Originally published Thursday, 14 February 2013.
In Part two of Wendy Alsup’s Practical Theology for Women, she asks “Who is Our God?”
Who is our God? Is he a loving father? A strict disciplinarian, an unpredictable dictator, or a loving push-over? How does your theology line up with the word of God?
“…many of us come to God with unbiblical notions of who he is and what he does. We’ve let our culture and upbringing, rather than the Bible itself, determine the character traits we attribute to God. Is your God vindictive or permissive? Is “hands off” or “hands on”? Is he personal or unapproachable? For many of us, the way we answer those questions has nothing to do with what the Bible teaches about God and everything to do with our culture and upbringing.”
Ten years ago, my answer to this question would have been embarrassingly in-accurate. It would have been tainted by culture and smacked of relativism. I didn’t care about studying God’s word and my bad theology proved it. Not only was I failing to put my faith to action, I wasn’t even enjoying God. I didn’t really know who God was, so I was often disappointed by him. Every trial I faced left me confused and frustrated.
By God’s grace, through the study of His word, discipleship, and trials, I now know a little more about who God actually is. By examining the scriptures, I’ve been able to separate some of my old faulty beliefs from God’s everlasting and all-sufficient truth.
In part two of the book, Alsup gives readers a quick overview of some of the basic aspects of who God is, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and how knowing more helps us love Him more. Examining my adoption by God the Father helps me to understand my place in his kingdom and the love he offers me. Exploring his sovereignty, helps me to see him as compassionate and wise (it used to scare me!) even when circumstances in my life aren’t ideal. Alsup demonstrates that each facet of God offers new wonder and ways to know him. Examining our theology and holding it up against scripture helps us to have a “right” view of God.
Where is your theology weak? If you are hazy on aspects of who God is, (and even if you’re not) dig deeper! Don’t settle for an “I don’t get it, but that’s fine with me” perspective. Ask God to help you know Him and understand His ways. Don’t grow weary of doing good; study the word and in due time you will reap a harvest of righteousness! Knowing who God is strengthens your faith muscles, gives you the power to put your faith in action, and stirs the affections of your heart to worship your Creator.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. Deuteronomy 6:5-6