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WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR CONCEPT OF GOD?

August 17, 2015

 

Text: “And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” Deuteronomy 34:10

From the book of Exodus on through the book of Deuteronomy we read of Moses’ interviews with God. He begins with the confrontation at the burning bush on Mt. Horeb (Mt. Sinai).  In Exodus 19 he ascends Mt. Sinai to receive the Law and the terms of the covenant directly from God. Moses would erect the “tent of meeting” at each place where the Israelites encamped. When he would go to the tent those who had a civil case would come there for judgment. There in the tent Moses and God would confer. “When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance to the tent, and the Lord would speak to Moses…Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” Exodus 33:9, 11a

This was an unique experience, unavailable to us.  It is not within our ability to see and talk to God face-to-face as Moses did. Nevertheless, God wishes for us to be his friends. “And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts…” II Peter 1:19  It is our duty to gather knowledge of God by studying God’s revelation of himself from his inspired word. 

People elect to gather information about God’s person from various sources. We adopt a lot of misinformation from the people about us, our secular culture, and speculation from lots of sources, etc.  We are also guilty of  thinking that we can pick and choose whatever we like to blend our own unique “god”. Our own potpourri of what God is like is inaccurate, insufficient, and misinformed.

In his book God As He Longs For Us To See Him Chip Ingram says, “Left to ourselves, we tend to reduce God to manageable terms.”   In 1952 J. B. Phillips published a book entitled Your God Is Too Small  in which he characterized some ways people have falsely envisioned God. Among the chapters in the book are “Resident Policeman”, “Grand Old Man”, and “Meek and Mild”. He gave an example of a man who said that he thought of God as “jello”. I can suggest that you read both books.

As we search to understand the person of God we need to discard the fallacies we have learned  and fashioned about him and turn to the Bible where God is truly depicted.

We first will have to revise our concepts of God along the way. Our initial endeavor should be to abandon ourselves and refocus on God. Our faulty understanding of God creeps into our minds without us being aware that we have assumed them. Ingram wrote, “Who we are and what we become cannot be separated from our understanding of God.”  We must take God as he is and fashion ourselves as he wants us to be.

Another step in better understanding God is to allow him to be at the center of our beings.  That means that we must dethrone ourselves. His rulership in our lives is fundamental. It is unusual for us to realize that we are under his rule and not our own. We must not assume we have the right to live by our own rules. “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13

When we have adopted a faulty concept of God we have entrusted our souls to false gods. Thus we minimize God and maximize ourselves. We are shrinking our own souls as we diminish God’s person and powers. We must restore God according to his self revelation. We must remember that God does not change. “For I the Lord do not change…” Malachi 3:6a

We must adopt Jesus  as the perfect revelation of God. He must be imitated as our model of God’s person and character.  “He is the radiance of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” Hebrews 1:3 (ESV)   Jesus said to Philip, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” John 14:9 Study Jesus. Know God.

As we study Jesus we are transformed to his likeness.  “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord. are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” II Corinthians 3:18

Let us all have 20\20 vision in learning who God truly is.

 

REM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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