“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the LORD, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of His robe filled the temple.” - Isaiah 6:1
I believe that the single most important part of your life and mine is how we see God. Two sociologists from Baylor University surveyed almost 4,000 adults in America and asked them about their views on God. They discovered that nine out of ten Americans “believe” in God. Furthermore, they found that the way they picture God determined their attitudes on everything from economics to justice, social morality, war, natural disasters, science, politics, and love.
These findings raise a question: How do you view God? As a pastor, I have talked to many people from many different walks of life about God. Listening to people, I have found there are all kinds of “gods” out there that we believe in. All of these varying ideas, beliefs, and views – and yet we claim He is the same God. Understand, I am not talking about different religions…I mean different views of the One and Only True God. How can this be? How can the Great I Am change from one person to the next? He cannot; therefore it is our ideas and views of Him that are out of focus.
I am going to identify, and debunk, just a couple of these incorrect views of God I have discovered through my personal ministry. First, there is what I call “Mean Old Man God.” Those who have this view see God as an angry, harsh father who is always trying to catch us doing something wrong so he can unleash his punishment. This God delights in punishing. This God, however, is not biblical. Psalm 86:15 says, “But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 145:8 also describes God as, “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” So, the “Mean Old Man God” does not exist.
I have also met people who view God in the opposite extreme. This view I call, “Good Ole Boy God.” This God is my buddy. He is cool and loves to hang out with me. I can approach this God casually, in whatever way is comfortable for me. Again, this God is not biblical. When God revealed Himself to the Israelites at Mount Sinai, this is what happened: “Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently” (Exodus 19:18). And what was the people’s response to this? They stayed at a distance, telling Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die” (Exodus 20:19). So, definitely not a “Good Ole Boy God.”
So once again I ask you: How do you view God? Does it align with what God says about Himself in Scripture? His view is the only one that matters.
Father, Help me to see You clearly…as You really are and not as I think You are. Please take away any incorrect ideas I have formed about who You are and how You work. I long to know You more. In Jesus’ name, amen.