The Nature of God

Where did God come from? Your notion God and His origins is directly linked to whether you are a Natural Person or a Divine Person, which I discussed in a recent post. So, what is your idea of God’s origins?

Who Created Who?

God is either a real, divine being who created us, or a concept which was created by us. Either God is the creator of man or man is the creator of God. Which is it for you?

Evolutionary, naturalistically minded people have come up with the idea that God is merely a religious concept which evolved during the course of human society. This concept is a much celebrated idea and you can find discourses about the emergence of the god concept in various societies. Those who reject God’s reality love to mock Him by promoting the idea that He is not real. They make up nice scenarios about how mankind needed something to believe in and how man improved upon his ideas over time.

The Evolution of God

Some people suggest that the idea of God evolved over millennia, from primitive to more highly developed concepts. They suggest that early notions of the divine involved the worship of natural entities, such as the sun. This was the ascribing of divine worth to merely natural things.

The evolutionary story goes that over time people came up with a multiplicity of gods, in various hierarchies. Mythical stories were supposedly created to give mystery and divine qualities to these re-branded natural phenomena.

Then, as these ‘experts’ point out, the notion of a suite of gods, such as the Egyptians and Greeks embraced, was refined into the idea of one significant deity. Thus monotheism is purported to be an evolutionary outcome of earlier, polytheistic ideas.

The Delusion Collapses

The Bible stands in stark opposition to these empty evolutionary ideas. Despite many attempts to portray the Bible as a late work which fits the evolutionary theory, it persists in proving its antiquity and its authority as a divinely inspired writing, independent of the natural thinking of the cultures around it. The Bible declares God as a monotheist entity, right from the beginning, some 6,000 years ago. God was persistently worshipped as the ‘one true God’ throughout that entire span of history.

While the Egyptians and Greeks toyed with their own notions of polytheism, the people of God, who knew Him and His power, already possessed the revelation of God for what He is.

The Bible Testimony

Consider the very first few words of the Bible. “In the beginning God created”, Genesis 1:1.

From the very beginning there was a God who brought all else into being. God created. God was not created by man, but God created mankind and everything else. Man did not evolve, and neither did God. God created man, and man did not create God.

Natural or Divine

Natural man rejects the God of the Bible and mounts a passing parade or short-lived ideas to justify his rejection of the God he does not want to be accountable to. Thus we have the blasphemous idea that God is just a concept evolved in man’s consciousness.

Divine man accepts the revelation of God given in the Bible. He finds that revelation cogent, uplifting, life-transforming and exciting. It does not compromise what he knows or experiences. Rather it fulfils and answers questions that cannot be addressed from the shallow perspective of the natural mind.

I challenge you to stand before Almighty God, as His created being, and connect to your eternal reality. There is so much to be gained from that encounter and the journey which springs from it. There is so much to enjoy in the relationship which God gives you, through His Son Jesus Christ.

There is an awesome God who knows you and loves you profoundly. He is waiting to transform your natural existence, charging it with divine realities and experiences that will thrill your soul and resonate within you for eternity.

Discover the God who is. Discover your creator. Discover Him and you discover who and what you are for the very first time.

Staying Under Command

Westerners have little grip on authority. Most westerners don’t have authority, because they are not under authority. Most westerners have violated their right to rule by refusing to be ruled. Of course they are ruled, or indeed dominated, but their spirit is one of insubordination and independence. So they have lost the right to rule.

This is profoundly significant for the menfolk of the west. They are the ones who are supposed to lead, as the head of their home. Yet they cannot take that lead, since they know nothing of true headship and authority. Their challenge is to stay under command.

I want to help you learn how to do that, so here’s an analogy I recently used to illustrate this principle.

The Chain of Command

Before we dig into my illustration let me remind you how God has set up the command structure. God has created an hierarchical authority structure for us to operate within. God is the head of that structure. The next in command is Christ. So God, as Almighty God and as the Son of God, Jesus Christ, occupies the two top positions in the hierarchy. Husbands are given a place of authority directly under Christ. Wives are given a place directly under their husband.

