Where Do You Get Your Idea of God?

“What we believe about God is the most important thing about us.” A.W. Tozer


What do you think about God? There’s a good chance you know a lot about Him, and good chance you believe things about Him that are true. But how do you feel about Him emotionally? Yesterday I wrote that we treat others the way we believe God treats us. But where do we get that belief? If we believe He’s condemning, or absent, or forgiving — where does that idea come from? Especially because we have such a variety of opinions among Christians. Some cower in His presence; some work hard to keep every rule; some are carefree with the rules; some jump up in His lap. God is vast and varied, yes, but where do we come up with such vast and varied views of Him?

Consider this: when you are a tiny baby, with no ability to get anything for yourself, your parents are your God, especially Dad. Mom feeds you, yes, and she certainly has a humongous impact. But Dad drives the family. That is, if he is a tyrant, everyone cowers in fears. If he is joyful, the family can breathe easily. If he holds everyone to a high standard, they jump to meet it. If he leaves disappears forever, the family feels abandoned and insecure.

I recently talked to a gal who did not believe in God; to her, He simply was a figment of mankind’s imagination and she put no stock in Him. But then we talked about her father, who had been virtually non-existent in her life. Though he floated in and out in recent years, he had no part of her formative years whatsoever. As she connected the dots, tears streamed down her face. All this time she had put onto God the formative image she had of her father. And God had come up short.

If you think about how you really see God, how you categorize His requirements and his attitude toward you, you will see a pretty good picture of your dad. Consider your emotional response to God, and then see if that fits your dad as well. Let God stir that around in your heart. He may bring you some real freedom.

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