How often do you talk with others about your faith and God? I once was in a Bible study where a wonderfully kind woman described talking about Jesus as an uncomfortable used car transaction. You walk onto the lot wanting to browse and the used car salesman starts his schtick trying to get you to buy something you really don’t want.
A few years ago, I had a profound encounter with Jesus which led me on my path toward a bold faith. One of the “side effects” of this bold faith is how often I find myself talking about God with all sorts of people. It’s through these conversations that I’ve seen varied views of God.
One very close friend, who happens to be Catholic, pictures God as an altar. She’s currently seeking a more personal relationship with Him but for a long time God has been more of an authority figure. What I love about this God is He can move mountains. He can set the world back into order. He performs miracles the world couldn’t even imagine. God the King, the Lord of Lords – it’s who we press our faces to the ground in submission as we seek His grace and deliverance. It’s who we offer the only true gift we have, ourselves, as we approach His throne.
I know a number of people who feel God’s presence constantly. One woman, in her early 80s, told me He is always with her, like a friend. She talks with Him throughout her day. He guides her with gentle touches. He comforts her. My sweet friend Janet, who I tease and call her Earth Mother, is finely tuned into God. Her “God Antennae” picks up His signals through visions, feelings and dreams. He is never far from her because she sees Him all around her – in nature, in people, in animals and in the every day. The wonderful thing about this God is He never forgets me. I am never lost. He always knows where I am because I am always with Him.
My friend Betsy and my mother-in-law Bev trust God completely. That’s because they know God has a plan. They know deep in their hearts that all things do truly work for our good and somehow, someday their prayers will be answered. This omniscient God is above our thoughts. He knows what we truly need, even when we think we know better. This is the God who sent His son to teach us His ways because He knew we needed someone who had a “human experience” yet was without blemish. Jesus intimately knows man’s ways and God’s ways. In my current Bible study, there are two separate “life principles” which focus on obeying God. #2 is: Obey God and let Him handle the consequences. #5 is: Obey God even if it seems unreasonable. Why? Because God knows the ultimate outcomes.
The three O’s of God –omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient – create one unimaginably powerful force. This King, this Friend, this Teacher asks for two simple acts in return for all His gifts to us, to obey His Word and to return His love.
“He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth – the Lord God Almighty is his name.” Amos 4:13
Which God characteristic do you most identify with today? Join the praise conversation!