Thursday, December 1, 2011

You Don't Have a Clue What God is Like Unless....

If you ask the world to complete the statement, "To me, God is…", you will likely get a most interesting response.  Among other answers I've seen are these:
·        God is love, mercy, and compassion.
·        God is anything.
·        God is a verb.
·        God is our collective good.
·        God is a happy feeling.
·        God is mystery.
·        God is a greater, higher energy.
To the Biblically transformed mind, these are statements of stupidity.  To the average American mind, however, these are the sweet pictures of God that lift the soul to a higher plane of joy and freedom (insert Kum Ba Yah music here). 
If I know anything about God it is this:  You cannot imagine God with accuracy.  God is unknowable except as he has made Himself known.
In Exodus 3:10-15 Moses begged to know God so that he could explain to the Hebrews who was sending him on the "Let my people go" task.    God revealed Himself as the "I AM."  Except for the fact that God revealed Himself in this way, we wouldn't have known Him, nor His name (see Exodus 6:3).
You may have ideas of God that you've simply made up.  One of my consistent grumbles over the past few years has been the runaway best-seller, "The Shack."  What's my biggest grumble?  It is that the God of "The Shack" is purely fictional.  William P. Young simply made up a god, dressed him/her in some Christian garb, and made sure his god was loving, kind, and all-things-American.  This homemade god made him a millionaire.  I'm not upset about the millionaire part; I'm upset that so many Christians are so gullible that they take the bait: hook, line, and sinker.  Though they do it all in the name of Christianity, they are dangerously confused.
There, however, really is nothing new under the sun.  While the Hebrew nation, for example, was waiting on Moses to return from the mountain, they became impatient.  Forty days, after all, is a lifetime when you've just escaped death by a hair's breadth.  Therefore, driven by their impatience, they built a golden calf.   We all know that part of the story.  What you have likely missed is Aaron's proclamation about the calf that is hidden within the story.  Aaron says, "This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt," and he proclaimed, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to Yahweh" (Exodus 32:4-5).  Don't miss it!  Aaron created a homemade god and called it the God of Israel, by name!  The Hebrew nation made a fake god, called it Yahweh, and felt good about themselves.
I fear we may have done the same thing.
False prophet Benny Hinn says, "No matter what kind of financial chaos is happening in the world, the Word of God assures us, 'The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it' (Proverbs 10:22)."  He goes on to say, "The key to walking in financial victory is maintaining a covenant relationship with God!"  Such teaching would shortcut the years of work many give at business school.  They should just go to Seminary, walk in a covenant relationship with "God," and enjoy "the key" to financial victory.  Hogwash!
Erwin Lutzer, in his book, "Ten Lies About God You May Already Believe," lists several made-up gods:
·        The god of my emotional need
·        The god of my gender
·        The god who approves of what I think and do
·        The god of my personal peace.
Let me encourage you to know this one thing: unless God has revealed Himself in Holy Scripture, you don't have a clue what God is like.  It doesn't matter how you feel about God, what you think about God, or how you imagine God.  Your God must be the God of revelation, or he is nothing.  And what a shame it is to believe in a god who is nothing when we have the God who made everything revealed to us in Scripture. 

Dr. Randy White

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