What Do You Think About God?

Before becoming a Christian, I thought of God as a kind of grand puppeteer. I mean, I didn’t tend to think He was an evil puppet master, but I certainly didn’t think God was intimate, personal, or present.

I imagined Him sitting on His throne in the clouds, judging us from above, interjecting His hand when He decided to do so, but also withdrawing His presence when He willed.

He was a sort of detached heavenly being and Jesus was just a really nice guy who tried to make things better.

Of course, upon knowing Jesus and giving Him my life, my feelings about who God was began to change. But, they didn’t necessarily change for the better…

In my early days of being a believer, I focused almost entirely on Jesus. I got Him (or so I thought). Him, I understood. I also assumed that I understood the Holy Spirit. I was a part of a more charismatic church and so things of the Spirit were normal to me. Yet, I still had so much to learn…

But, when it came to God the Father and me, well, we didn’t converse much. I didn’t think about Him, ponder Him, pray to Him. Over the years, I began to view my Father in Heaven as the equivalent of my earthly father. I assumed He was impatient, uninterested, neglectful, and was only waiting around for me to slip up so he could punish me.

I could not understand what people meant, or how they could believe it, when they called God “Abba” or actually said the word “Daddy.” But, God in His patience (the very attribute I doubted He held for me) waited and slowly allowed the Holy Spirit to change my mind.

Then, when my thoughts about God the Father were so warped, that I felt helpless to change them, God did something powerful and unforgettable. A pastor gave me a copy of sermon series on the “Fatherhood of God.” I listened and at one point, the man preaching proclaimed that if you had  any wrong thinking about the Father that you needed to repent. Right there. Right then.

I was immediately convicted and so I repented and asked God to forgive me of all of the lies I believed about who He Is. In one instant, in a supernatural swoop, I felt the Lord lift years of heartache and doubt off of me. In a matter of minutes, my mind was transformed and I had a completely new mindset towards the Father.

This event was one that has marked my Christian walk. I am not, nor will I ever be, the same after that day. Neither will God ever be the same to me.

And we are all guilty of wrong thinking about God from time to time. We think we know Him. We become comfortable and confident in our assessment of Him. We forget what He has done, we become complacent in what He is doing, or we whine about what He has yet to do.

A.W. Tozer wrote that, “What comes to our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

So how do you tend to think of God? Do you compartmentalize God the way I used to? Jesus over here. The Holy Spirit here and the Father somewhere else…a bit further away…

Or do you tend to have an accurate and Biblical view of God? You know what scriptures says and you believe it…

Have you thought of God in any of the following ways:

Father

Genie

Counselor

Distant

Uninterested

Impotent

Santa Claus

Benevolent

Friend

Savior

Judge

King

Unsympathetic

If what comes to our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us, what comes to your mind? Are you needing to repent of any wrong thinking, as I had to?

 

37 thoughts on “What Do You Think About God?”

  1. In one of the most important ministries I’ve ever encountered, Sozo (I’ll explain in person if you haven’t heard of it), the first thing they ask you is how you view the Father, and how you believe He views you. It’s life-altering the results once these perceptions are corrected by the Holy Spirit. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. When I think about God I think justice, power, holiness, love, beauty, passion, Father, and Daddy. I think that the more we get close to Jesus growing away from our sin, the closer we get to God. I used to be afraid of him as a young girl, now I am afraid to be apart from him and his strong love and protection. The book of Hosea show Who God really is. The scripture that says God so LOVED the WORLD that he GAVE his only son. It goes on to speak about everlasting life. So I know he wants to be with us. If it wasn’t for sin we would be together. He gave us a gateway though to him. Jesus. When I think of God I know he has my back. I try to think about God the way he did. Jesus was not a people pleaser, he only wanted to please his father in heaven. I too just would like to have an audience of one. First I feared him, now i am afraid to be without him. -Writerscomposition

    1. Jaque,
      You said: ” Jesus was not a people pleaser, he only wanted to please his father in heaven. I too just would like to have an audience of one. First I feared him, now i am afraid to be without him. ”

      Oh man, this is so good. I think of Paul too saying that if he was trying to please man, he would have stopped being a servant of Christ long ago. God has taught me, through this blog, how important it is to have an audience of one.