Husbands, then, have a pretty awesome place of authority. They are directly answerable to Jesus Christ. Imagine being directly answerable to the Prime Minister or President of your country. That’s the place of authority husbands have in God’s scheme of things. That’s a pretty elevated place of responsibility and authority.

Abusing the Boss

Imagine being directly answerable to the leader of your nation, and then taking orders from someone else. When you begin taking orders from someone other than your boss you are abusing the boss. You mock the authority of the boss because you do not revere and respect it. You stop being under that authority and so negate the delegated authority given to you.

Every time you let someone change the orders your boss gave you the effect is that of mocking your boss and demeaning the boss’s authority. What does it say about your boss, when you let some person off the street tell you what to do? You are lowering the authority of the boss to being no more significant than that of a stranger or some person with no authority.

Stay Under Command

The most important thing for a person to do is to stay under command. This is especially so if you have been given the privilege of direct access to someone of high authority. You certainly would not want to violate that authority and lose your place under it. You want to remain in direct line of command from the highest officer possible.

To do that you must honour your boss. You must be diligent to faithfully fulfil the wishes and instructions of the boss, so he is pleased with you and retains you in the position of authority he has assigned you.

This is equally as important for husbands as the head of their home. If a man disregards the lordship of God and Christ in his life he loses the effective authority that has been delegated to him. He ends up with a wife and children who have no regard for his leadership and headship, since he has no regard for Christ’s headship over him.

The Challenge

Many men are already starting from a lost position. They have to regain their authority in a context where their wife rules them and their children ignore them. This is a pretty hefty challenge, but it is one that can be met. God is the one who assigned men their authority and so when men move into it they do have God’s backing.

The question I get asked from time to time is about actually activating that authority, especially in a context where it has never been exercised before. That is where this Soldier analogy came from. I hope you find it helpful.

Soldier to Soldier

Imagine two platoons of soldiers from different armies working together in a battle zone against a common enemy. Each group is kitted out with their issue of uniform and equipment. The soldiers from the two armies mix together, but are under the direct command of their platoon leader.

A soldier from one army advises a soldier from the other nation that the way he carries his ammunition belt is not right. One army wears the belt around the waste and the other slings it over the shoulder. The solder being told what to do by the other soldier has to decide what to do.

He can take the advice of the other soldier. If he does so, he is stepping outside the instructions given him by his own army command. The kit which he is issued and trained to use is to be utilised as instructed. If he rejects his own command he makes himself subservient to a mere soldier from a different nation. He is acting outside his chain of command.

However, the suggestion may be a good one. So, could he not follow the instruction if it strikes him as a good idea? The answer is, No! He must operate within the chain of command and stay under the authority of his commanding officer.

What to Do?

What he can do is go to his commanding officer and ask for permission to wear his kit in a different manner to what is prescribed. The commanding officer may happily give him leave to do so. It may not be a significant matter. The officer may allow the soldier to do what he thinks best. Or there may be good reason why the prescribed wearing of the kit has to be maintained.

By respecting the command of his own platoon leaders the soldier is staying in a place of authority. That authority protects him and also empowers him with delegated authority.

The Point

The point of this illustration is to convey the concept of authority to people who have little practical experience in living under God’s authority. The next issue is how to practically apply authority and headship into a home where it has been absent. I’ll tackle that question in a future post about Regaining Domestic Authority.

God and Abundance

Here’s some more proof that God is a God of Abundance. God is not stingy and He doesn’t run the world on a limited budget. And this world is not built on limited resources, where the more you get the less everyone else gets. God has created a win-win universe, filled with superfluous abundance.

In Jesus’ earthly ministry He personally displayed God’s love for abundance. So I’m pressing this truth onto you once more, to push you toward a larger faith horizon than might come naturally to you.

Are you ready?

Jesus and Abundance

On one occasion Jesus had His disciples perform an amazing miracle, feeding 5,000 people with a boy’s lunch. There were just a few fish and a few small bread rolls. When Jesus passed these pieces to His disciples they broke off pieces to feed the huge crowd, and the food multiplied in their hands.

