Photo: Pinterest (Character of God)
The last post we talked about knowing the word of God and studying the word of God with the Holy Spirit. Today I want to discuss knowing the character of God. It is just as important to know God personally and understand His character.
What is character?
1. the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
If we do not know the character of God, it can lead to massive deception. There are quite a few representing a God they do not know. They can tell you information about God, yet they do not know God intimately.
I love the quote that says, ”Don’t worry about your reputation, it is who people say you are. Be more concerned with your character because that is who you really are.” It is important that we understand who God is, not who others say God is-who is God?
It is possible to think we know God, think we are worshipping God and actually be in a position where we are worshipping a God created in our own image. I heard another quote I loved. The author said, ”If God has all the same opinions you have, you may not be worshipping God at all.”
There is something about God that is counter to our culture. God is higher! God’s ways are higher.
The Bible gives us a blueprint of the character of God, His essence, His attributes, and His nature. We must not pull isolated verses and passages, but study the whole of scripture with God AND pursue intimacy with God (knowing Him for ourselves/build history with God).
When we know the character of God it will help us to discern the words people speak and claim came from God. If we live by second hand information, then we can be easily deceived.
The Pharisees knew the Torah. They believed they knew God, yet Jesus informed them that they did not know God at all.
Jesus rebukes the Pharisees: Jesus and the Pharisees. The Pharisees knew of God, they did not know the true and living God. They missed the God standing right in front of them.
Get To Know The Author:
People who know me, truly know me, spend time with me, invite me into their lives, and know my character are a far better judge of what is from me than those who only read my blog, books, or have heard of me.
God is everywhere, yet God is not hosted everywhere. You can go to a party and not be hosted. You can be ignored, not acknowledged, unheard, and treated as insignificant.
God may be omnipresent, yet not everyone is filled with the Spirit of God. Not everyone is led by the Spirit of God. Not everyone hosts the presence of God. Not everyone has an intimate relationship with God where He is known, pursued, followed, and experienced. I have been invited places then ignored or mistreated. If you asked those people who I am, who knows what they would tell you. They know of me. They do not know me.
Anyone can repeat what they have heard, yet someone who is intimate with the author is a better witness and discerner of what is from the author.
God is inviting us to know Him and not just things about Him.
Part of knowing is experience, and testing those experiences by His word. Part is studying the Bible WITH God.
There are many people who claim to know God and what they teach or manifest violates the character of God. The God they worship does not match the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.
Some believe the God of the Old Testament died and the new God is like a fluffy Santa who has no requirements for righteous living. This is false. The New Covenant is far better and changes the way we access God. It does not change who God is. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
Our revelation is often filtered by our understanding of God. This is why you meet people who can prophesy overly critical and quite hateful things. Some truly believe they are hearing from God. Some can substantiate their message with a part of scripture, yet if you take what is said and hold it up to the character of God and the whole of scripture it fails the test.
I would love to give you a few examples to potentially help with understanding.
I was sent a prophesy for 2018 from several friends. It was very popular on YouTube and social media. At a certain point of the prophesy the person stated that this year God was going to punish greatly those who did not honor the flag of the United States and bankrupt American football. This was all going to happen this year because God was angry with those who did not honor the flag (there has been great controversy over kneeling football players).
The prophesy did not set right with my spirit nor match the character of God. God does desire honor; God does not force honor. If He did, why isn’t God striking dead or cursing those who dishonor His Son Jesus? God places a higher value on His Son than on our flag. God will execute final judgement on the world, yet this prophesy was political and I sensed the soul/flesh of the speaker coming through.
The highest concern of God is the Kingdom of Heaven. The highest concern of heaven is reconciliation of a lost world to the Father. Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents.
The kindness of God leads to repentance. Prophets of old and the new covenant spoke Kingdom of heaven not the rhetoric of the culture. They upheld the precepts of the Gospel. This part of the prophesy was not primarily about Jesus or His Kingdom. It was about the cultural clash of the day.
Second examine these scriptures:
”Your ancestors have also been taught ‘Love your neighbors and hate the one who hates you.’However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them.For that will reveal your identity as children of your heavenly Father. He is kind to all by bringing the sunrise to warm and rainfall to refresh whether a person does what is good or evil.What reward do you deserve if you only love the loveable? Don’t even the tax collectors do that?How are you any different from others if you limit your kindness only to your friends? Don’t even the ungodly do that?Since you are children of a perfect Father in heaven, you are to be perfect like him.”~ JesusMatthew 5:43-48 the Passion Translation.
There are also football players and owners who love God. So why would God bankrupt His own children to punish a few kneeling football players? How does that express the justice, kindness, mercy, and love of God? How does this part of the prophesy align with the character of God? God was willing to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if He could find righteous people there.
Genesis 18: 22-26.
