My God is…

Over the course of my life, I have created several images of just who God is and what my relationship with Him should look like. Over time, those images changed, both positively and negatively, as I changed.  They have gone from the simplistic to the holy and back again.

When I was a child, my view of God was “God the Grandpa.”  He was a loving Guy who spoiled me.  When my parents selfishly refused me something, I simply went over their heads with my request!  I was able to ask whatever favor I desired of God.  I understood that God gave me my parents, but whenever they messed up—because not giving me that bicycle or doll house was definitely a sign of “messing up”—He was there to cover for them.

As I grew a little older, my positive image of God decreased.  Instead He was the “God for Grownups.”  I sighed and squirmed through church services that I swore were literally attempting to last till eternity.  I prayed, but only because I was asking Christ to show up and relieve us from singing the never-ending hymns!  Although I had learned to read, sounding out words like “acclamation” while trying to stay in-tempo to the song did not happen without divine intervention!  I really wanted to find out what loon decided to put an age limit on attending the church nursery!  All the other kids got to go play, while I was stuck on a hard pew.  It just wasn’t fair!

 Eventually, I grew older and began to build my own personal relationship with Christ.  I heard sermons from various outlets and actually started to listen to them.  I read my Bible—an actual Bible, not a paraphrase with colorful pictures painted in it.  I also tried reading other spiritual books and commentaries that you can find in Christian libraries. I became inundated with this view of God that people seemed to have across denominational boundaries.  While theologically believing in grace and faith without works, most messages I heard were ones talking about “works” and the “do’s and don’ts” of religion.  This led me to form my next image: “God the Unapproachable.”  This God was a rule-maker who desired adoration and piety.  He still was open to communicating with me (through prayer), but whenever I approached Him, it was at a timid crawl on my knees as I continually tugged my shirt up higher and higher, trying to appear more modest.

Over time I learned a valuable lesson, however: when we come to Christ uncovered, He doesn’t condemn us for it.  Instead, He clothes us.  Misconceptions that I had about judgment and condemnation fell away and gave room for my next phase: “God as Best Friend.”  He and I talked about everything.  No longer was He a “Grand King” to beg for favors from, but Someone to discuss my life with and bounce my everyday decisions off of.  And I literally mean everyday decisions.  “God, should I wear blue jeans or khakis today?”  And it even went beyond that.  If I dropped my fork it could be a sign from God to stop eating.  I didn’t know why I should stop, but I had to trust Him.  Maybe my eggs had salmonella and God was trying to prevent my early death! (I have a slightly over-active imagination, if you haven’t been able to grasp that yet!)  I had faith—ridiculous amounts of it, really—but the problem was that my spirituality had the depth of a goldfish tank when it could have been as vast as the ocean!

My perception of God has been one of constant change, but it is not God who is changing—its me. ­­­­Hebrews 13:8 says that Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.  So why all my different versions of Him?  Which one is correct?  Today my image of God is a combination of every one of them and more!  I still talk to God about my life, but if I drop my fork on the floor. . . well, I figure we all have to die sometime!  I tremble for my generation at times, because they all seem to believe in a prosperity gospel or “feel-good faith.”  Meaning, if you’re a Christian your life will be all good and no bad.  But John 16:33 warns us that, “In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”

I also tap into my childhood views of God on a regular basis.  I believe Christianity to be a great adventure, but if I’m honest, I’ll admit that much of the time I’m bored.  I’ll be standing in church and swear that if the worship leader makes us sing the chorus to “Awesome God” once more, I am walking out.  Some of us have sung that song a few too many times!  As for “God the Grandpa,” well, He’s one of my favorites.  There are instances when the authority in my life has said “no” and, instead of giving up, I’ve turned to a Higher Power.  I’ve asked God if He’s willing to give me the desires of my heart and occasionally He says “yes.”  Those times that God grants us what was supposed to be unavailable are what I call modern-day miracles.  That’s how God reveals His glory!

There certainly are more images of God than the few I’ve touched on, because that’s just how big and how mysterious my God is.  He is unlimited, indescribable, non-conflicting, and incomprehensible!

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing. I wish I had the faith you have. Its amazing.

  2. Thank you for your king words, Amy. I don’t see my faith as anything more than that of a girl who constantly questions. The Bible says to “ask and you shall receive.” If you are looking to deepen your faith, ask God to assist you in it (as I have to do constantly!) I have no doubt it is a wish He will gladly grant. Thanks again for stopping by my blog! Blessings!

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