2005-02--07 - Define God
Exodus 3:14 "And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM'; and He said, 'Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
So who is God? Do you think of Him as that white haired old man in the sky? He isn't. It really is difficult to define God. When the divines at Westminster were coming to the question of "God and the Holy Trinity," they did not know how to proceed. How do you define God? They prayed as a group and determined that before they began, they would have the youngest member in the group lead them in prayer. This was to show their humility at so great a task of trying to define God. It was determined that George Gillespie, a Scottish commissioner to the Assembly, was the youngest. He was asked to lead in prayer.
He began, "Oh, God who art infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, part, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the council (sic) of Your own immutable and most righteous will, for Your own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek You; and withal most just and terrible in Your judgments; halting all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty."
This is basically how the prayer was recorded by a scribe. The Divines of Westminster, who were writing a confession of faith, conferred and determined that they could come up with no better definition of God than Gillespie's prayer. They recorded it in their confession of faith. So much for the history lesson.
But how do you define God? What I mean is, how do you define God in the way that you live? Do you live as if God doesn't exist? Many of us do. We can go Sunday to Sunday, day to day, hour to hour, as if God weren't even around. We all can do this. As David says, we cannot run from God, "Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there. If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Thy hand will lead me, and Thy right hand will lay hold of me." Psalm 139:7-10
I can't beat the definition above by Gillespie. If I was asked the question, I guess I would respond that God is sovereign. It is simple enough for my mind. What is really important, however, is how you define God. And I believe you do it by the way you live. If you rest in God and trust Him, you are beginning to give Him His due. If you are anxious and worry about everything, you define God as something He is not. He is a God who cares, loves and rules. We ought to trust Him.
One definition I have heard and told you all is that, "God is Lord of history, and He is bringing it to consummation in Christ." But this was a summation of the book of Revelation, not a definition of God. How we define God defines how we live. If He is a loving and powerful God, we have no worries. If we view Him as powerless over our struggles, victories, or day-to-day lives, we will struggle to function in even the basic things. Let us learn to define God as He is, I AM WHO I AM.
Soli Deo Gloria,