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What You Believe about God

September 6, 2019

With the merciful you show yourself merciful… and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. Psalm 18:25, 26

What you believe most deeply about God will shape your experience of him.

Some people see God as a referee
Some people think of God watching us as we play the game of life, making sure we play according to the rules. If you see God as the referee in your life, it may help you to be a moral person, but it won’t do anything to increase your capacity to love. The Pharisees played by the rules. They were moral people, but often they were entirely lacking in love!

Other people see God as a gatekeeper
The customs official asks you for your passport, and if everything is in order she stamps it for you. But if there’s a problem, it’s her job to keep you out. If you see God as the gatekeeper, it may motivate you to live a religious life, but it won’t increase your capacity to love. It is possible to be very religious and yet to have very little love.

Other people see God as a servant
God is there to give me the life I want. Here’s the list, God: health, work, marriage, children, money, etc. I want each item delivered on time and in good condition. You owe it to me. And if anything is missing, we will need to talk. If you see God as your servant, you will become selfish and bitter. God says, “If you want to know what I am to my people, think love, think marriage.”

Which of these errors do you most easily drift into believing? Why?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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