The Christian life often gets clouded by lots of noise. Over the centuries, Christians have gotten into heated theological and doctrinal debates, thus the multi-denominational universal church that we have today. Even within our own denominations, we still disagree on different “personal” interpretations of the Bible, all the while claiming that we have the same Holy Spirit dwelling in each of our hearts.
Because of that, sometimes things get messy and complicated. We get hurt and disappointed by our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, we try to live by the do’s and the don’ts while trying to keep up with the hustle and bustle of life, or maybe we just never really got into the whole “Christian” jive.
At some point in every Christian’s life, the things we do begin to lose their meaning. And when that happens, it is important to take a step back and ask yourself this question:
Who is God to me?
The Bible is clear about who God is. He is the Alpha and Omega. He is Creator of the Universe. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He is Redeemer, Savior, Friend. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is the Lion of Judah and the Atoning Lamb. He is the Supreme Judge and the Great High Priest. The list goes on and on and on, but who is He to you?
In Mark 8: 27-29, Jesus asks His disciples, “Who do people say I am?” And they reply, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” Then Jesus asks, “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” And Peter answers, “You are the Messiah.”
From that simple scene, it is obvious that Jesus cares about who each and every person thinks He is. It’s not because He’s insecure and needs affirmation from us so He can feel better about Himself, but it is because He wants us to fully experience Him for who He is so that we can in turn glorify Him and in so doing, find satisfaction in Him.
So what about you? Forget for a moment what the world says, or what your church or your pastor says. Who do you say God is? In your life, is God your Heavenly Father? Your boss? The “Big Man Upstairs?” Your best friend? A distant, higher power? Your conscience? Your lifeline? The air you breathe? Your ticket to Heaven? All of the above?
Your answer(s) to this question is vital because how you view God will determine the way you live your life. As it is with most things in life, it is important to strike a healthy balance when it comes to our perception of God.
If we see Him as nothing more than our salvation or SOS call center, then that is what He will remain. Until and unless a crisis occurs, God, like a panic button, remains ignored and is of no importance to our day-to-day life. His standards, His holiness, His love, and His desires mean nothing to us and we will make no effort to draw closer to Him. Such a faith is better off dead.
On the other hand, swinging to the other extreme is just as dangerous: Seeing God as a distant and angry God who is just waiting to smite us dead at our smallest discrepancy. What kind of relationship would that be? God is not looking for little robots that will run to do His bidding and work themselves to death in order to gain His favor. On the contrary, He wants to commune with us and to shower us with His insurmountable grace.
Then again, we have to be careful not to take that to the extreme: The friendly and casual relationship with God. “God is my friend! I can go, Yo Jesus, whassup, and He chill… He can handle it. Cos Jesus is my homie.” Now, just hit the brakes there a little. Sure, He can handle it, and Jesus did indeed call us His friends. But it is also important for us to bear in mind that He is still God Almighty. All of creation shakes and trembles at His majesty. Who are we to show such irreverence for the God who spoke all things into motion?
A pastor I recently met said this: “There is a time for everything. In the privacy of your room, sure—you can be casual with God. You can converse with Him like you normally would with a friend. But in public or in corporate worship, show Him the respect He deserves.”
There is a time for everything. God is amazing. Words cannot even begin to describe Him. He is the only entity in existence who can say, “I AM,” and mean just that. Before time even began, He was, and long after heaven and earth fade away, He will be. In the great scheme of the universe, we are as insignificant as the minutest microorganism that our most powerful microscopes cannot even detect. And yet, God intentionally reaches out to us and wants to be involved in our lives.
God is a God of justice, a God of power, and a God of righteousness. As His subjects, we ought to honor Him, revere Him, fear Him, and obey Him. He is not Someone we want to mess around with. At the same time, He is also a God of love, a God of gentleness, and God of humor, and a God of communion. He has provided us with access to Him and so we should enjoy the freedom and fellowship we have with Him.
Who is God to you? Can’t answer that in a single sentence? Good! Let the list go on and on. Let this be a question that you continually answer for the rest of your days. Because God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Rapha, Jehovah Nissi, El Shaddai, etc— is the best thing that could ever happen to you. He is your only boast, and He is glorified in your inability to define Him.
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