      Thanks for sharing Jaque!

    2. I can totally relate to a changed perspective on God because of the book of Hosea. Until I read it, I didn’t have any idea how much patience God the Father has with us, His wayward people.

    1. John,

      Romans 8:

      14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

      You are a son, John, and God is your Father above all fathers. He is not looking to make converts. He is looking to adopt sons. Praise be to God for His New Covenant, indeed.

    2. John,
      I’m sorry to hear that, but hope that you found a small bit of encouragement. I have to ask though, what specifically do you struggle with?

      Thinking the wrong things about the Father or God in general? I hope you read and saw Donald’s response to you, as well. It is truth and I hope it serves as salve to your soul.

  3. This post gives me such hope! I have recently realised that I view God as a harsh judge who is out to get me every time I slip up, and who is constantly disappointed and annoyed with me. I need the Holy Spirit to do a miracle in my life and change how I view God as it’s killing my faith. How can I make that happen?

    1. Louise,
      I’m praising God for your willingness to be obedient and set free!

      I would say that confession and repentance is a huge first step. I think there is power in confession. Even for myself, when I said the words out loud “God, Father, I’m sorry for thinking wrongly about you. I sinned in doing so. Please forgive me,” I could feel the Spirit moving even then.

      But then we have to repent and turn away from our thinking. God supernaturally transformed my mind, no question, but over the years some of those lies I once believed begin to creep back in. It is then that I must choose again to turn the opposite direction, take those thoughts captive, and remain in His freedom.

      I’ll be praying for you Louise and for the Spirit to transform your thinking and your mind. Please, keep me posted!

  4. Santa. God is our cosmic Santa Claus, giving us what we want when we are good people. Oh, and when we aren’t good enough (go to church, don’t drink, don’t cuss, don’t smoke, etc) He smashes us with His Holy combat boot of death. His followers were all hypocrites and sissies, weak-willed and helpless. The Bible was a fairy tale.
    ————————————

    Nicole, this is one of the best posts you have written. It covers it all. To be honest, I am struck speechless. Brava, Nicole.

    1. Donald,
      Man, isn’t it crazy to think of where we’ve come from and where God brought us? You, of most anyone, has such a deep understanding (and dare I say, mission to preach) of the Fatherhood of God.

      After watching my relationship with the Lord literally change in an instant, I can say, without a doubt, that a right understanding of our Father is as critical to our spiritual health as knowing Jesus, Himself. Bam. I said it.

  5. Early on, I thought of God as an “absentee landlord”. Someone who showed up only to get his “rent”. As I started to read the scriptures and accepted Jesus as Immanuel (God with us), my thinking was shattered and found that if I have Jesus, I have the Father, and of course, the Spirit which lives in me. I learned that I can’t separate one from the other.

    Day by day, I learn new things about our great God. One of the greatest things I have learned over the last year is that God is not safe! This scares the shit out of me! However, what can be more daring and adventurous than trusting a God who is not safe? I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    1. Moe,
      Best comment award, right here! Such truth, such honesty, such humility. And this:”However, what can be more daring and adventurous than trusting a God who is not safe?”

      Seriously? I got all inspired, nervous, and hopeful from reading that one sentence. Yes!

  6. Great list but I don’t remember telling you I thought that;-)> I have had cycles in the past where I believed the enemy’s propaganda about both my human father and my Heavenly Father. They have both shown me grace.

  7. I’m very familiar with that quote but the words scare me. I equate God the Father with my earthly father. It wasn’t a good relationship. It’s hard to get past that. Because of my past, the primary way I view God is that of an observant police officer who’s ready to put the handcuffs on me whenever I do wrong and cart me off to jail for however long. If I happen to be released from jail, which may or may not happen, then there’s a long list of offenses that can never be put behind and forgiven. Sorry…didn’t mean to be a downer with my comment.

    1. Thomas,
      Not a downer. I appreciate your honesty and openness. I can also relate to your feelings. But, I find it no coincidence that God had you to read this post today. He desires to transform your thinking.

      Lord, I pray for Thomas that your Holy Spirit would transform his mind and renew his spirit. Bring your freedom to him, Lord and bind any thoughts of You that are lies and deception. Release him from his past and may it not have any power over him any longer. Allow Thomas see you, Father, as you really are and may his heart cry out “Abba, Father!”

