Reclaim Your Supernatural Kingdom Identity – Who is God (Part 1)
Hello, and welcome to the first video in the “Reclaim Your Supernatural Kingdom Identity” series. I’m Randy Crane, from Leaving Conformity Coaching.
Who Is God? Why do we even need to start with this question? Well , I’d like to share two quotes with you by way of explanation:
Dr. R.C. Sproul said, “The greatest need in people’s lives today is to discover the true identity of God.”
J. I. Packer says this about the importance of having a clear understanding of Who God is: “Knowing about God is crucially important for the living of our lives . . . Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfold[ed] as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.”
Well, doesn’t that sound like fun?
So, who is God? When you think of God, what He is like, His characteristics, what do you think of? Don’t worry about the Sunday School answer, or what you think the right answer is. What really comes to mind?
When you think about God, what do you think of? Is He…
- Our Help
All great answers. But what else? A lot of people have a different list; maybe you’re one of those people. You may have never admitted them to anybody, but if you think about how you really relate to God, they are there. Things like:
- Always displeased with you
Of course, you never give those answers in public—you may not even want to admit them to yourself. But what they all say in one way or another is, “God would never—could never—love me. Whatever I may be ‘supposed’ to believe, I’m in this alone.” Maybe all day, every day is like this, maybe just some parts of some days, but it’s there. That may express itself in workaholism, overeating, depression, overachieving, shame, or any of a host of other ways. But they all come back to this place, right here. What do you truly believe about God?
If you’ve struggled with your identity, with prayer, with reading the Bible, with knowing God’s will, with healthy relationships, then you need to carefully consider which of those lists you’re living like it’s true.
For the rest of this video, and in the next one, we’re going to take a brief closer look at some of God’s characteristics—His real ones. What I’ll call 7 relational ones and 4 transcendent ones. Both sets are important. The ones I want to focus on today are the ones that most often give people comfort, reassurance, strength, and peace. I pray they do the same for you.
- You can trust Him, rely on Him. You can totally depend on Him. He will do what He says. He is constant and does not change.
- How has God been there for you in the past? In what ways have you seen His hand in your life? What about in the lives of those around you, or even people in history—including the Bible? The same God who did that is at work now. You can still trust Him.
- If you see God as untrustworthy, cling to this character trait to reminder yourself that he isn’t. Study and meditate on the Scriptures that talk about His faithfulness. Be reassured and strengthened by that.
- “But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15)
- “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (1 Corinthians 1:9)
- Jesus died for you, and for me, so that our sins can be forgiven. We’ve all fallen short. No one is perfect 100% of the time in every possible way. That sin created a barrier that separated us from God, but Jesus came to break down that wall.
- Of course, that doesn’t mean we get to live our lives however we want to, because we know God will forgive us. But it does mean that we don’t have to continually feel guilty and beat ourselves up for what we’ve done, said, and thought. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.
- “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:11-12)
- Does “good” always mean that life will always go smoothly for you and you’ll always experience abundance and blessing in exactly the way you expect or think you should have them?
- No, but it does mean that God doesn’t enjoy your suffering or your struggles. He’s not sitting up in Heaven just waiting for you to mess up so he can punish you.
- Now, sometimes He allows situations or trials in our lives to teach us something, or to discipline us—as the most incredibly loving Father ever would discipline His child. But He sees far beyond what we can and knows far more. He will not allow anything in your life that will not be for your ultimate good, and, more importantly, His glory.
- “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Psalms 107:1).
- “How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.” (Psalms 31:19).
- To be gracious means to show kindness, or to favor. As Millard Erickson says, “God deals with his people not on the basis of their merit or worthiness, what they deserve, but simply according to their need; in other words, he deals with them on the basis of his goodness and generosity.”
- A good parent provides food, clothing, and shelter to their children, not because the child earns them, but because her parents know she needs them. They also give good gifts out of love. God does the same thing for you, even when you don’t recognize or acknowledge it.
- Grace is God doing for, in, and through you what you can’t do on your own. Once you’ve received grace, and you know it, then you serve God with gladness. Lacking joy in serving Him, how’s your awareness of His grace to you?
- “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:4-9)
- We have sinned against God, and the wages of sin is death. Mercy means we don’t get what we so justly deserve.
- Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. Mercy is not getting what we do deserve.
- Think of how much mercy God has given you. We’ve miraculously avoided accidents we deserved due to reckless, inattentive, even drunk driving. We’ve had relationships restored, or even undamaged, in spite of the way we’ve treated other people. And so much more. This is God’s mercy at work.
- “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)
- Our Help
- Help means to do for someone what he or she cannot do for himself or herself. This is you being stuck on a ride at Disneyland and a Cast Member coming to “rescue” and taking you safely out, knowing the way and helping you through a place you can’t navigate on your own. This idea of “help” forms a foundational biblical doctrine, that man is not self-sufficient, but in the final analysis requires help from beyond themselves. Your ultimate Helper is God Himself, doing for you what you cannot do for yourself.
- “I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psa 121:1-2)
- “So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” (Heb. 13:6)
- God isn’t “out there somewhere”, or not just out there, anyway. He’s in here. He’s near to you. When you’re doing well, He’s right there with you, celebrating. When you’re struggling and suffering, He’s even closer, though it may not feel like it at the moment. It’s His promise.
- God’s presence is not only among His people but is now in His people, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
- If you see God as distant, cling to this character trait to reminder yourself that he isn’t. He is near you. Be reassured and strengthened by that.
- “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7)
- “…the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[a] in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:17-18)
- “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psa. 34:18)
- Here’s a “bonus” for today, because it wraps all of these together. What does “God is love” mean? It means He is faithful, forgiving, good, gracious, merciful, our help, and near.
- “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” That is God.
- Everything God does is loving, though at times we may not understand or see it.
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
- “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).
- “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
- “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20).
- “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:7-11)
- We love, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
It’s going to take time to really internalize this, and it will take regular, focused attention. But the value and benefit is worth far more than any time and effort, so really dig into this and cling to it daily, starting today.[/spoiler]
- Which of these 8 characteristics is the most meaningful to you?
- Which is the hardest for you to grasp?
- What is one thing you’d think, say, or do differently if you truly believed that the “hard one” is true?