God Is

Day 45

God Never Changes, But What I Believe Changes Me

Read your Bible: Psalm 46

Spotlight Verse:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…Psalm 46:1–2a

I started this study by stating that how you define God changes everything about how you respond to life.

So consider these differing definitions of God:

“The eternal mind” — Plato

“God is the absolute Spirit, yet a spirit without consciousness until it becomes conscious in the reason and the thoughts of man.” — Hegel

“Pure mathematical mind…” — Einstein

“The ground of all being.” — Aristotle

As brilliant as they all were, these men were all attempting to define God, to pin Him down. And again, being humans, they tend to fashion a god in their own image. Is it any surprise to you that Plato the philosopher defines God as a “mind,” or Einstein the mathematician describes God as “mathematical”?

Meanwhile the Bible speaks of God as beyond imagining — and yet knowable! It describes Him in all the ways we’ve seen and more: “God is… Love… All-Powerful… All-Knowing… Always Present… Sovereign… Faithful… Unchanging….”

The Difference This Makes

Okay, now imagine yourself in various life situations.

You’re alone on a business trip tempted to compromise your integrity.

You’ve been rejected by someone you love.

You’re facing the death of a loved one.

How would the various definitions above change the way you handle each situation?

Try praying, “The Lord is my eternal mind, I shall not want…” Just not quite the same inspirational ring as the familiar verse in Psalm 23, is it?

In today’s verses the Psalmist declares that because he believes the Lord to be a refuge, to be strong, therefore we will not fear.”

What he believed about God changed his response to his crisis. And what you believe to be true about God really changes you too — down to the core of your being. When you really believe God is as powerful, as present, as full of pardon as you’ve seen in this study, you will be changed — forever!

Practical and Powerful Prayers

I recently went on a trip to Mexico with my son’s 7th grade class to work in an orphanage there. One evening we went to a very poor Tecate neighborhood built next to a sewage treatment plant. The smell of human waste permeated the place, so intense that my eyes stung.

But then we joined with a local church’s midweek service. This church burned no incense, but their intense and authentic worship of God quickly overpowered all other distractions. I was caught up in the fresh enthusiasm of it all! It was so inspiring to hear praise songs I knew in English sung in another language. I enjoyed listening to the sermon, even though I speak absolutely no Spanish. I loved how the pastor ended the message with an altar call, a time for people to come forward for prayer. In fact, I felt like I was just glowing with joy through the entire experience — until one of the pastors asked me to walk up and pray with people during the altar call — and I went pale!

“But!” I objected, “I don’t speak the language!”

“Is okay! Is okay!” the pastor smiled as she took me by the arm to the front of the church, gesturing toward crying people who needed prayer.

So I walked up nervously, put my arms around people who whispered their stories, and thought: “What can I possibly pray that is relevant to their situations, since I can’t understand what they were saying?”

Then I prayed, in English, “God… you are omniscient, and that means you are multilingual! And you know this need better than I could ever hope to know it — even if I spoke the language! You are omnipresent. That means You’re right here with us now, crossing every border. You’re omnipotent. That means You have the power to meet this need. You are faithful and sovereign, so You know exactly the right course of action for this situation. You are love. That means You love this person so much. And we both love You. So we lift this need to You now in full assurance that You know and You care and You will work.”

I was able to pray again and again with power and with passion as the altar call continued. Those who clearly needed further guidance I steered toward Spanish speakers after the service ended. But through that experience I learned firsthand just how an appreciation of God’s attributes can help as life throws you unexpected challenges.

Praying the Attributes

Try praying through the attributes of God you’ve learned in the last seven weeks. Notice how it makes an immediate impact to affirm these truths. Actually address God and pray through these next sentences:

You are the omnipotent God.

You are bigger than any problem. Nothing is too difficult for You. And I can do all things through You.

You are the omniscient God.

You know all things. You know my needs. You know my challenges. You know the needs of those around me.

You are the omnipresent God.

You are right here, right now. With me. With my loved ones. The Lord is in this place. And I know it.

You are the sovereign God.

You are in control. You guarantee that all things work together for good for those called according to Your purpose.

You are love.

As infinitely powerful as You are, God, You are just as loving. The matchless power that it took to make the universe is matched by the power of love You have for me, and for my loved ones, and for my enemies. Help me to love them all as You love them. You loved us all so much that you came to this earth to make a way to You.

You are immutable and faithful.

You never change. You will keep every promise You have made. You are faithful to keep me secure in Your salvation. You are faithful to provide. You are faithful to reward.

Thank you, God, for these glimpses into the amazing reality that is far beyond any earthly imagination! Help my mind to reel, my soul to be comforted, my heart to soar as I think of your wonders!

When I consider the infinite nature of all these attributes, Lord, I realize anew:

God is… enough!

Questions For Reflection

What difference do you think it would make if you strengthened your understanding of the “enoughness” of God? What difference has it made?

Do you know anyone who needs to have their faith in such a God strengthened? How can you help?