What shapes your view of God?
Seriously. Think about it. Experiences? Expectations? Failures? Triumphs? Frustrations? Hurts? In your eyes, how you’ve seen Him come through? In your eyes, how you haven’t seen Him come through? The reality is that our view of God is shaped by something. Ultimately, we have a choice – our view of God can be shaped by our own expectations and experiences, by the perceptions of other people, or by the Word of God itself. Thankfully, Scripture gives us an unbeatable framework when it comes to God’s character. Let’s check out what the book of 1 John has to say about our view of God!
Chapter 1 affirms and upholds the character of God
He is the word of life (1:1-2). He is light (1:5). He is faithful (1:9). He is just (1:9). He is forgiving (1:9).
Chapter 2 confronts the reality of sin in light of the character of God
When we sin, Jesus is our Advocate (2:1). He is the payment for our sins and the sins of the world (2:2). The desires of the flesh are fleeting and are not from Him (2:16). If we abide in Him and live by His Word, He promises eternal life (2:24-25). He is righteous, and everyone who pursues righteousness belongs to Him (2:29).
Chapter 3 gets practical
“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.”--1 John 3:1-3 Verse two says that “he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears.” This essentially means that, when Jesus returns, we don’t know what life will look like. We don’t know what we will look like. But we do know that we will see God as He truly is. This means that there will be a day when our experiences and expectations have no effect on our view of God – isn’t that incredible?! This ought to form in us an “eager expectation” to see Him as He truly is (3:3). When we understand that we will one day see God as He truly is – untouched by the effects of sin – we ought to strive to see Him as He really is here and now. This eager expectation will cause us to keep ourselves pure (3:3). This is not just talking about physical purity, but a holy life. This eager expectation will cause us to keep ourselves pure – why? Because He is pure.
The Bottom Line: Our view of God is shaped by something. I encourage you to sit down and think through – what really shapes my view of God? Is it His Word, or is it something else? Where your view of God stems from will speak volumes to those around you. Does my view of God match up with my identity as a child of God? When we long to know Him as He truly is, we will begin to look more like Him.
About the Author
Hi! My name is Jamie, and I am one of the High School Directors here at Bellevue! I recently graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Church Ministry, and my heart beats to see young women pursue God as they were created to. It is my prayer to see girls in our ministry be transformed by God's Word, take hold of His abundance, and share Him with a starving world. I am passionate about everything concerning freedom - emotional freedom, freedom from the bondage of sin, and freedom to be who God created you to be. I drink more water than the average whale, my spirit animal is a squirrel, and I have a deep, unashamed love for pop punk music.