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We are being transformed by who and what we worship (love, adore, commit our time to, devote ourselves to). I started thinking the other day, what if we believe we are worshiping God and we are simply worshiping a god created in our own image?
The Bible gives us many descriptions of God. What if we just pick the ones that we like and worship that God. The God who looks like us, who appeals to us, who makes us feel good…
God is the most loving, truthful, & generous Being in the Universe. However, I often wonder if the God we worship is the God created in our own image. He is a caricature that we can identify with. He’s pleasant, but not powerful or holy. He’s good, but not so good. He loves us, so that means He must agree with us and what we do. You see, we begin to imitate who we worship. If we are worshipping a god created in our own image we become more selfish, self centered, and unlike Him at all. We equate love with feeling good instead of choosing to do what’s right. We pick love that’s comfortable, instead love that is costly. We miss the opportunity for true transformation into His likeness because we are worshipping a god we created, not the God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob.
My favorite passages in the Bible are either about Jesus or where Jesus is speaking. I study Him. I meditate on what He said & how He lived. I fix my eyes on Him, the resurrected King. He is the center of the Gospel. Jesus wasn’t interested in people pleasing. He did only what He saw the Father doing. He offended many. This God of love said, “Pick up your cross, deny yourself, & follow Me. If you love anyone more than Me, you’re not worthy to be My disciple. Go and sin no more. You are either for Me or against Me. I’d rather you be hot or cold, not lukewarm lest I spit you out. Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father. Many will say have I not done these great things in Your name and I will say, ‘depart from Me, I never knew you.’ If you do not forgive, you are not forgiven” in doing so He perfectly represented the love of the Father. Part of love is righteousness. God’s love is not like our human love. This is the Jesus we worship.
How can a loving God say such things, that some will not enter heaven or I’d rather spit you out? Because God’s definition of love is not the same as ours. We can equate love with feeling good. God likes to do things that make us feel good. Yet He also disciplines those He loves, and He is holy. If we forget these attributes of God it leads to trouble.
Earthly parents teach, train, empower, love, and discipline their children. It’s part of love. Any parent who tells their child, “Do whatever you want, no consequences,” does not love their child.
If we want to know who God is, we pick up the Bible and read it. We see a God who loves passionately, yet corrects and disciplines His children. We see a God who is righteous, just, merciful, and also brings judgment on those who do not repent. We see a God who empowers and encourages, yet also rebukes. We see a God who helps the weak, and opposes the proud. We see a God who values repentance-heaven rejoices when one person repents. We see a God who values the sinner, yet says, “Go and sin no more.”
May we worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. May we devour the Word of God with the Holy Spirit. May we grow to know God for who He really is. And worship Him in Spirit and in truth. He’s worthy.