Spiritual Growth

Our View of God vs. Who He Truly Is

This season is a HEATED season for those of us in the U.S.A. We’re currently waiting on the announcement on who our new President will be and tensions are running high!! People are pointing fingers, yelling at others, still debating on social media who is better or who is right, and allowing difference of opinions to ruin friendships that were otherwise healthy and wholesome.

It’s embarrassing and eye opening at the same time.

In the midst of all this chaos are words of encouragement from a select few: “No matter who is president, Jesus is King. Jesus is still sovereign. God is still in control.” Etc. Etc. Etc.

And then I saw something that hit me weird. A friend posted on Facebook a tweet from someone that basically said these thoughts or phrases were damaging to those who are hurt by the church and by our current administration. Okay, government is always going to be corrupt as its run (usually) by greedy, power hungry people, but the church? Okay, yes… the church can definitely be toxic and damaging as well! I’ll never deny that, although it breaks my heart to admit it since church should be our safe haven.

Also, I just want to clarify that this post isn’t to dismiss anyone’s trauma, personal experience, or current situations, especially over the last few years. It’s very real and I am so sorry you’ve experienced it!
However, I still want to address these comments about God’s character, so please bear with me.

Let’s go back to the phrases listed before:

Jesus is King
Jesus is still Sovereign
God is still in control

Are they toxic? Are they damaging?

Depends…

To what standard are you holding these phrases to? Christians that are hypocritical, who lie, cheat, hate, and hurt you? Or are you holding these phrases to the standard of Scripture?

I listened to a short clip the other day from Jackie Hill Perry’s instagram feed that really got me thinking on this topic (I think she posted it before the election drama). She pointed out that you could have had bad examples of Christians, but there are no bad examples of Christ.

The Bible says it is God-breathed, that it’s inspired by God. It’s the very Word of our Lord given to us. If this is true, then what it says about God is what we should be believing about the Lord. We should let these words seep deep into our hearts and let them develop inside of us an unshakable faith and understanding of who God truly is.

The world is a complete crap-show. It always has been and always will be. But does that mean God is not who He says He is? Absolutely not!

Romans 3 (thank you Natalie Herrera for inspiring me to read this!) says,
(also, lets replace the word Jew with Christians and Gentiles with unbelievers (or like Jackie Perry says, “Saints and Aints”))

Vs. 1-2: “Then what’s the advantage of being a Jew? Is there any value in the ceremony of circumcision? Yes, there are great benefits! First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the whole revelation of God”

Vs. 3-4: “True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they were unfaithful, does that mean God will be unfaithful? Of course not! Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about Him, ‘You will be proved right in what you say, and you will win your case in court.'”

The Bible is written in a span of 1500 years and is written by many different authors. They all have different experiences with God, but they all can confirm one thing: God is good. In Him there is no darkness. Man is the issue and because of the fall, we’ll always have strife, hatred, and sin.

Vs. 9-18 : “Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. As the Scriptures say, ‘No one is righteous — not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies. Snake venom drips from their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. They rush to commit murder. Destruction and misery always follow them. They don’t know where to find peace. They have no fear of God at all.'”

Sound familiar? As I was typing up those verses, I was instantly reminded of countless news stories, especially from the past few years. SO many stories about situations full of hate, murder, and misery. So many full of people heartsick because of people’s actions and words. So many desperate for good and for change. Instead, situations have gotten worse and more turmoil has occured.

People are HORRIBLE. But does that mean God is?

Vs. 23-24 : “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins.”

The MSG translation says this, “Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us.”

I love that: utterly incapable.

We’ll NEVER be able to live up to God’s standard for our lives. So why are we expecting God to live up to ours?

If God is way better than we’ll ever be, why do we keep expecting Him to be like us when it’s us who will never be like Him?

That being said, who IS God?

If you really want to know about 950 Biblical names for God, which basically are characteristics of him, I found a list here: https://christiananswers.net/dictionary/namesofgod.html. I find it absolutely fascinating that God is so complex that not even 950 names and titles aren’t able to completely define who God is… yet people have tried. Blows my mind.

Here are a few characteristics of who God truly is that have stuck out to me from this list:

He is:

Our Advocate
The Anointed One
The Blessed Hope
The Chief Cornerstone
Our Deliverer
El Roi (the God who sees)
Father of the fatherless
God that cannot lie
Helper
Jehovah-Jireh (the Lord will provide)
Jehovah-Rapha (the Lord who heals you)
Friend
Shepherd/Guide
Sar-Shalom (prince of peace)
And soooo many more.

We are going through a really rough time, but remember: there’s Christians and there’s Christ. Look to Jesus for who He truly is, not those who are supposed to represent Him. We’ll fail you often.

With your eyes, heart, and lives focused on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, remember:

John 14:27“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give andbequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”

Best,
Woman of Purity~

Photo by Wendy van Zyl from Pexels

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