http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsJ3_PmsYr0 (listen to this song first)
There has been a conversation resonating in my head since before Christmas. Someone railing about the Bible and then making the comment, “but don’t get me wrong I pray to god.” Well the question that keeps jumping to mind is, “what god?” I mean really, WHO do you pray TO??!!!! I think it’s important to define GOD if you are going to waste your time praying to some being. If you believe there is a God, a creator, a giver of life, then define him, but don’t define him based on who you want him to be. Define him by the definition He gave us. In seeking to define the God that I pray to this song came on the radio, Addison Road, “What do I know of Holy,” and the answer was so clear. The God I pray to doesn’t fit into your little life. The God I pray to CREATED your life, He literally spoke it into existence. He commands legions of angels (Matthew 26:53), He holds the universe together (Isaiah 40:12) , He is so holy that the angels around him can only say, “Holy, Holy, Holy” over and over and over again (Revelations 4:8), and He is jealous (Exodus 20:4-5). He wants US to worship Him, to praise Him, and to love Him above all else. Not to squeeze Him into our lives somewhere. Not to be prayed to on occasion so you can feel good about yourself that you “pray to god.” Well great, good for you really. What do you do “pray” when you want something or need something? I need a car, I think I’ll pray for it. Grandmas sick, I think I’ll pray for her. I have cancer I better start praying. So you believe in the power of prayer but you aren’t willing to submit your life to the entity that you are praying to? Is that right? You aren’t willing to look at the Bible from the perspective of a loving, all knowing, God who cares for you, but a mean, cruel, tiny god who demands things of you. You are willing to ask this god for things though. He’s mean, intolerable, and unfair but he can give you stuff, AND you get to go to heaven when you die, so he’s worth praying to occasionally. Then you turn around and scoff at him and mock him. I think this attitude stems from our (our referring to humanity) misunderstanding of who God is. Our general lack of understanding of what it means to be holy. As the song says, “what do I know of holy?” I think we all have a problem with putting God in our politically correct box. We make the rules as to who God should be instead of submitting to the definition He gave us of Himself in the Bible. So who does the Bible say God is?
He’s Holy (Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8). So what is the dictionary definition? “Exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.” So here is a God worthy of complete devotion, he’s perfect, good, and righteous, the angels bow down and say “holy, holy, holy” continuously, and 24 elders throw down their crowns in Revelation 4, fall down before Him and say, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things and by your will they existed and were created.”
He’s eternal. Psalm 90:2 puts it like this, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. He’s everlasting as Isaiah 40:28 puts it, ” Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary.”
He’s just. The dictionary defines just as, “based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.” Deuteronomy 32:4 says of Him that He is “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness without iniquity, just and upright is he.” Romans 1:32 says, “Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
He’s good! Exodus 34:6-7— “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
He’s unchanging. Malachi 3:6— “For I am the Lord, I do not change.”
He’s love. 1 John 4:8, 16 “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God abides in him, and who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”
He’s omnipotent (all powerful). Matthew 19:26 says “With God all things are possible.” Psalm 115:3,”But our God is in heaven; He does what He pleases.”
He’s omniscient (all knowing). Psalm 147:5 — [God’s] understanding is infinite.
And there are so many more attributes of God. He’s not just ONE dimensional as we like to make him out to be. When we study each of these attributes we are still left with so much to learn about this all powerful, all knowing, ever present, righteous, holy, loving, and morally just and perfect God, and people can say something like, “oh, but don’t get me wrong, I pray” even though they care NOTHING about who God is. Angels and kings bow down to Him, the whole world will one day bow to Him (Romans 14:11), and He is called “HOLY,” but you know better than Him as to what is “fair, just, and righteous,” and think you are good because you “pray?!” You can take the Bible and say God is unfair because of the Old Testament Law, He’s not “just” because the Bible speaks out against sins that you think should be ok, and He’s not righteous because you disagree with the treatment of some people in the Bible, seriously?! Here is a God that says “fear Him” in Matthew 10:28 because He “can destroy both soul and body in hell,” and you would rather please men with your words, act like your a good person because you pray, and reject all of the moral teachings in the Bible? The only reasoning I have for this rational is that humanity has no idea what it means to be holy. No idea what holy is. We don’t care to know either because we would have to belittle ourselves. To put our pride aside, and have faith that a just and righteous God knows better than us. That the one who created us knows more than we do, and can make the rules as to what is “right” and “wrong.” YOU, the created, don’t get to do this, I’m sorry to say. You have the right to pray, yes, but I can’t understand why you would want to pray to a god you don’t respect or care to get to know. You disregard the word that was written to help you understand who God is, and you have no fear of the one who has the ability to destroy the soul. No care to make yourself more holy because you lack fear of a holy and powerful God (2 Corinthians 7:1).
I mention fear because of the first part of the song, “I never feared you at all.” Most people would say there is no need to fear God because He is Love, but they lack a full understanding of all his attributes. The fact that he is just and sovereign is reason to fear him, because we are all sinful (Romans 3). He is a judge who can destroy the soul of those who do not/have not put their faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior. You should fear Him. Men who have seen angels fear angels, what more of God? An all consuming fire is He (Deuteronomy 4:24). This fear will give you proper respect as you call out his name in prayer. This fear will help you put yourself into proper perspective. You are not equal with God. You don’t hold the universe in your hands. You are small, have only seen the glories that HE created, and are only worthy of love because HE loved you first! The Lord of the universe loved YOU and that deserves, no, commands your respect, honor, and praise. Not a simple utterance to him on occasion, not a half hearted confession that you “pray sometimes.” He deserves your life praise. Nothing less. If you are not willing to give Him that then you are not worthy of Him. Matthew 10:38, “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”