The worst kind of wrong thinking is wrong thinking about God.
To think of God as being any less than He is, is to insult Him. To think of God as being any different than He is, would be to displease Him.
We pick up concepts about God from our religious heritage, religious art, our parents, teachers, and our own imaginations.
We have listened open-eared to assorted religious teachers telling us who God is. But, God has never trusted anyone to tell us who He is.
It is so important that we have an accurate concept of the Lord that He has given the Bible to make clear who He is. There is no other accurate source of information.
A Creation? Some people think that God is the abstract creation of philosophers or theologians. And yet, He can never be the product of man’s mind. If there were no one to think about Him, He would still exist.
God is not the creature, He is the Creator. We exist because of Him, but He does not exist because of us. He is not waiting expectantly for us to tell Him who He is. He knew all about Himself before we were here to know anything.
Just as God is not the spiritual creation of the theologian, neither is He the physical creation of the priest. As God is not made by men’s minds, neither is He made by men’s hands. For a priest to think that by pronouncing a few words he can turn a wafer into God is to imagine that the priest becomes the Creator and God the creature.
If God is made by men either spiritually or physically, then He is owned by men and can be controlled by men. Then He is not God at all, but merely a chattel. If He is fashioned by intellectuals, then He can be refashioned at their whim. If Jesus Christ is created by priests, then He is the property of these priests. They control Him and can move Him from one place to another, give Him or withhold Him. God so manipulated in the hands of men is not the Lord God who reveals Himself in the Scripture.
God is not a creation, but He is the Creator and we the creatures. Idols can be manufactured and false gods manipulated, but the Lord God is eternal, uncreated, and self-existent.
A Convenience? Some people conceive of God as a desirable convenience, not really necessary but handy. It is alright to ignore His Word, disregard His commandments, and forget about Him, as long as we are getting along alright by ourselves. But, He is good to summon when any crisis occurs.
To such folk, God is like the Fire Department, good to call when the situation gets out of hand. You may live for years without bothering Him, and then there is serious illness. Now it’s time to pray!
This is the “servant-type” of God. When we do not want Him, we’ll send Him away. If for any reason we feel He can help us, we’ll ring the bell and He will come. Serious illness, marital problems, difficulties with the children – it’s time to pray and get God in on the act. Otherwise, we will not bother with Him.
God is not our servant, we are to be His. He does not do what we tell Him to do; we are to do what He tells us.
A Charm? It is not only jungle-dwelling voodoo followers who believe in magic and superstition, but educated civilized Americans are often wishing one another “good luck”. One man carries a rabbit’s foot, another wears a charm bracelet. Paganism and superstition are always linked. It is not surprising that superstition should often spill over into Christianity.
Many think it’s “good” to wear religious jewelry. A cross or a statue on the dashboard of the car will surely make for a safer journey! A religious picture in the home is bound to bring domestic happiness. A Bible on the coffee table, though never read, is thought to exert some good influence on the family. Assorted holy articles that have managed to identify with Christianity are no more than the trinkets a jungle witch doctor sells to his devotees.
To many people, God is no more than a good luck charm.
People who have not become Christians, do not read the Bible, do not attend church, whose lives are obviously un-Christian, come to a Christian pastor, asking him to perform a marriage ceremony “in the church”. The holy man saying holy words in a holy place is supposed to “do something” for this couple. Obviously, God is being used as a rabbit’s foot.
Superstition and the Scriptures are diametrically opposed. There is no relationship between magic and miracle. Charms and Christianity do not mix. Those who truly know the Lord do not talk about luck.
Since God is God, surely He is capable of communicating to us who He really is. This He has done in the Scriptures. The more you know of the Bible, the more you know about God. Just as God cannot be made by our minds, neither can He be confined to our minds. No one will ever understand everything about God, but all that we need to know He has revealed in His Word. Simply because we cannot know everything, does not mean we cannot know anything, and what we do know should be accurate.
When thinking about God as He has revealed Himself in the Bible, we may exclaim with Frederick William Faber,
“Only to sit and
think of God,
O what a joy it is!
To think the thought, to breathe the Name,
Earth has no higher bliss!”