Week 5 - Character and Nature of God
How can we know and rest on the nature and character of God?
We were asked this seemingly simple question on the first day of class. With the help of Scripture we listed down God’s nature - what He is that we cannot be: creator, omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (everywhere at all times), omniscient (all-knowing), infinite, majestic, etc. We discussed His character – who God is that I can be and am to become: holy, a light to the world, loving, forgiving, faithful, compassionate, swift to bless. Who is God that we are? He is relational, personal, has ability to reason, has memory and imagination.
But how to rest on his nature and character? Ummm. I could hear my teammates also struggle with resting on God’s character:
Trustworthy – My family let me down. God let me down.
Just – What about hungry and suffering children in the world?
Loving – I’ve done all these bad things, how can God love me?
I have a hard time believing that He is swift to bless. Why? I asked God to reveal His character as I looked inside my heart, childhood, personality, and even culture.
As a Pastor’s Kid I always knew that my parents had a modest salary. We were trained to be content so I didn’t ask for more. When I turned eight Papa and I went to a bakeshop and he asked me to choose a cake. I wanted the one with the figurines and playground and icing flowers, but instead I asked for the plain chocolate cake.
At a young age I was smart and responsible so people quickly affirmed me. I was also independent and didn’t like asking for help. As I went through school and work, I feared criticism and failure so I made sure I always followed rules. Filipinos also love to say, “Bahala na!” and in my context it came to mean, “Let God take care of it….whatever happens, happens.”
So in my relationship with God I didn’t really ask for more…for bigger things. I asked only for what I could work for. I had to be a perfect Christian, daughter, student, and worker so that God would bless me.
At the end of the week staffer Brittany Nelson facilitated a workshop on “The Truth Box.” We wrote out lies we had believed on slips of paper, and on the opposite side we also wrote truths – God’s Word about Himself and ourselves. We put the pieces of paper in our Truth Box so that every time a lie pops up and tries to pull us down, we bring it before God and speak truth to ourselves and to each other so that we are “…transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2).
It is only by speaking and repeating these truths in His word can we renew these ingrained thought patterns. He IS trustworthy. He IS just. He IS loving.
My name is Esther and am God’s daughter (1 John 3:1). He delights in me (Zephaniah 3:17). His love is not dependent on what I accomplish (Romans 8:38-39). He wants me to ask because He is swift to bless and He loves to bless ME (Psalm 139:5).