from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
If all our mental pictures of God are inevitably incomplete, does it matter how we think of Him? If knowing Him fully is impossible, why try?
Think about this:
- If we believe that God is like the Greek and Roman gods, powerful yet as flawed and selfish as human beings, how will we live?
- If we believe that He is violent, heavy-handed, and vengeful toward his enemies, how will we live?
- If we think of Him like the deists, as a cosmic clock-maker who created the world, wound it up, then walked off to let it run on its own, how will we live?
Some people picture God as a harsh, narrow-minded taskmaster, always pushing them around, always eager to swoop down on them whenever they do the slightest wrong. Often such people live fearful lives, never learning to love and trust Him. They never find peace, acceptance, and belonging in His arms.
For others, God is like Santa Claus or a kindly old grandfather. His only role is to smile and hand out treats. But if our God doesn’t provide or demand discipline, how will we withstand the onslaught of temptation?
But what is more, knowing God is not just a means to an end. It is not just a path to a good life. Knowing God—not simply knowing about Him, but knowing Him—is itself life’s greatest privilege, joy, and fulfillment. Knowing Him aligns us with the truth, with reality. It puts us in harmony with Him and at peace with Him.
God has fully invested Himself in helping us to truly, deeply, personally know Him. Does it matter how we picture Him? Does it matter how we think of Him and how well we know Him? It matters. It matters very much. It matters now, and it will matter throughout eternity.