What is Your Image of God?

Earlier this week one of my students shared with me that she learned that a friend committed suicide. She was really hurt and at the same time very angry. She said that her friend had so much potential and now he is gone. She also felt that he didn’t work hard enough to survive and wondered why he did not reach out to her for help. In her heart, she felt God will truly punish the friend because, in her words, ‘he was young, he had a lot of potential and he didn’t fight hard enough to survive.’ I shared with her that God may be disappointed in her friend, but God would not punish the friend. That God, better than us, understood his pain. She seemed relieved and said “I just wished my friend was still with us.”

After that conversation, I began to reflect how each of us has a different perspective on God. What is your image of God? Or very simply, how do you see God?

As a child my God could do everything. He was omnipresent, omnipotent, all knowing, caring and intervened in people’s lives when they called upon him. Nevertheless, he was a God to be feared. He was the hell and damnation God. Although I knew I needed and wanted God, I was afraid of this God and feared too that I would be damned to hell.

Later in life, God became an all loving God; still Omni-everything and still the God who intervenes in the lives of those who seek him out. I don’t know about you, but my image of God is still evolving.

He’s definitely not the God of my youth or the God of my young adulthood; he sometimes seems to be the God of indifference, a God of distance, a God who rarely intervenes in the affairs of humankind. This is a God I cannot accept and I doubt is real. But like you, I’m still wrestling with who God is.

Mark Batterson in his book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day (2006) said that “how you think about God will determine who you become. You aren’t just the byproduct of “nature and nurture.” You are a byproduct of your God-picture. And that internal picture of God determines how you see everything else” (p.28).

Batterson goes on to say that “our biggest problems can be traced back to an inadequate understanding of who God is. Our problems seem really big because our God seems really small. In fact, we reduce God to the size of our biggest problem” (p.28). I don’t know about you, but I need a God that’s bigger than any problems. I need a God who not only can tackle my problems, but the world’s problems. Batterson continues and believes that God has no dimensional units and that our belief or thoughts of God will determine who we will become. Wow!

Wow is right. I need a God who is greater than all this world’s imagination; especially as it relates to who God is and what God can and will do. I need a God that is as big as this world; still has concerns and abiding love for me and not only showed loved for me on a CROSS centuries ago, but a God who daily reminds me of his love and protection.

I need that infinite God; the God of love and mystery and yes, a God that I or no one else can define or put in a box. I need a God that loves “even me.” I need a big God; the same God that told Isaiah, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways,’’….”As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). To learn more about God’s awesomeness read Job, chapters 38 through 41. That’s a big God and no, he is not in a box.

How do you see God? How big is your God? My image of God is evolving, but each day I love this God who refuses to be defined. I hope you too will envision a God that is unlimited and therefore undefinable and that my friend will make all the difference in your world.

11 thoughts on “What is Your Image of God?”

  1. Beautiful!

    Thank you for sharing.

    I am going to reblog this.

    Oh, and I too want a God that is Immense, that I cannot fathom, much less define!

    God Love You ♥

  2. Thanks Tony for your Blog. I love the comments about what type of God are we looking for. I need a big God that exceeds my vision. I am limited by my human form.

  3. I believe that ACCORDING TO OUR FAITH IT SHALL BE DONE UNTO US. I was in a meeting once with a group of leaders, one leader stood up to share a praise report. She shared how she had prayed for God to get her a raise in pay to make ends meet. Her prayer was answered and she now receives $200. more each month. While the group was cheering for her and praising God, I sunk into my seat and with all the guilt overwhelming me I said to God “God what is this? Omg! I am here believing for this business to prosper so I can give thousands to my church! I’m expecting this to happen because I know nothing is impossible for You! I mean come on, if you can split the sea in half for people to walk through, this is nothing for you! I mean surely you don’t love Moses more than you love me! $200? What is this? God said to me, ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH. She had faith for $200 that was not MY limit, that was hers. So, how big is your God? I find it insulting to ask for some change for a 8oz water bottle from a God who can turn water into wine… Didn’t God describe how big He was in His Word? Stop bringing Gods ability to the level of your disappointment.

  4. To ineedamom: How many times has someone prayed for a loved one to be physically healed and it hasn’t happened? How many prayers have been sent up for ‘more money to make ends meet’ and the money didn’t come before the house was reposessed? How many requests have been placed before God and God does not respond directly? Should the folks making such unanswered prayers give up on their faith in God? I would hope not! It is a sign of a growing faith when a person allows his/her image of God to grow and change as God reveals himself to them through the events and circumstances of their lives.

    Thank you Tony for your faithfulness and willingness to share the wisdom with which God has gifted you!

  5. Reblogged this on OUT in the Spirit and commented:
    When Tony wrote thi and passed it to me to proof read, I thought how this fit so well with my posts on the “Image of god”. Although I haven’t written anything on the subject in a while I get many readers coming to my blog through searches on it. It is for those readers that I am reblogging this here. May your image of God continue to be dynamic.

  6. WOW, I love this! Well I believe God continues to show up in my life in some of the most profound ways. He always exceeds my expectations, beyond anything that I can imagine. I’m just so grateful, grateful, grateful that He is not in a box

  7. Tony,

    Just awesome and eloquently stated…thanks so much for the reminder…

    In Christ and Community,
    Minnie

  8. I have a relationship with God. So I have experiences which I say are of God, possibilities, facets, which may or may not be accurate perception, and I try to be open to other perception.

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