Learning who God is should influence your entire life


Understanding who God is lays the foundation for everything you do in life. This knowledge explains what happens to you and guides every major decision you'll ever make.

That's not an exaggeration. It's simple: You're either a follower of Jesus Christ or you're not. Followers enjoy incredible privileges, but we also have responsibilities.

It's crucial that you have an accurate picture of God. Even veteran Christians can have an incorrect understanding of the Lord, based on ideas from popular culture rather than reliable sources.

The most neglected source of information

The best source of information about who God is comes from the Bible, his love letter to humanity.

In this living Word, God reveals himself to you. He shows how he thinks, what he desires, what pleases him and what offends him.


I will grant you this: the Bible can be tough reading, if you don't have a study Bible. Without footnotes to explain what you're reading, you'll just have to guess, and that can be dangerous.

My personal favorite is the Life Application Study Bible. The footnotes and articles in it relate the Bible to the real world. As you apply the verses to your everyday life, you begin to get a true picture of who God is.

Another excellent study Bible is the ESV (English Standard Version) Study Bible. Its footnotes and articles explain the background and cultural concepts that round out the Bible text. It's more complex than the Life Application Study Bible but provides details serious Bible students want to know.

The difference between reading a regular Bible and a study Bible is like the difference between watching a movie on a tiny black and white TV or seeing it on a wraparound iMax screen in breathtaking color and sound.

Wrong ideas of who God is


There are many popular ideas of who God is but they usually have nothing to do with the truth. Here is who God is not:

  • God is not the Earth. The earth is one of his creations. If you worship the Earth, you're worshiping a giant ball of dirt. That's idolatry. God is not the Sun, as many ancient cultures believed. God created the Sun so life can thrive on Earth, but it's just a ball of burning gas.
  • God is not made up of rocks, trees, people, and animals. That's pantheism, an ancient belief that fails to separate the Creator from his creations. A rock is composed of minerals. It is nonliving. It doesn't have a soul. It's not part of God.
  • God is not an impersonal energy, like electricity. God is not "The Force," as proposed by the Star Wars movies. Neither is he The Universe or Cosmic Consciousness or some vague term used in New Age books.
  • God is not our servant. Don't let "name-it-and-claim-it" Prosperity Gospel preachers tell you otherwise. God is not obligated to fulfill our every desire because we follow their concocted prayer formula. God is not a vending machine. You don't put in the right formula prayers and your goodies come out. The Bible does not teach that, and these shysters are twisting it if they say it does.

According to him, here's who God is

Okay, now that we know who God isn't, then who is he? God isn't secretive about himself. He tells us exactly who he is in the Bible. Here are just a few of his truths about himself, from him, not me:

  • He is a loving father. No matter what your relationship with your earthly father has been like, God is a father you can always count on for love, understanding, and acceptance. Jesus continually called God his father and commanded us to do so too. We never get too old for the love and guidance of this perfect father.
  • He is always forgiving. We don't need to worry about committing the unforgivable sin, because our Father is always eager to take us back. If you don't believe that, you need to re-read the parable of The Prodigal Son.
  • He is all-powerful. The Bible tells us God created the universe and that all things are possible to him. That's good to remember when we're facing a hard problem and need God's help to get through it. He also has an eternal perspective, so he can see how things will turn out. Combine that omnipotence with love and you get a protector you can count on, no matter what.
  • He has your best interests at heart. We don't understand the bad things that happen to us, or why God allows them, but we know that things will work out in the end. The end means that we will share eternal life and love with him in heaven. Our time on earth is but an eyeblink compared with eternity with God.
  • Jesus Christ is God. Several times in the Bible, Jesus said he and the Father are one, anyone who has seen him has seen the Father, and that he is the Son of God. If you have trouble relating to a heavenly Father, study the life and words of Jesus in the Gospels. He willingly died to free you from your sins, so you can enjoy life with him in heaven.

Okay, now what do you do with this?

How do you, as a single person, apply this to your life?

First, realize God is always pursuing you. He wants you to know him better. He desires a closeness with you that is unlike any relationship you have with anyone else.

Second, as you explore this relationship, you will learn things about both yourself and God. He will reveal your true motivations to you and gently guide you toward holiness.


Third, this spiritual wisdom helps you put everything else into perspective. You begin to measure things by God's standards, not the world's, and not even your own. What used to seem important tends to fade back. You become more discerning. You see more clearly. You cut through the fog and get to the truth.

Those sound like far-fetched claims, but I've experienced them in my own life. It's all about God. It's not about us.

Find out for yourself. Go to the source, the Bible. It will show you the answer to the question of who God is.

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