Is your God too small?

What pictures do we have of God?

The only way to get at the truth is to look again at what Jesus says and did in the Bible.

He is one being because He says clearly that, "I and my Father are one" (John 10 v30). Now, we cannot physically see God because it says "No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son who is at the Father’s side has made Him known" (John 1v18). Also it says, "We know that when He appears we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is!" John 3v2. Paul explains Jesus as being in very nature God, was made in human likeness and found in appearance as a man in Phil 2 v7. Then there is that Spirit personality who came at Pentecost, didn’t He? Well no, actually in Genesis 1 v2 it says "the Spirit hovering over the waters". So can we get confused?

Would I know Him if I saw Him?

What do people in the Bible tell us about what He looked like?

So what do we conclude?

God wants us to know Him, but our minds are not big enough to see.

Try explaining to a person born blind the difference between red and blue - yYou can’t, because it is outside their experience. You can explain to them the difference between salt and sugar because although they may feel the same they taste rather different. God made man, so He knows us. He knows our tiny minds with their limitations and so shows Himself to us progressively, first in a human form in actions and pictures that we can visualise if not understand. We can feel His presence if not physically seeing anything.

For God to show much of Himself to our limited brains it would be overwhelming like to John and Ezekiel. Paul had the same on his way to arrest Christians in the northern towns when the voice says to him "I am Jesus" and Paul knows that "I am" is the name for God and is coupled with the name of the man who he knew had been killed a few weeks before. No wonder he fell on his face too.

God gently calls people by name -

God is starting where we are and with what we know, to teach us about Himself. Think of things we now take for granted but were incomprehensible a few years ago like wireless, telephones, cars, TV, atom bombs. If our expectation of His personality is a human format then God will show us Himself in that form so we can start to understand Him.

What is God like?

So the picture God gives to any of us may be different depending on ourselves and our experiences. How He appears to a child may be very unlike His contact with an old woman. He makes Himself small enough for each of us to understand a bit more as time goes on and we are capable.

Towards the end of his life, my father did not recognise me and muttered rubbish until I said I would have to leave. Then he would say "Lets have a prayer" and he was logical, direct and clear as if he were talking to someone in the room. After the amen he would look at me and ask who I was. He could see Jesus.

God speaks to us in different ways:

We are told repeatedly to fear God and even "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom".

God shows Himself to us according to the limits of our understanding. Because He wanted to teach us about Himself, He appeared as a human and got people to write down the things He said and did. Have you ever noticed that His teaching is almost all by parable except occasionally to the disciples? He starts where we are. You can explain to the blind man the difference between salt and sugar. He can taste that. Red and blue, sunsets and light are academic.

Is your God too small?

Now the question must be asked "Does it matter what picture we have of God?" and the answer again is simple. It is clearly no. Two people may marry each other even though others may have similar human formats or physique. So real love for another is more than optical or even physical attributes. Is it not the epitome of pride to think that we could ever understand or even depict our designer and maker? So think of God as a personal friend or as a judge on a throne or personified power when you are talking with Him. He is still God and bigger than anything we can imagine if the accounts He has given us in the Bible are true.

What we do know is that He knows all about us and still loves each of us.

That we may never understand. He is too big.