Now that’s already a testimony of abundance. An entire crowd was fed to the full. No-one was asked to take less than they wanted, and no-one was sent home hungry. There was plenty. No rationing was needed. Yet surely those people would all have made it home with only half a meal.

Then, to top it off, they collected a super-abundant supply of left-overs and end up with twelve baskets of food! What a crazy abundance problem! If we could see one small lunch become 12 baskets full we’d be pretty impressed. But this was after 5,000 men and their families were fed.

Why didn’t Jesus measure the miracle to be just enough? Why this superlative supply? Isn’t that a bit wasteful? Would you organise a miracle that created such a huge pile of left-overs?

An Abundant God

It’s all about “abundance”! God is a God of abundance. God is not trying to stretch meagre resources. God already created an abundance of variety and an abundance of productivity in just about everything He made. We don’t need the diversity of colour, design, sound, shape and variety which God has given us. We appreciate it, but we’d all survive with less of it all. But God is a God of Abundance.

Jesus, as God’s Son, doing what He was directed to do by God, created abundance. That’s because abundance is in God’s nature.

Another Example from Jesus

On one occasion Jesus directed Peter and the others who were fishing with him to drop their nets down for a catch. The catch was immense. It was far more than they needed. They almost sank the boats trying to handle the sheer volume of the haul.

God doesn’t have to be sparing in His blessings to you. He generously gives us magnificent sunsets, a sky that stretches beyond our sight and superlative supply of all we could ever want. It’s in His DNA (in a manner of speaking). God has “abundance” built into His very nature.

An Old Testament Example

A widow once called on Elisha for help. She needed money. All she had was a small bottle of oil. The prophet told her to gather all the containers she could get her hands on and then fill them from the tiny bottle. The oil just kept pouring out of that small bottle until everything was full and they couldn’t find another container to put oil into.

If that widow had been able to get twice as many containers, she could have had twice as much oil. God was ready to give her as much as she could contain. The oil was then sold to pay the debt and to fund the rest of her life.

What About that Wine?

Remember the time Jesus turned water into wine. It was Jesus’ first miracle. He turned huge pots of water into pots of wine. And when the wine was tested it was found to be the very best wine!

Surely an average type of wine would have done the job. Surely a smaller quantity would have been sufficient. Surely they could have survived even if they ran out of wine. This isn’t a life or death issue.

Yet here we see Jesus providing an abundance of the best. No scrimping. No economising. Instead we have simple and wonderful abundance.

What About You?

What are your needs? What are you asking God for? Can you believe God for an abundance of good things for you?

I encourage you to stir your faith to believe God for more. Ask Him for more than you’ve asked Him for before. Don’t set your sights on survival. It is the father’s good pleasure to give you more than you could ask for.

Consider These Verses

Look at the notion of abundance and free gifts in these Bible verses.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” Ephesians 3:20

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

“Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, will men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure out it will be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32

“But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1Corinthians 15:57

“That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:7

I pray that your faith be stirred to reach out for the Abundance that God has already prepared for you.

God Loves Abundance

“The heavens declare the glory of God” Psalm 19:1

One of the striking testimonies of who God is and how He does business with us has been on display since creation, yet it is often overlooked by heathen and Christian alike. The heavens declare the glory of God and who whole of creation is an exhibition of God’s character and qualities. That display is so ubiquitous and compelling that mankind has no excuse for denying the existence and character of God.

“That which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has shown it to them. For the invisible things of him are clearly seen from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” Romans 1:19,20

God’s Attributes on Display

The vastness of space and the intricacies of miniature design combine with the whole of creation to testify to God’s attributes. God is supreme in His power. God is awesome in His design capabilities. God is profound in His scope and dimension. God is vast in His sovereignty. God is compassionate, as seen in His devotion of so much diversity just for human enjoyment. God is perfect, as seen by the incomprehensible complexity which works with such perpetual effectiveness.

