God Thoughts (6)

“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?”     Numbers 23:19

There is such a temptation to make God in our image.  That way He becomes someone we can more easily relate to and try to manipulate.

What? You’ve never tried to manipulate God by promising Him something to get something you want from Him?  “God if you’ll just get me out of this mess I promise I’ll….” (fill in the blank).  We know how to weasel what we want from humans, this doesn’t work with God.

Your relationship with God is unlike any other relationship you will ever have because He needs nothing from you.  There is nothing we can offer to Him to change His mood or to make Him more gracious or forgiving.  He is what He is, to coin a phrase.

This why religion (doing or not doing something to make God happy with us) is an exhausting futility.  God initiates the relationship with us because of who He is not because of what we do.  God reveals Himself to us because He is good, not because we are good.

Once we accept this reality life takes on a freedom and a joy we can never sustain in any other way.  Let’s take religion out of our relationship with God and rest in His grace.

God Thoughts (4)

“Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;  who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin…”  Exodus 34.6-7

There are believers who think of God in a schizophrenic way.  The God they know from the New Testament is kind of cool, but the God of the Old Testament is someone you mostly want to avoid!  What does that say about Him?  Has He evolved over the thousands of years we read about from Genesis to Malachi?  Did He grow up over the millennia?

When we think that way we are creating God in man’s image.  In case you didn’t realize it, that’s backwards!  It is man who is predictably undependable, not God.  God’s character is the unattainable standard against which all thoughts, words, deeds and lives are measured.  This is an important aspect of His glory.

When Moses asked to have a glimpse of God, to see God’s glory, He told Moses up front that he wasn’t man enough to handle seeing the full Monty of God!  This came to be understood as a sure prescription for death!  Was Moses suicidal or did he just want to know better the one he was dealing with in the person of God?

When God decided to arrange for Moses to have a peek at Him, what Moses experienced is a compassionate, gracious, patient, unfailingly loving, unflinchingly trustworthy, accepting, forgiving God!

That sounds to me a lot like the God of the New Testament.  Here’s why: “Jesus Christ (God) is the same yesterday (the Old Testament) and today (the New Testament) and forever.” (Hebrews 13.8)

Since God doesn’t change we must change our thoughts about Him.  That’s one big reason why Jesus came to live and die on earth.