“The healthy Christian is not necessarily the extrovert, ebullient Christian, but the Christian who has a sense of God’s presence stamped deep on his soul, who trembles at God’s word, who lets it dwell in him richly by constant meditation upon it, and who tests and reforms his life daily in response to it.”
― J.I. Packer
Today we’re looking at God’s personality but first a little re-cap.
Does the action I’m contemplating square with God’s word and who God has revealed Himself to be?
God will never, ever (does that sound like a Taylor Swift song?) lead us to any action contrary to His word and His being.
But we have to know what His word teaches and who He is if we’re to know how He leads. There are some requests God will not honor. And even if it works out, it still doesn’t mean God honored the request. There are always consequences when we step outside God’s will.
For example, God won’t honor a relationship that is built on deception and yet I’ve known Christians to pray for God’s blessing for illicit affairs. It’s important to understand that God, because of His Holiness, cannot bless anything inconsistent with His character.
Just because it (whatever it is) “feels right” is absolutely no confirmation that it is right.
It took me a while to discern God’s attributes.
I did what so many people do. I either saw him as I mistakenly thought him portrayed in the Old Testament, or as I mistakenly thought he was portrayed in the New. The Holy Spirit was just “out there” somewhere, if you know what I mean. I would dare to suggest that most Christians today lean to the Jesus that they think is only loving and tender. It’s what they want Him to be.
But the God of the Old Testament and the Jesus of the New are the same. Totally the same. The Holy Spirit is an equal partner. God is multi-faceted. He’s forgiving, loving, merciful-all that. But He’s also a God of justice. And all sides of God appear in all books of the Bible.
The God portrayed in the Old Testament is as forgiving, loving, and merciful as Jesus is portrayed in the New Testament. Jesus as portrayed in the New Testament is as much about justice as the God that is portrayed in the Old Testament. In other words, all of the qualities of the Trinity are full realized in each personality since the beginning of time.
(For a more thorough examination please read here.
Here’s how we imagine the God of the Old Testament.
Here’s how we picture Jesus.
If we could juxtapose one picture on top of the other, we’d have it right.
Just like most people, I wanted God to be the one I liked the best. I don’t like the justice part. I don’t like it when I read how God warned and warned and warned the Israelites time and again not to veer from His commandments or they would suffer severe consequences. When they did, He kept His word and disciplined them severely. I’d rather not beieve that.
Jesus said that he and his Father are one and the same. (John 10:30) That means they share all the same attributes. Jesus didn’t somehow make God obsolete. But that’s what a lot of us want to think.
Just like we can’t pick and choose which Scripture to believe, we can’t pick and choose which attributes we want to accept.
The more we accept the Triune God, the more we will understand how God leads.
God bless and I hope you have a good day.
(This post, How to be absolutely sure God is leading us (part 3), first appeared on faithsighanddiy.com)