What thoughts come into your mind when you think about God? Do you have the ability to sit quiet and entertain high thoughts of God for long periods of time, or do you get bored and give up thinking about Him?
What are some the pictures, words and thoughts that come to mind when I say God? When do you struggle praising God the most?
“Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.” Romans 1:21-ESV
I. What Is Your Mental Image of God?
According to A.W. Tozer (paraphrased), "All throughout human history no people have risen above their beliefs, and their beliefs and lifestyle have never been greater than their idea of who God is to them."
The truth about this message lies in this statement: “The way you worship God is either awesome and pure, or disgusting and dirty.” In order to figure out what your thoughts about God truly are, you must first be humble and open. Your first reaction to the question, “What is God like?” should tell you. Reactions like this are all too common, yet often come from the mind not the heart
· He is bigger than anything
· He is everywhere
· He is powerful
· He is eternal
· He is the Creator
What is troubling me about these answers is that we know these only like we know that the Universe is bigger than the earth, or a nuclear bomb would cause major destruction if deployed. If our answers about who God is to us were heartfelt and true for us personally some of our decisions and actions would be completely different.
When Peter confronted Ananias (Acts 5:1-11) about his lying to the Holy Spirit, Ananias had no clue who God truly was. Peter knew who God was, and feared for both Ananias and Saphira. After Ananias and Saphira died, the fear of God fell upon the church as a whole.
The dangerous part of not having an understanding of God is not just with the individual, but imagine how it affects local churches, denominations, and the Body of Christ as a whole. Our personal mental image of God would come crystal clear if we were confronted with the choice of life (denying Him), and physical death (claiming Him).
If we have an image or thought of God that is not true about Him, than we are committing idolatry. We too often think of God as lower than He really
is. For example, when we lack trust in Him we think of Him falsely.
I only write this truth to bring us all to a place of understanding why daily confession, prayer, bible reading is so important. The longer you spend time with God the more you will know Him. The longer you are away from Him, the less you know Him.
II. Thinking Properly About God
How do I start thinking properly about God? That question itself can frustrate a believer to the point of wanting give up if not given the encouragement and guidance needed. The lack of knowledge and understanding we have about God can become confusion and frustration, but we must decide to transform it into hunger and desire”
There is no 12 step course of action that will get you to think properly about God, and this is the primary sin for both the believer and unbeliever. I will share a few insights that should help you align yourself properly, but are not the answers in themselves.
A. All that God wants you to know is in His Word already.
The greatest philosophers of all time have struggled with the fact that the more they found out about God, the more they knew little to nothing. God has certain divine attributes, which means that God has revealed Himself to us through these attributes. These qualities/characteristics cannot be taken given or taken away. These are given in the Bible.
Application: Read the Bible daily and journal your thoughts, questions, confession,and desires. God is faithful to speak to you through His Word and bring understanding where necessary.
B. Understand you are finite and God is infinite
We must remove the train of thought that allows us to see God as like us. Your life has an end, your brain can only take in so much info before you die, and you can only be in one place at one time.
Application: Begin to memorize scripture as it will bring humility from the Word.
C. Understand that God does not have His favorite humans.
God has a specific plan for each of us, and as we obey Him in it, whether great or small, we are counted as great in the kingdom of Heaven. The fact that we or our parents are elders, pastors, board members, or Christians for a long period of time has no weight on who you are in the kingdom of Heaven.
Part of the problem is that we feel we are owed a burning bush experience and if it does not come or our prayers are not answered we blame God and think of Him wrongly. If we only realized that we are selfish, filthy sinners, and that our prayers and desires are not lined up with God and that is why we did not see answers, then we could experience the True God. Let us be humble and ready to be told, “you are wrong.”
"...if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." – 2 Chronicles 7:14
Application: When tragedy, trial, or storm comes learn to praise God right then and there.
If we are truly honest and we answer the question, “What do you think about God?”, our answers will dictate our spiritual health, future, and destiny. If we have a poor image of God than we have a poor spiritual future. Fortunately God's grace allows us that to change,
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