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Whose Word Do I trust?


God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

 

-Book of Numbers

 

I’ve been reading Jackie Hill Perry’s book entitled “Holier Than Thou”. It has deeply challenged me to be more intentional about how I view God. I often end up purchasing both the kindle and audio for books that really challenge me… and this one was just that.

 

I have been a Christian since around 1978. I’ve spent time in a number of modern church cultures. The Mennonite tradition I grew up with views God as Holy, but detached from us… distant… certainly not a buddy. God is a stern father that will judge you should you fail. I’ve also been a part of Charismatic culture where God is often seen as either a buddy or a rich father who gives you an unlimited credit card to buy whatever you desire. Today, as I am in the midst of looking for a church community to connect to… my view of God has become much more biblical, personal and also reverent than it ever has been.

 

Let’s dig into this together!

 

God…

 

The name gets thrown around a lot today. It is used when we get shocked or excited, it is used to describe the deity of many world religions, it has in a sense become a common word… but the God described in the Bible is anything but common. The God who created all that we see and hear and touch and who’s fingerprints are in the very smallest of microorganisms and the very far reaches of the universe is certainly not common.

 

In the ancient Hebrew translations of the Old Testament which is known as the Tanakh or Torah, God has many names… the most well known is Yahweh… more accurately YHWH. This refers to God as the only Self Existent, self sufficient all supreme being. I will save a study on Gods names for a future post… my interest today is to look more at how our view of God and his Character affects our relationship to him.

 

Of course there is nothing I could write that would do justice to who God is… after all, does an infant try to comprehend the complexity of Mozarts greatest works? God is so much more than anyone or anything we know or are known by. I must write however, perhaps my feeble attempts to share my own efforts in grasping who God is will speak to someone… who like myself has struggled with a view of God that has limited their faith journey.

 

Adam and Eve communed and talked with God. They had it all, this deep oneness with God, a stunning and absolutely perfect creation that had no flaws. We are not told how long Eve looked at the fruit she could not have… nor are we told how long the crafty serpent worked to convince her to take the fruit. The serpent lied, saying “surely you won’t die” and “you will be as the gods”… a reference to Elohim… possibly the divine angelic beings that Adam and Eve would have likely known existed. Jackie Hill Perry writes in her book “Holier Than Thou”:

 

“We know that Eve took from the tree, ate the fruit, handed some to Adam, who had his share too. But do we know why? At the moment Eve believed the word of the serpent, rebelling against the word of God, her misplaced faith reflected what she believed about the holiness of God. To her, God—not the serpent—was the liar among them.”

 

This story portrays the story of all men and women since the garden. A struggle of who to believe. Do we trust the God of all creation, the one who is both outside of time and space and also deeply familiar with both the darkest and brightest moments in human history. God who is perfect… who chose to humble himself and take on human frailty. This God who lived in Human form in perfection… achieving what Adam and Eve could not. The Gospel of John records Jesus saying the words “I tell you the truth“ 25 times. God is the trustworthy one!

 

“Having an erroneous view of the unblemished ethical nature of God tempts us to doubt His word, leading to the denial of His worth. If His character isn’t trusted, His words won’t be believed.”

- Jackie Hill Perry

 

I must confess, I have believed my own heart many times, I have placed those things that are created above the Creator of all things. As stated, my doubts arose and like the disciples who woke Jesus as the boat appeared ready to sink from intense waves and wind “teacher do you not care we are perishing?”. Of course I look back now and see my doubt and its effects on my faith… those times in life where I to reached for the fruit and believed the serpent over the IAM.

 

Our God… his mercy is unfailing. His kindness is unchanging. His strength is unmatchable. He is… all… in all… above all… through all…

 

Our God is faithful

 

My heart and mind have resolved themselves to grow in studying and trusting in His divine nature, His faithfulness, His goodness and his grace.

 

I hope you will join me in this!

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