The Nature of God: Part I

When our son was in the third-grade I was watching him play basketball at a tournament one Saturday morning in Orlando. He has always been a great athlete and an even greater competitor and that was no different when he was the point guard that summer. He was a great ball handler and could shoot the ball for an elementary kid pretty good. I realized that he seemed not to be shooting the ball that well. The more I watched I began to remember that I got glasses in the fourth grade and I needed to get him checked out.

As I stood in the office of the eye doctor I had all kinds of guilt emotions about being a terrible parent. How bad was it? Had he been struggling long? Why didn’t his teacher notice something? The nurse had him hold a black plastic wand over his one eye and stood at the eye chart and pointed to a line she wanted him to read. She said, “Can you see this line?” He said, “Yes!”

I remember a flood of relief rushing through my body as I waited on him to read the line he just told her he could see. She said, “Read the line please.” I’m not making up this next part he literally said, “Dot, dot, dot.” Wow, he was blind as a bat. I felt horrible in that moment. As we walked in to the house later that day he said, “Wow, look at the blades of grass.”

I think some who’ve been around the church for a long-time struggle to see God the Father through the correct lens or biblical world view. Some have grown up in the traditions that emphasize the austerity of God. I know it’s not a common word but let me explain this word and see if your own tradition has been influenced with this way of thought.

Some have projected onto God an austerity or sternness that just isn’t true. Austerity in the classic sense refers to shortage but in our church circles it’s usually meant to help us be reverent, but in our desire to respect God we’ve lost our child-like heart. How do you think about God? Some words that well meaning pastors have used are like strictness, sternness, graveness, soberness, somberness, seriousness, and rigorous.

This is not the picture of God we get through Jesus in the Gospels. Shortage is certainly not the implied or direct message of Jesus life. And we know He told his followers, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” Shortage actually applies to us and our situation but it does not to represent anything close to God. God is full of an abundant, purposeful, reckless love and that love is intended for you.

How do we label or identify the love of God without adding in some descriptor. There are many words that describe the love of God but I’ve chosen reckless because it’s not often used, if ever, referring to God’s love. And good church going people would never label anything God would do as reckless.

Reckless means “without caring about the consequences of an action.” If a dad took his thirteen year old daughter to the mall and handed her $30,000.00 to shop with that would be in our estimation reckless. Yet, God the Father has given His most prized possession to us in His Son Jesus and for the most part people fail to realize the richness of this gift of grace through Jesus.

It is my prayer that as you read through this brief series on the nature of God, you are challenged to reframe the way you look at God and most importantly you are inspired to receive more of His love!

Practice: Pray a simple prayer of desire and ask to see God in your everyday and to experience His wild love in your life.