinion on what God is. Some believe God is a story or that Jesus is a historical figure. Some believe that God was active in ancient times, but no longer a part of our lives. Some believe God is love, and accepting of everyone just as they are. Some believe God is an angry God, who punishes people. Some believe that God is a distant God, who looks down on us. A God that is impersonal and doesn’t care about people.
Recently I have begun to take a second look at who I think God is. I have been a Christian for two years now, and I thought I had my knowledge of who God is down. I mean, I read the Bible, I pray, I have a relationship with Jesus. So of course I know who my God is. Wrong. I realized that I have been putting God into a box. Actually, not just one box, but many boxes. That is OK though, because God has begun to break down those boxes. God cannot live in a box; He is much too big to be confined.
How can one person ever begin to define God? He is such a vast being, beyond space and time, bigger than the human imagination. Yet He is completely knowable. Can we ever truly know all of God in this life time? I believe we can only know Him to the extent that we allow ourselves too. How close have you allowed yourself to get to God? How close have you allowed Him to get to you?
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. Psalm 139:1
God has known me from the moment of my conception. He has watched me grow like a tender shoot, and loved me completely. Yet I never knew Him. My spirit cried out for God, in the depth of my need for Him, because I was created to have a relationship with Him. Through my darkest moments, through my despair, God was there. Yet I never knew Him. Or did I?
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Psalm 19:1-3
God reveals His glory and majesty to us through so many way during our lives. Creation itself proclaims His wonderful works. The amazing human body is a testimony to His creativity and intelligence. That is only the beginning to how He reveals Himself to us. Think on all the times in your life things just coincidentally happened to go exactly the way you needed them too. That was God. Think of the times when you have just missed something bad happening to you. Or something bad happens, but it somehow doesn’t affect you as badly as it should have. That was God, revealing Himself to you. Do you see Him now?
Yet bad things to still happen to us, or those we love, or in this world. Do we blame God for those things? Did God cause those things to happen or did He allow those things to happen? No. That is another box we put God into. I myself am guilty of this very thought, even in my walk as a Christian. As I have had some severe health problems, I have prayed earnestly for God to heal me. I have had many people pray over me. I have cried and cried because I felt that God abandoned me some days. I have been angry and frustrated because I felt that God was not going to heal me. And then I thought that God was punishing me or trying to teach me a lesson by keeping me sick.
During this time I was consumed with guilt. I was a horrible mother, wife, friend. A poor example of a Godly woman. I was selfish, thinking mostly of myself and my suffering and misery. No wonder God would punish me. I deserved to be sick. I deserved to suffer. I was completely worthless in this world. What could I do for God? How could I please Him and do His will? I was ashamed of myself. I could not even fathom why God would save me only to have me fall into despair all over again? Life was no longer even worth living.
Do you hear that sound? The sound of wood breaking into pieces. A box, being blasted apart. Then another. And another. All the lies I believed, the God who I thought I knew, He was completely blowing apart all those boxed I put Him in.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. Revelation 12:10
How could I ever believe God is a God who would punish me that way? How could I believe that God did not care about me, would not help me. How could I ever believe I was worthless and unlovable? Those are not the thoughts of God. Those are the thoughts planted by the enemy. Yet I was willing to believe them. I was willing to let them in and to hold on tight to them. How little I really knew my God. The God that loves me, that created me, that holds me in His right hand, singing over me.
I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. Isaiah 49:15b-16a
As I watched God smash all those boxes before me, a new freedom washed over me. I did not have to listen to everything that came into my head. God Himself was there, and willing to show me exactly who He is. He is willing to teach me, not only who He is, but who I am. Jesus makes me who I am. I can listen to the lies of the enemy, and be led by the temptation on sin, and let that create who I am, or I can take every thought captive to Christ, and be led by the Spirit into truth.