Trusting God: God and You
God’s Being is a fundamental truth for everyone. God is. He exists. A corollary question follows: Who is this God that is? More personally, what is your view of God? Your view of God determines to a great degree how you function in His world, especially in relation to others. The Bible teaches that life – every person’s daily existence – has both a vertical and horizontal reference. This truth is summarized in Matthew 22:37-40 (love the Lord your God and your neighbor as yourself) and 1 John 4:19 (the believer loves because he has received God’s saving love). These two references are linked. Moreover, your vertical reference and your view of God are interrelated. Your view of God is a reflection of and determines your love of Him and your view of self and others. How do you answer the question: Who is the God of His world? How are you doing loving God?
The above presupposes that you agree and embrace the truth that God is. Moreover this God is the Creator of His universe and is the Controller of it. He did not create Himself – He has always been. He is eternal. This fact answers the question: where was God before He created everything? He was not any where but every where. He created all the “wheres” and is present in them. The picture is one of an awesome, majestic, big God. He is transcendent – far beyond His creation and His creatures. Yet He is present with His people. He is one of a kind – sui generis. He is self-existent, self-sufficient, self-determining, and absolutely independent. Yet He is personal. He is the believer’s God as well as Lord of heaven and earth.
Can God do all things? It depends on what you mean. God is free as is any other being but He is limited by His nature (as is man). God is limited by His God-ness. He can’t lie, change, or sin. He is true to His own nature. He does what pleases Him (Pss. 115:3; 135:6). What pleases Him is to save a people for Himself. In this way the triune God is most glorified.
One aspect of God’s activity is His providential control. The term “life” is so often misused. The term’s meaning is most often divorced from God’s control. Therefore people speak of life as if it is “something” that has its own power, direction, and destiny. Biblically, God is the Author of all of life. Life is God’s – it is His creation. His ordering of the universe reflects His nature – He is a God of order (1 Cor. 14:33). His activity in His world reflects His care and concern for His creatures and Himself.
Therefore, “life” is not the problem. How you respond to circumstance is determined by your view of God, self, and the situations and circumstances brought about by God’s control. Hebrews 1:1-3, Colossians 1:17, and Acts 17:24-31 (among other passages) teach that all existence is the result of God’s continued governing, directing, and preserving all of His creatures and their actions.
You may be thinking and mumbling – “So what?” The answer is simple and yet profound: God is – He exists and we exist because He created. These are non-negotiable truths. Therefore everyone is vertically referenced. As a believer you love God and grow in that love only because He loved you first. He is the initiator of love because He is love (1 John 4:19; 4:8). His creative power includes the work of regeneration and its results. The believer is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) with a new record, family, and status. As a result the believer loves God and neighbor. Paul picks up this theme in Romans 13:8-10. There he teaches that the believer is forever indebted as a lover – first to God and then to his neighbor as a reflection of first being loved.
1. Knowledge of God leads to knowledge of self: write out your view of God and then your view of self.
2. How has your view of God affected your response to Him in both good and hard times?
3. How has your view of God influenced your view of self (write out) and your view of others (write out)?
4. In what ways has your knowledge of God and self changed as a result of being a Christian?
5. How have you used that knowledge to live as a God-pleaser according to 2 Cor. 5:7, 9?