What is God like? Your answer to this question may be the most important one you will ever give.
The reason your answer is important is that you become like what you worship. The object of your worship shapes your conscience, establishes your values and kindles your affections. This is the reason idolatry and false worship on any level is so morally destructive. If God can be invented or created, carved or fashioned, imagined or even understood, it would be no greater than its worshipper—and man would become superior to this kind of god. It would be a god of man’s wishes, whims and desires—by any measure it would be a paltry god of his own creation.
In Psalm 115 there is a short treatise on the true person of God and the false impersonations of God. The psalmist wrote that God deserves glory, “because of Your lovingkindess, because of Your truth” (verse 1). Then he asked, “Why should the nations say, ‘Where now, is their God?’ But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (verses 2-3).
Then the psalmist catalogues the shortcomings of man-made gods: “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but they cannot feel; They have feet, but they cannot walk; They cannot make a sound with their throat” (Psalm 115:5-7).
Besides perverting the glory due to the true God, idols affect the heart and impact the life of those who worship them. Verse 8 says, “Those who make them will become like them, Everyone who trusts in them.” People resemble what they worship. All their actions and activities revolve around whatever, or whomever, sits on the throne of their lives. You will become like what you highly value, pursue and worship.
It is for this reason the object of your affection—the aim of your worship—is so significant. If you become like the god you worship—what is your god like? Thankfully, the true God is who He is, without human invention. The true God is not created, but revealed–not fashioned, but disclosed. Without the Bible’s description of God’s character, we would know very little about Him.
Some attributes of God can readily be known. We can understand His greatness by looking upward, as the psalmist David wrote, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1). But we could not understand His love for us by stargazing. Perhaps we could grasp His justice by looking at cause and effect relationships in the earthly system, but we could not comprehend His grace. We might recognize His power by watching a strong storm or mighty waves of the sea. But we could not know His gentleness and concern for the weak and downtrodden.
The Bible reveals the person, character, attributes, desires and purposes of God, in clearly understandable terms. Though God is perfect, almighty, holy and just; He is also gracious, loving, merciful, forgiving, long-suffering and a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. If we become like what we worship…and we do…that’s the kind of person we need to become!
For most of us, God, in His perfections and holiness, seems untouchable and far removed from anything we experience in life. Because of our sin, human failings, and inadequacies, God sent His only Son, to become a man, be born of a woman, to live sinlessly among us and to sacrifice His life for ours on the cross. Jesus can sympathize with our weakness, because He was “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Since Christ gave Himself for us, we can “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (verse 16).
The lyrics of “Creed,” a song written by Rich Mullins and recorded by Third Day, sum it up well:
I believe in God the Father, Almighty Maker of Heaven and Maker of Earth
And in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, our Lord
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit; Born of the Virgin Mary
He suffered under Pontius Pilate; He was crucified, dead and buried.
He descended into hell and on the third day, He rose again
He ascended into Heaven where He sits at God’s mighty right hand
I believe He’s returning to judge the quick and the dead and the sons of men
And I believe what I believe, yeah, it makes me what I am
Oh, I did not make it, no it is making me; the very truth of God and not the
Invention of any man.
It is what we believe that make us who we are. It is what we worship that molds our lives. And as the lyrics say, we did not make it—but it is making us—and it is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man. Seek to learn more about the God of the Bible and worship Him, “in spirit and in truth” because “the Father seeks such to worship Him” (John 4:23).
Imagine this: The God of the universe—the maker of heaven and earth—longs for you to worship Him in the right spirit, according to truth. And when you do, it will re-make you in His image!