How Great Is Our God!
“How Great Is Our God!!”
At a recent meeting, the Elders of Evangelical Free Church-Oroville discussed the question, “What is God Like?” We were guided by chapter 2 of the book, “Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know,” by Wayne and Elliot Grudem. The discussion involved a lengthy list of attributes about the nature and identity of the God of the Bible. These things, or attributes, must be true of God and they are the things that make God, God. I made the comment that we all become like the God (god) that we worship and serve. If we worship a god who is grumpy, angry, judgmental, unstable, capricious, and even temperamental, we are going to become like him in our behavior and attitude. If however, we worship a God who is holy, just, loving, perfect, true, kind, merciful, etc., we will become like that type of God. I made the comparison between Osama Bin Laden, who worshiped an angry, vengeful, and spiteful god, and a dearly departed saint who radiated the love, mercy, joy, hope, and gentleness of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. So my question to you is: what type of God do you worship, as seen in your lifestyle? More importantly, what type of God do others see in you?
In this article, I want to explain briefly who our God is, using the acronym G-O-D. This is certainly not an exhaustive list. In fact, it is my hope that this short list stirs you to play the “alphabet game” concerning the attributes of God. Beginning with the letter “A”, list all of the words that you can think of to describe God (Almighty, awesome, etc.). This might include names for God, as well as His actions and attributes. Once you have exhausted your list on “A”, go on to “B”, “C”, etc. all the way to “Z”.
For the purposes of this article, the “G” stands for “Great”. Our God is great. He is great in His creation, great in His salvation, great in His promises, great in His character, great in His power. When we consider all that He does, all that He is, all that He promises to do, and who we are in Him, we can only exclaim, “Our God is great!” Some other attributes or words that begin with “G” to describe God would be good, gracious, glorious, and gentle.
“O” Stands for “Overcomer”. Our God is not blocked by any obstacle, be it a government, a person, a situation, or a thing. He is in control over everything, and His plan will always come to fruition, just as He desires. He is LORD and the Governor over everything in all of creation. It is a good thing that God is an Overcomer, which is another word for Victor. It means that He gets the victory always and everywhere. In Him, through our union with Christ, we also have the victory, and therefore, we are also overcomers. Some other words that begin with “O” that describe our God include Omnipotent, meaning He has all power; Omnipresent, meaning that He is equally present everywhere at all times in the universe; and Omniscient, meaning He knows all things about everything at all times.
The “D” stands for Deliverer. How blessed we are that our God is a great Deliverer. He delivers us from our sins. He delivers us from the power of death. He delivers us from times of need and danger. He delivers us from any and all threat or evil or attack of the enemy. That is not to say that we will not experience difficulty. It is to say that even in the midst of our difficulties, He is with us and is our Deliverer, both for now and for eternity. Some other words that begin with “D” that describe our God are Delightful, He is to be the joy of our hearts. Devoted, He is faithful to His Covenant children; Defender, He comes to the aid of His children; and Dignified, He is the ultimate in nobility and kingship and royalty.
In this simple article, I made an appeal for us to reflect on God as He is and who He is. I said that He is “Great – Overcomer – Deliverer.” I also included other attributes and things for us to think about as we ponder our God. Take this list and then complete your own alphabet game about who God is. I think you will be encouraged, strengthened, and deeply rewarded to have a greater appreciation of this God that we worship, and in whose presence we will spend eternity. The more we know about God, the more we will reflect Him as He is. To help stir your thinking further, I close this article with a quote from a well-known contemporary theologian, Dr. Millard Erickson.
“At what point do we expect God to be God? Frequently, it is at the point of doing what we think he should do, or of not doing what we think he should not do. It appears that some of us sometimes think that God is responsible or answerable to us. When something goes wrong, we ask, “How could God have allowed this to happen?” or “Why did this happen to me?” Yet, we must ask ourselves exactly how much we involved God in our lives prior to that time. It is as if God is supposed to be there when we want him to, doing what we want him to do, but nothing beyond that. We must ask ourselves, however, what kind of a God this would be. If we make the decisions and we give the orders, who, then, is God, and who is the servant? Perhaps what we are looking for is not a God, but an almighty servant, one who is capable of doing everything we tell him to do. But if he is able to do what we cannot, is he not God? Why should he not be the one to do the deciding, rather than ourselves?”
Millard Erickson, Does It Matter If God Exists? (Baker Books, 1996) pp. 105-106