With such profound evidence on display for everyone to encounter, throughout time and across the globe, no person has any excuse for refusing to believe in God, or rejecting the revelation of God given in the Bible.

The Attribute of Abundance

Years ago I was struck by the evidence of God’s delight in ‘abundance’. I had not been taught to think of God as a God of Abundance, so it surprised me to realise this quality. It came to my attention that I had been to remote locations where entire hillsides were radiant in blossom, yet hardly anyone was there to enjoy the sight. Magnificent sunsets are on display to empty oceans or remote mountain locations. Enchanting bird songs fill the air in places where no-one hears them sing. Fruit flourishes on trees where no-one picks the fruit.

I recalled many such observations from my youth. I once walked a track in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, and came across a passionfruit vine. Some hiker had dropped seed, possibly years before. Now passionfruit tendrils trailed across the ferns and foliage with huge blossoms waiting to form the delicious and tangy fruit. I stopped and scanned the scene, tracing the vines as they ran in various directions, across dense undergrowth. I pointed out the vine to another hiker who couldn’t have cared less. Most walkers on this track were focussed on getting to their objective, not noticing the fruit that was possibly only a few paces away. We did not have time to stop and gather fruit, so I passed on, remembering an abundance that was going to waste.

God Creates Abundance

God revels in abundance and creates it with abandon. How many different shapes of flower would have been sufficient to cater for man’s existence? Probably very few. Yet God made an abundance of shapes, sizes, colours, fragrances and delights in the floral world. God created that abundance for our pleasure. There is no real reason for it otherwise.

How many seeds or grains come from wheat, or an apple tree? There is super-abundance. If the objective was simply to ensure survival of the species, then just one or two grains or seeds would be sufficient. But there is a superfluity. Abundance comes in such measure that we can take an abundance for ourselves and there is still sufficient for the plants and species to survive.

Abundance Prompts Faith

Recognition of God’s commitment to abundance reveals His character. God is a “giving” God. He gives to us nothing less than ‘abundance’. God gives to us superlatively. He not only meets our needs, but throws in many extra hand-fulls – not our hands, but His huge hands, full of superfluous supply.

Just how much sky do you need? Just how many colours do we really need to see? Just how many different flavours would be enough to keep us alive? What if everything felt exactly the same and there were no sensations of texture?

God revels in abundance. That’s His character. The creation reveals, from day one, that God is a God of abundance. And that abundance is for man’s delight. So God is ready to give us ‘abundance’. God has proven His willingness to give us more than we need. He has proven that He is not looking for our survival but to delight and thrill us with His provision.

That’s a real kicker for faith. That should stir you to increased boldness before the throne of Grace. You should have increased excitement about how God will supply all your needs. He doesn’t do it according to the minimum required to have you survive until tomorrow. He meets your needs according to His riches in glory.

“But my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Allow me to introduce you to your God, the God of all eternity. Allow me to introduce you to your creator and reveal to you that He is a God of Abundance. I encourage you to come to your God, and to press in to Him for the abundance that He wants to give you.

Little One Beginning Soon

I’m starting a series of posts which I am titling “Little One”. They are attempts to put in words the thinking that goes with effective parenting. People absorb things by many and varied means and so I need to find diverse ways to help parents get an effective grip on their life calling.

Little One is going to be a series of talks to a child. The intention (which we will see if I can fulfil) is to put in words what a good parent would wish to say to their child. You may even wish to say some of these things once you have read them. Or you may simply find that these little pep-talks prompt you to think through some of the issues involved. However you find them helpful they are my gift to you, as an encouragement and assistance to greater effectiveness.

Your feedback on how these are going or could be improved will be appreciated. If there are situations you would like to see addressed in this format then please drop me a line and make your suggestions.

Come to me my Little One
And take some time out from your fun.
Let me hold you very near
And tell you “you are very dear”.
Listen as I make things plain
And talk of happiness and pain
So you can see what God has done
And you can be His Little One.
Chris Field July 2008