Who is God? Where did He come from? What is His genesis? Does He resemble anything like what we portray Him in our behavior and response to His love?
There is a dangerous modern-day attitude in the church today that minimizes God’s glory and power. This anomaly is demonstrated in the name-it and claim-it crowd. It’s pervasive in the ‘church of Laodicea’. Which isn’t the name of a Christian denomination but what John writes in the Book of Revelation.
“Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea: Thus says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God’s creation: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot.”
Revelation 3:14-15 (CSB)
The bride of Christ exists in the Christian church as we know it, but there is another church that is also present as well in the Christian church, the church of Laodicea. Named for an ancient city in the time of Jesus. This is the body within the church that doesn’t take the Gospel or the scripture to heart. They base their faith on emotional, self-centered, self-absorbed notions that have nothing to do with Jesus or the Word of God.
John goes on in the subsequent verses to say God would prefer that these people be hot or cold rather than ‘lukewarm’ and because they are lukewarm, he will spew them out of his mouth like vomit. These people have convinced themselves that they have had their ticket punched and they are on their way to glory. The truth is far from that.
They have crafted a graven image of God in a form in keeping with their desires and wants.
They typically fall into two camps; those who don’t believe the scripture is the inspired Word of God, and those who want to reform God into something other than what He defines himself as.
The Great I AM
Moses when he stood before the burning bush, spoke directly with God.
Then Moses asked God, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what should I tell them?”
God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.”
Exodus 3:13-14 (CSB)
We have the tendency to glaze over things we don’t fully comprehend. God’s reference to Himself as I AM, mystified me for a time. At first blush, this appears to be a glib statement by the almighty, shrugging off the bedazzled Moses.
But God wasn’t being glib, this statement underscores one of the most amazing properties of God.
If someone asks me who I am, I would respond depending on the person asking, I’m the husband of my wife, I’m a member of Crossbridge Community Church, I’m an author, or I’m the son of Mary and Ken Carter.
We identify ourselves by referencing something or someone else. We identify ourselves by a known point of reference.
When Moses asked God who he should say sent him to free the people of Israel, God answered in the most direct and clear way possible, because there was no reference point other than God himself. There was no causation to God being God, there was nothing that preceded God, and nothing is after God. In this eloquent and brief statement, God came to the point of the matter God is God. I AM WHO I AM! He was and is in the beginning. He was and is beyond the end. He has always been. He will always be. He is his own reference point. He is God!
The core issue of those who worship based on the premise of the church of Laodicea is that they do not worship the God of the Bible. Instead, they craft a personalized god of their own, whose reference point is based on their understanding or desire they want for their god.
You may have known someone who said, “God is all love and he would never punish people for bad things. God’s love and forgiveness cover all and he welcomes us with open arms of acceptance and inclusion.”
That god is a false god, an idol crafted from the imagination of the devil to provide a counterfeit image that will deceive and entrap the unwitting dupe.
The devil doesn’t blatantly counter God normally. His modus operandi is to twist the truth just enough to make his version sound convincing and pleasing to the ear. When he was working on Eve in the garden to get her to disobey God’s directive to the couple, he didn’t say “God is a liar!” Instead, he questioned Eve with, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3.1b (CSB) Planting a seed of doubt that when matured, manifested itself in doubt of what God said.
The enemy does the same with us when we provide him the opportunity. “Surely a God of Love wouldn’t harm people”; ignoring that the same God is just and holy. “God will give us anything we ask for in faith because He has promised us. If we don’t have, it is because we don’t ask, or we don’t have faith!”; totally ignoring the condition of asking within the will of God. All sins of omission and commission.
When we decide on our own that it is not appropriate to present everything to God in prayer, we deny the deity of God, by suggesting that He is uninterested, unwilling, or unable to address the multitude of issues presented to Him so we must filter our requests to Him and only present those things which we really ‘need’ His help for.
When we consider that something is trivial and we can handle it better than God can, we are saying that God is inept and incapable.
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (CSB)
When we trim portions of scripture to extract only the essence of what we desire, we put boundaries in our lives where God may not pass, and he truly is not Lord of our lives. God in a box is an idol and not the real deal.
If we refuse to surrender to His will in our lives, then we have not made Him LORD of our lives.
He is “I AM” because He always was, and always will be. Not defined by our ignorance or decrepit thinking. Defined by Him and Him alone. Our reference point to describe ourselves if we are His Children, we are the children of I AM!
In His Grace,