Our Image of God; July 20, 2017


1 Kings 20:28 The man of God came up and told the king of Israel, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Arameans think the Lord is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the Lord.’ ”

Modern people, and particularly those from traditionally Christian countries, have trouble grasping just what was going on here. Ahab had won the earlier battle through superior tactics, directed by God through a prophet. Whether the Arameans knew about the prophet or not, they attributed their loss to the God of the Israelites, rather than to their poor tactics. They had a theology that seems laughable to us today, of strictly local gods, and God wanted to teach them, and the Israelites, how wrong that was. We may laugh at this today, but often enough our own theology isn’t much better. We mentally put God into various boxes, deciding what He can or can’t do, forgetting that He is GOD, the LORD, Creator of heaven and earth. As He had Gabriel tell Mary, nothing is impossible for Him. (Luke 1:37) He is quite literally infinite. Being finite ourselves, we have enormous difficulty wrapping our minds around that reality. We aren’t so much better than the Arameans who thought He was just God of the hills. We need to let Him reveal Himself to us, not requiring that He do some fresh miracle, but simply grasping how much He has already done. The most miraculous thing isn’t really what He has done so much as that He has done it for us. His love, that caused Him to send His Son as our Savior, is the most miraculous thing of all. That is what we most need to believe and appropriate. With that as a foundation, everything else fades to being merely incidental.

God is in the process of doing something that seems big and miraculous in/for/through this church. I’ve got to remember, and to keep reminding the believers, that this is small change compared to what He has already done for us in Christ. We all need to let Him grow our image of Him, because it will never be as big as He is. I am to teach both how incredibly big and great He is and how intimately, fiercely, He loves us. We are not to presume on Him, but we are not to think for a moment that anything is difficult for Him. Our job is humble, faithful, joyful, obedience. Two Japanese expressions come to mind: waiting in hope, and listening to obey. Both are extremely Biblical concepts, and reassure me that God didn’t leave Japan and the Japanese out of His plan of salvation, whatever their track record has been to this point.

Father, thank You for the marvelous day yesterday. There were so many encouraging things! Thank You for what You told me a few years ago, to rest, relax, and rejoice. I’m still growing in doing that! Help me not just teach others, but allow You to stretch my heart and mind as well, so that I may be an ever more available, responsive channel of Your grace, blessing, and power, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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