How Do You Picture God?
The LORD is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me? The LORD is for me among those who help me. (Psalm 118:6-7)
THE WRONG PICTURE
Sadly, many people picture God as a stern, impossible-to-please despot, sitting on the throne of the universe with a foul disposition and a hair-trigger temper. He has a big billy club in one hand and a bag of thunder bolts in the other. He is chomping at the bit to unleash fiery judgment on those who stray outside the lines. Well, if that is how you view God, if that is the picture of Him that hangs in the halls of your mind, it is going to be impossible for you to ever get close to Him. Why would you even want to?
THE RIGHT PICTURE
What does the Bible say about God? Is He really mean, cruel, and condemning as the devil would have us believe? Certainly not! God is good, loving, gracious, merciful, and compassionate. He is the God who is for us, not against us. He is the God who wants to help us, not hurt us or condemn us. He is the father of the prodigal son, the one who runs to us and showers us with kisses and compassion the moment we turn to Him in repentance and faith.
To be sure, God is holy and righteous. He wants His children to walk in His righteousness, because it is in His righteousness that we find security, peace, and blessings. He takes no pleasure in us when we go our own way and do our own thing. It grieves Him to watch us walk in darkness. He knows our rebellion will only produce pain as we get away from His will for our lives. The prodigal sowed his wild oats … and reaped a bitter crop of pig slop. And the father wept for his wayward son.
So, what do we do when we miss the mark, succumb to temptation, and sin against God? We quickly come to Him in godly sorrow and confession. We remind ourselves of the truth that He wants to help us in our time of need (Heb. 4:16). We remember what the Nazi concentration camp survivor Corrie ten Boom said, “No matter how deep the sin, God’s love is deeper still.”
WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR DISTANCE
Are you distant from God today? Do you see Him as disgusted and displeased with you? Take down that faulty caricature of God and replace it with the real picture. He is never disgusted with His children. Certainly, He gets displeased with our sinful actions, but not with us. He loves us with an everlasting love. He says to us today, “Come to Me. I am for you. I want to help you. I want to turn your sorrows into joy and get your life back on track with Me.” What an awesome invitation from the King! So, what is your answer to Him?