    2. Shalom Sir!

      I read your comment and was flooded with remembrance! I remember the days when feelings not too far from those filled my mind as well. Even after all the intimacy I have grown into with Him, I still had trouble grasping and believing the Word spoken in Acts 3:19. I just knew there was a list somewhere of ALL the mess I had done over the years and that He was still keeping track. Recently though, He has been doing some serious work in me to correct that in me, to show me that He is nothing like that. I have learned that He is so limitless in His capacity to love, support, and nurture. He’s not like us in that regard…He really does let go of all memory associated with our actions with a mere utterance of repentance. He love you as His redeemed son and always will! I stand in agreement with Sister Nicole’s prayer and join my faith with hers and yours that you will be open to receiving that intimacy and acceptance. Be Blessed Beloved!

      ~rose~

    3. Thomas,

      My friend…my heart broke as I read your words. You are not alone. Please read these links. These are from a son of God. These are from one who has been adopted through The Spirit. These are from a boy who learned to be a man through Jesus and His Sonship, pointing me to God as Father. Please, sir. Please read.

      http://covenantalorganicchristianity.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/the-unapproachable-god-god-as-father/

      http://covenantalorganicchristianity.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/the-unapproachable-god-god-as-father-part-2/

  8. In the not-so-distant past I really struggled with feeling like a failure in battling my sin, in putting off the old self, and failure to feel like I was spiritual enough or like I was “close” to God. I thought He was upset with me when I failed, even though He would forgive me.

    The truth (that I’m beginning to rest and live in) is that God is my loving, ever-patient Father who knows that I am a child who will occasionally (read:daily) stumble in sin, fail to live in the truth. Children are forgetful and not always able to understand right away or able to practice the things they do understand, perfectly.

    God, my Father, expects me to fail, over and over again. But His forgiveness has been sealed (well before I started failing), and He is patient with me and more than anything, wants me to admit my need for Him.

    1. I realize that last bit came across kind of negatively… What I mean is that while my Heavenly Father doesn’t expect perfection from me, He does expect obedience though, which, as I fail and sin, often looks like admitting my need and submitting to His patience, love and grace.

    2. Ashleigh,

      You said:
      “I thought He was upset with me when I failed, even though He would forgive me.”

      He is upset with us when we fail. He is. Like any father would be. Yet, of course, this does not affect His love for us. Quite the opposite, actually. I mean, if He didn’t love us, He wouldn’t care if we failed. He would be the ‘absent father’ so many of us have had as natural fathers. My daughters, both under the age of 4, know when I am disappointed, and they want to please me as their father. This is healthy. This is how I relate to my Father in Heaven. I want to please Him as a son.

      You and I both know we are going to fail, screw up, sin, etc, etc. He knows it, too. It’s not like we can ever surprise or shock Him. Yet, heh, He is patient and gracious, even though He will spank us when we are disobedient. Not because He is mad, but because He is still our God, and He chastises us because He loves us as only a Father can.

      Consider this: It is far better to face the disappointment and chastisement of our Father, than it is to fall into the just hands of a wrathful God who is bound by His Word to punish unrepentant sin.

      I’ll take God as my Father all day long. :)

      1. Donald,

        Thanks for your response and for sharing some insight from your experiences as a father. I am pregnant with our first baby, and I’m looking forward to seeing my husband be a father to our kids b/c I’m sure that God will use it to show me more about His Fatherhood.

        I would agree that it is right to desire to please God and that His discipline is loving.

        The point that I was trying (and not quite succeeding) to make in my first comment is that I failed to see that because I am His daughter, God is always pleased with me. He is always pleased to call me His own because He has already poured out all of His wrath against my sin onto Jesus. Yes, as my Father, He disciplines me, sometimes in painfully difficult ways, but always in love and always in view of transforming me to be more like Christ, for His glory and my good. (Romans 8:28-30)

        In this case, I was living in sinful self-reliance. Despite being called a daughter of the King, I was still (as you pointed out in another comment) living as a “convert” but not as an “[adopted daughter].” For me, it was an identity issue that was leading to sin in my life. I was trying to muster up what I thought I needed to be close to God and failing, when God had already brought me close to Him through Jesus and was calling me to life as one who is loved dearly and treated with great patience. (1 Tim. 1:16)

        With God as my Father I stand forgiven of much, with no need to keep begging for forgiveness every time I mess up, hoping against hope that it will still be there. His forgiveness covered it all on the cross and was an event in history, so when His Spirit reveals sin in my life, I can receive God’s forgiveness and repent, knowing full well how dependent I am on Him for my very life.

