God Defined – Part I

In the spirit of “keeping it real”, writing a study like this, brings up a lifetime of fears that I have struggled to repeatedly surrender in the past decade of my life. One of those fears is even by writing this God will put me to the test to see just how much I believe it.

~ Melissa

That is not truth, however. This is not God defined.  This is a lie we have to reject—The lie that says that God is just moments away from testing me by purposefully devastating my world.

How tragic, the amount lies we believe about God. What bondage they put us in and how they separate us from the One who loves us with an eternal love and is the source of all healing and hope.

Often, these lies are based upon our own human understanding and logic that sees on a one-dimensional plane—this earth—and through the lens of a fragile heart.  They are also built upon the circumstances that bring us to this study. We have taken heartbreak and made it our foundation, when our foundation needs to be Christ and His holy, unchangeable Word.

Somewhere along the way, as we had our hearts broken and our worlds turned upside down, the enemy whispered to our souls, “God just wants to hurt you. You can’t trust Him. The minute you lean upon Him is the minute He will yank the rug out from underneath you.”

It is through this filter of lies that we begin to frame our own “truth”. However, truth is not based on emotions and circumstances. Truth is not based on what we can see or what we think we know. Truth is only truth, when filtered through the absolute truth of God’s Word.

An example of this, comes from a passage from Hind’s Feet on High Places, an allegory of a crippled shepherdess, walking the path the Shepherd has laid out for her to the place of perfected healing and true love. Along the way, her enemies “Fear” and “Pride” ambush her, often at the most difficult passages she needs to navigate. In one of these moments they whisper to her as she walks along, “He just wants to hurt you. . . He only means to betray you. . . Empty promises. . .That is all He has offered. . . He is setting you up to devastate you.  .  .”

The shepherdess listens for a bit, overcome and overwhelmed. Tempted to turn her back on the One she loves, in desperation, she cries out, “Oh, Shepherd! Oh, Shepherd! Come to me, and defeat my enemies!”

Here is our example. We must cry out in the face of every lie, “Oh, Father God! Rush to my rescue and defeat the lies! Replace them with Your truth!”

With that in mind, let’s look at what Scripture says about the One we are calling out to.

I. God is holy

Holy – exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.

It is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.  I Peter 1:16

And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!  Isaiah 6:3

God is perfection. He cannot do that which is imperfect, though often, in our human perspective He seems to have done so. He is perfect in goodness and righteousness. There is no imperfection with Him. Even the most tragic of situations, though imperfect in their earthly sorrow, need to be held up in the light of His holiness. In the light of his perfection in goodness and righteousness, these circumstances are redeemed for our good and for His glory every time.

II. God is righteous

Righteous – In the original Hebrew, it means “Just, right”.

And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Isaiah 45:21

Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?  Psalm 71:19

He is just. He is right. And as mentioned above, He is perfect in this. He can do no wrong. Ever. When bad things happen – from a human perspective, he is still righteous. He rights the wrongs. He redeems the tragedies and the heartache. Perhaps we may have to wait until eternity to see that, but we will see it. There is no wrong in God’s world.

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. Psalm 5:4

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.  James 1:13

III. God is judge

Judge – to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises, to sit in judgment on: try

The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge! Selah Psalm 50:6

For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment. Psalm 9:4

God governs, and he governs righteously and perfectly. He divinely decides all things. His decisions are based upon His omniscience and His omnipresence.

We often call things as we see them. Our knowledge is not God’s, our sight is not His. God’s judgments are based on far more than we can possibly comprehend.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

IV. God is wise

Wise – characterized by wisdom, marked by deep understanding, keen discernment, and a capacity for sound judgment.

To the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.  Romans 16:27

To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.  I Timothy 1:17

This is not wisdom of human nature or of human understanding. Reality is, we cannot even begin to comprehend this type of Divine wisdom. It is based on an omniscient knowing of the past, the present, and the future. It is based on things which are unseen by us; however, they are not only known by Him but also held in His hand.

V. God is above us

Control – to exercise restraining or directing influence over : Regulate – to govern or direct according to rule, to bring under the control of law or constituted authority, to make regulations for or concerning, to bring order, method, or uniformity to <regulate one’s habits>

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  Isaiah 55:8

We often think that we want a God we can understand and even manipulate. But our freedom comes in the fact that we are unable to do so. He would not be a trustworthy God, if we could control Him and understand His ways.

When the moment comes that we realize that our lives are completely in His control, because Heis above us, with ways past our understanding, we will reached a new depth of beauty that takes us deeper into our love and trust relationship with Him. We will be thankful in all circumstances.

For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. Philippians 4:11-12

VI. God is sovereign

Sovereign – one possessing or held to possess supreme power or sovereignty, one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere, an acknowledged leader : Arbiter – a person with power to decide a dispute : judge, a person or agency whose judgment or opinion is considered authoritative.

Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near; the LORD has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests.  Zephaniah 1:7

And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them.  Acts 4:24

When we combine the above attributes, they all point towards God’s sovereignty.  He is the authority over all. He has unrestricted power.

Here is where we struggle. How do we love a God who has the power to allow [what we preceive as] good and bad? Sovereignty frightens us. What will He do, or what will He allow with that sovereignty.

And yet, we return again to that place where our hearts realize we need God to be sovereign, or else we could not trust Him. A god who has no sovereignty is not a trustworthy god. It is a weak god that we can not find rest or hope in.

That, which often frightens us the most about God, is also our greatest hope. He is in control. And when this is considered in the context of all that He is, quiet assurance is found.  New perspective is gained, and we no longer look at things as “good” or “bad,” but rather as stepping stones to becoming more Christ-like.

We can trust that God allows all things for our good and for His glory.

Original material by Melissa J Carswell, MA, BCCC.  Holly M Besser.  Perfect Joy Ministries ©2012. May not be used or re-printed without permission.  bsbp015p11-29-12

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