For many folks, their concept of God is impersonal: a force, like in the old Star Wars movie. "May the Force be with you." For others, He is distant and unknowable. However, the Bible presents a very different view of God. The God of the Bible is a Person.
In the scriptures, the God who is presented to us is a God who thinks,
feels, and acts. He has a mind of his own. He makes long-range plans. The more I began to notice this biblical description of God, the more it fit into my experience. It lined up with the reality of how I saw God interacting with me.
For instance, I learned that the Lord listened in on my conversations. I was surprised to discover that he paid attention to things I said to others, not just to things I said to him in prayer. And very often, his kind intentions caused things to occur for my benefit that were only wishes spoken previously as I was talking. God is not so big that he cannot pay attention to the little things. He is just like a father
whose children express a desire, which he acts to fulfill because of his love.
The Hebrew prophet Malachi wrote that the Lord "remembered those who
feared him, and who spoke of him ..." Did you think God only listens on Sunday? Is the Lord only on duty in church?
I am convinced that our Heavenly Father is concerned about the totality of our life, not just the religious part of it. In fact, I am convinced that God is not religious. He is real, and involved in the nitty-gritty every-day things that we care about.
One very important thing to learn about God as you begin to walk with him as a Christian (a Christ-follower), is that God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts. The prophet Isaiah wrote that God's ways and God's thoughts are higher than ours. The revelation of his way of thinking drops down upon us from heaven like the rain - for those who are willing to receive it. This is an amazing insight - that God has a specific way of thinking, and we can know what it is!
How powerful could this be in your life? What if you could learn to think about issues the way God thinks about them? To adopt his heavenly viewpoint, his values, his heart toward a matter? Just imagine how often we could avoid the trouble that comes when we inadvertently think and act in ways contrary to God's will. As Paul wrote in the New Testament, "the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God."
Wrong thinking that is based on the world's values is often the enemy of God and resists his righteousness. Most of our problems in life are not due to the devil. Most of our wounds are self-inflicted because we never had our minds renewed in Christ by learning his word.
Ron Wood is pastor of Trinity Assembly of God in Meridian.