What do we do, where do we go when the unthinkable happens—like a tragic helicopter accident on a Sunday morning? Depends on how you answer this question yourself: Who is God?
It was midday on a sunny Saturday in Flagstaff, Arizona, and I positioned myself near a window to take in the snow piled outside on the old street corner, and the bundled-up passersby. I was writing about how humility paves the way for us to get closer to God when … a youngish man took off his headphones and said, ‘hey, what are you writing?’ Guessing him to be about 30 years old, taking in his long hair, beard, and mountain climbing gear next to him, I turned and said, ‘Do you really want to know?’ ‘Yeah, I really want to know.’ ‘Okay, I’m writing Bible study.’ ‘Really?’ he asked. ‘Yeah really … thinking about humility and what it looks like from God’s perspective…’ ‘Like Moses,’ he said. That’s when he had me. [Did he know that the Bible says ‘Moses was humbler than anyone else on the face of the earth?]
We chatted openly as two strangers can safely do—just talking real talk. ‘Moses is my favorite,’ he said. And then what really struck me was his response when I asked, ‘What do you think about God—what do you do with him?’ ‘God is the ten commandments,’ he said. ‘What? Oh no, God is so much more than commandments… Jesus came so that we were not strictly tied to keeping rules to get to God…’ and on our conversation went.
Lines from that conversation played through my mind the rest of the day.
So how could I describe God to Daniel? How would you answer if I asked you, ‘Who is God to you?’
A.W. Tozer’s posit is spot on: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Why would he make such an extreme pronouncement? Truth. Tozer goes on to say, “Man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God.”2
You see, our relationship with God is inextricably linked with our view of God.
Let’s look at just a few attributes God possesses which reveal his character:
Love is such an important part of God’s character that the apostle John wrote, “God is love.” This is what prompted God to create human beings – for relationship with him.
The attribute that sets God apart from all created beings is his
holiness. It refers to his majesty and his perfect moral purity. There is absolutely no sin or evil thought in God at all.
God is perfect wisdom.
God is all-powerful - omnipotent.
God possesses perfect knowledge, meaning he is all knowing; he is omniscient.
eternality: God always has been and will forever be, because God dwells in eternity. Time is His creation. It is why God can see the end from the beginning, and why He is never surprised by anything. If He were not eternal, God’s promise of eternal life for those who follow Jesus would have little value.
God is always present [omnipresent]. Since God is infinite, he knows no boundaries.
This is the attribute by which he rules his entire creation. The application of God’s omniscience and omnipotence is his sovereignty
Because of his faithfulness, everything God has promised will come to pass.
God never changes. It is why the Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” [an expression of God’s immutability]
Because of the goodness of God, he is kind, cordial, benevolent, full of good will toward men and merciful.
In addition, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all called God, worshipped as God, exist eternally, and are involved in doing things only God could do. Although God reveals himself in three persons, the trinity, God is One and cannot be divided; all are involved completely whenever One of the Three is active.3
While this describes God, it feels somewhat limited and clinical to me, whereas God is warm, merciful, relational and
magnanimous in his love for me as an individual.
I know that there is no greater thing
in my life than God’s love for me, and my ability to have a relationship with him because of Jesus’ life and death on the cross; the fact that the Holy Spirit of God resides in me means I am never separated from him, never alone.
Who is God to me? The greatest source of love, truth, meaning and relationship in my life. God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.4
So Daniel, in case you pick this up, this is Who God Is.
1 – Numbers 12.3
2 - A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy
3 – Attributes of God, Got Questions
4 – John 3.16-17