        Colossians 1:13-14 says “13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

        Praise God that we are not only being transformed, but we have full and complete redemption already!

        My life at the time really paralleled what Paul was writing about to the Galatians in 3:23-29:

        “23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[g] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”

        Rather than living according to the promise as an heir, I had slipped into living according to the law and my own works.

        I hope that clarifies some things about what I meant earlier. I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to believe that God doesn’t punish unrepentant sin or that He doesn’t discipline His children with great love and wisdom.

        Thanks again!
        Ashleigh

        P.S. I’ll take God as my Father all day long too! :)

  9. I too used to view God as standing over me waiting for me to make a mistake so he could whack me with a stick – not unlike the game whack-a-mole. Most of the people posting either do, or did, have this same view of God. (I no longer view God that way)

    The bible refers to God as Love – meaning he IS love. It also talks about God being things like merciful, compassionate, etc – but these are attributes of God, not what he IS. Only love is synonymous with God. Which begs the question; where did we get this idea that God is standing there ready to pounce?

  10. I totally understand where you were – I was there myself not long ago. But I’ve been so hungry for more of God, to really know Him in a life-changing way, that He’s begun to show me His love for me, and His patience with me. Now, I can truly say I see Him as “Daddy”, even though mere months ago I couldn’t even comprehend seeing Him that way.

  11. I think in many ways I always accepted God as a Father figure. Early on though it wasn’t an intimate relationship. He was kind of an parent far off that was always watching what you were doing, but was real up close and personal about it. I knew I could go to Him if I needed anything, and I knew that life was better if i stayed on His “good side”, but I never considered just talking to Him the everyday things of life or curling up in the safety of His arms.

    Truthfully though, I had that same level of distance with the entire Godhead. I was grateful to Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins. I tried to say sensitive the ministry of the Holy Spirit’s guiding hand, and I knew God had everything under control. Outside of that my spiritual relationships were just short of being lifeless. I talked to the Father more than I did the Son though.

    Then one day in a fit, I was venting out loud about the circle my life seemed to be traveling in regarding intimate relationships and not seeing anyway out of the cycle. In the midst of that fit I asked God why He would create me with such a surrendered soul and not give me anyone to surrender to. To my surprise…He answered me! He answered me with a question of His own…”What about me?” In that moment my heart dissolved in my chest and conviction gripped me like I’ve never felt before, because in that moment I realized that what He wanted most was to have that intimate relationship with me…ME!

    So I repented and asked Him to take hold and fill that space that I had been trying to fill with others, to show me all He wanted to be in my life. I surrendered myself to Him as the Master of my life, the King of my world, and the Lover of my soul. And I am hear to tell you…He showed out! He has shown me things I couldn’t even begin to explain on just how intimately He desires to be involved in the lives of each and every one of His Beloved children.

    So I can boldly say, beyond all shadow of a doubt…God is my Abba! He is my Daddy! He snuggles with me in His Word every morning and soothes my soul to sleep with His Revelations every night! His is the Deliciousness that permeates every aspect of my life that keeps me wanting more no matter what comes my way! He is the Orchestrator of my existence, the Master I live to serve! And He is the Only Reason anything else matters!

    Be Blessed!
    ~rose~

  12. I still struggle with the FACT the God is GOD, JESUS, and the HOLY SPIRIT but are also one. i usually just chalk it up to my earthly way of thinking……

  13. I stuck where you were it is a vicious cycle of feeling of never living were I should be. I don’t know why I don’t know why I think forgiveness does not apply to me. This I do no good intentions can bring on horrible results. It seems so obvious for some reason I cannot shake this cloud or i don’t want to, maybe with time or insight I will. I was reading n acts this evening and I can’t stop about Times or Seasons of when the Kingdom of Israel will b restored Times or Seasons is this a miss translation or is this a multiple ongoing act of God

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