The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Abraham had an understanding of the character of God. God is just. God is not unfair. God is a Savior. Jesus came to save. What God allows (does not prevent) is not always the express will of God. God wishes that none would perish yet people still die in their sins. They choose death and hell. God does not force it on anyone.
The prophets who speak of no redemption may not be speaking the heart of God. Even old testament prophets gave the people warnings so they could repent and be spared/redeemed. God reveals to heal and exposes to redeem. God is good.
Here is a personal example. I have had numerous people prophesy things over my life that absolutely did not match the character of God. I had one lady say to me that God was going to give me an ugly husband, that he wasn’t going to be very good, yet I should be happy with it. Basically God was going to give me less than. First I do not pray for a spouse, women project this onto me because it’s what they want/need. Second, I truly believe Ephesians 3:20 is true that God wants to EXCEED our expectations. God gives good gifts. I am not stating looks are the most important, they are not. Her prophesy was essentially God wanted to give me less than His best for me and I was to just accept whatever. This does not match the character of God. The Bible tells me the following:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change, ~James 1:17.
Intimacy is vital to prophesy the heart of God. It is not speaking our thoughts and opinions. The prophets of old took seriously speaking for God. They held the revelation of God in high esteem. They were not reckless with the wisdom, insight, and words of God.
What can we learn about the character of God?
- God is holy! There is no sin in God nor does He approve of any sin.
- God is love (sacrificial, unselfish, and perfect love). God sacrificially loves even His enemies.
- God is just. There is no injustice in God. Sin has a penalty of death and God poured out that penalty on Jesus so whosoever repented and placed their faith in Him could be free of paying that personal penalty.
- God is good! God does not give sloppy, worthless, awful gifts. ”So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him, ”~Matthew 7:11.
- God is redemptive! God longs to see the world reconciled to Him. He exposes to heal and restore.
- God is truth! God tells the truth.
- God is faithful! If God gives His word, God will keep His word. God keeps every single promise He makes.
- God loves the sinner! While yet sinners Jesus died for us.
- God is after relationship! God wants to be known by us and have a personal, intimate relationship with us.
- God is compassionate and merciful! Compassion moves us beyond feeling bad for things happening to others to doing something to help them. Jesus was moved with compassion and healed the sick. He felt their pain and was moved to do something to help them.
- God forgives. God loves to restore and is kind to us to lead us to repentance.
- God loves everyone, including those who hate Him. God is not prejudice, racist, elitist, sexist, nor is He only interested in Americans.
- God desires obedience; it is better than sacrifice. God still requires something from us. Those who are lawless (have no regard for the commands of God), will not inherit His Kingdom (Matthew 7:23).
- God is the judge. God is perfect at His execution of justice. He will judge the world.
- God is wise. The wisdom of God far surpasses human intellect.
- God is the giver of good gifts.
- God wants His very best for His children.
- God is a provider and deliverer. He moves on behalf of His children.
- God is sovereign and reigns supreme.
- God nurtures His children. God is not only a strong tower and defender. God refers to Himself as a mother/nurturer/teacher.
- God is a builder and gardener.
- God is a mentor and servant leader. Jesus said the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom.
- God is a helper. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. God is an ezer-source of great strength.
- God reaches low to lift others higher. Jesus showed us the Father. Jesus reached low to elevate humanity.
- God values honor. Honor is is not agreeing with everyone about everything. It is choosing to respect someone and treat them with dignity.
- God cares about every single detail of our lives. God cares more about His children than earthly parents care about theirs.
- God is strategic and His timing is perfect. God does not half do things nor work sloppily. God is perfect.
- God loves us as we are yet longs to see us grow to be the very best version of ourselves. There is nothing we can do to make God love us more or less. He also cares about every detail of our growth.
- God is close to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit. The suffering of humanity matters to God.
- God is Spirit. God embodies the characteristics of male and female. God is not like us, we were created in His image. Though painted as male, God is not like a human male. God created both genders in His image (see Genesis 1:27).
- God cares deeply for orphans, widows, the poor, refugees, and the outcasts. Jesus was a refugee. God cares deeply for the people society may ignore or hate.
There are certainly more things that could be written about God. I hoped to give a foundation, not complete the entire picture. We have a great invitation to know God and pursue Him. We have the opportunity to know God for ourselves. When we know God for ourselves, we are less deceived by every proclaiming representative of God.
We are also better testers of what we think we are hearing and sensing from God if we know His character. If I know His word and His character, it helps to decifer what is of God, what is from my flesh or soul, and what is from the devil.
My encouragement is to filter revelation not only through the word of God, filter through the character of God.
God help us to know you, truly know you and your character. Increase our intimacy with you and help us to know you intimately. Remove any flaws in our thinking of who you are. Clear our hearts and minds of any deception or flawed perceptions. Thank you for the opportunity to know you! In Jesus powerful name. Amen.
Love in Christ,
P.S Book 2 is scheduled to be released 7/7/2018. I hope you pick it up on Amazon or my business website https://www.empowered-free.com.