A lot of people, I suspect, create a god in their minds who fits well with their excuse for not believing, or which gives them reason to deny the true God any access to any part of their lives. Most notably is the reasoning that says, “God did not answer my prayer,” or, “God let this bad thing happen,” and therefore, God is not worthy of their trust. The problem with that line of thinking is that it gets the cart before the horse. God is a fixed eternal being and is the very source of all things, including life itself.
I remember of a story being told, when I was a kid, by a State Game Ranger who had heard a person claiming he had shot a squirrel running out on a tree limb, and the Ranger told the person, “People go to hell for shooting running squirrels on tree limbs!” I understood that he meant that telling lies like that would send him to hell. That is a typical outlook on what God is like. However, God does not send people to hell. It is what people are, not what they do, that sends them to hell. John writes of this in John 3:17-18:
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
John goes on to write this, in verses 19-21:
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
A person’s destiny is fixed because he is already condemned, having inherited the sin of Adam, passed down through the generations that preceded him. However, in the same “breath,” so to speak, God tells us this, in Romans 6:23:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God is unchangeable. He has always been and always will be. One of my favorite verses along this line of thought is Psalm 90:2, which says:
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
Now, one of the many things about this God that you will like is that He is no respecter of persons. Yes, you can draw a line between the saved and the unsaved, but where sin is practiced, He will deal with it in a judicial manner. In Numbers 32:23, we see this:
“But if you do not do so [obey], then take note, you have sinned against theLord; and be sure your sin will find you out.”
But, there is an easy way out, if you are willing to turn back to the Lord:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
What “no respecter of persons” means is that He does not favor one person over another. If it looks like God gave something you wanted, like a certain job, or even one whom you hoped would become your spouse, He tells us:
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
I have found it so after all these years. We must remember this promise applies to us, today, as it did in the day it was given, because God is no respecter of persons:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
It was God’s plan before time began to become part of human history, born of a woman but sired by the Holy Spirt and without sin that He might become our High Priest. It reads like this in Hebrews 4:15:
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
“A High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses,” is another way of putting forth that truth, and it is in this sense that we discover some other things about this God that you will like. For example, how does God deal with an individual who is struggling with his weak faith and is stumbling with lack of assurance? Here is how the Lord deals with it:
“A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench, till He sends forth justice to victory” (Matthew 12:20, also quoted from Isaiah 42:3).
As evidenced by the Isaiah reference, this speaks of the coming Messiah, and I prefer to think He is referring to a relationship with people when they are having difficulties in believing the Lord’s promises.
Sometimes our weaknesses rise to the surface in our lives and we think of God as a distant entity. Yet, Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b) and “I will never leave you nor forsake you” Hebrews 13:5b). Thus we can conclude that He will be intimately aware of our every situation. Look at this reference of the details of His interest in us:
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31).
I marvel every time I see a flock of sparrows, or other small birds like them, fly in perfect unison, just like a blanket being rippled in the breeze, swinging and swirling, as they fly together. Marvelous attention God has given them that they are able to do that, yet we are more valuable than many sparrows. (And what does this say to those environmentalists who would elevate even an endangered species of some sort of creature above the one God created in His own image?) And then, to keep track of the number of hairs in our head! We must not forget that God is very present in our lives.
Jesus made this comparison between His purposes and what He has to offer and that offered by the enemy of our souls:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
It is obvious that the god who offers empty treasures of immoral excess in return for stealing, killing and destroying has no real interest in anyone who takes up his banner. It is an immense deception that has and is gripping our world today. But while this God whom you would like is no respecter of persons, He is biased to the side of justice e and righteousness. He promises to honor those who honor Him (1 Samuel 2:30b), and Jesus said this:
“If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor” (John 12:26).
There is only one God who became a man in human history and offered Himself as a sacrifice in payment in full for the redemption of all mankind, then rose from the tomb to prove that He had done it. The Bible says, in the words of Jesus in John 6:44, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” What a promise, just as He was raised up!
Prior to this verse—which could be a preface to the following—He made this astounding declaration:
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:37-40).
And who among us would dare think he can break the will of God after it has been activated by His giving to Jesus those whom He has drawn to Himself?
Here are a couple more identifying descriptions of this God you really would like:
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”(Numbers 23:19).
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:33-36).
The God who extends mercy and forgive s sin, who is a big God—that is the God all of us really want!