A.W. Tozer wrote, “The most important thing about you is what comes into your mind when you think of God”. That’s because how you perceive God affects everything about you. Counterfeit, bogus perspectives of God need to be exterminated from our thinking. We need to attack these false images of God as we would a life-threatening disease. And why is it so important to have a proper view of God? Everything else is simply idolatry.
So with that in mind, lets systematically take aim and semi-automatically blow away a few of these “false views” of God. Each of the following unbiblical ideas represents an incomplete, inaccurate or distorted picture of God’s character and what He is really like.
Counterfeit Image #1 – God the Distant Deity
He’s “out there”…somewhere, but He really doesn’t bother with humanity. You can talk about Him; you just can’t talk to Him. But Scripture Says – God isn’t distant at all, rather He is very near to us all (Deut. 4:7; Psalm 139:7-12; Acts 17:27). He created you and is as close as you allow Him to be.
Counterfeit Image #2 – God the Strict Schoolteacher
Enjoy life and God yells, ”Hey, cut it out down there! Stop having fun..or else!” He’s always frowning whenever He looks down on us. But Scripture Says – God wants us to enjoy life to the full. (Ecclesiastes 2:25; John 10:10) He is a God of great joy!
Counterfeit Image #3 – God the Punishing Policeman
Every problem you experience is a punishment for a sin you have committed. You can trace every bad circumstance back to some mistake in your life. But Scripture Says – Though God does discipline us, He isn’t looking for ways to punish us. Instead, He wants to provide a better way for us (Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 12:2). Every problem you have isn’t God “getting you back” something wrong you’ve done.
Counterfeit Image #4 – God the Generous Genie
Here, God owes us at least three wishes. We just have to know how to rub the magic “prayer lamp”…..”in Jesus name” of course. He’s the celestial Santa Claus, existing to fulfill our every whim. But Scripture Says – God doesn’t exist to serve us, but instead we exist to serve Him. Though He is giving and generous, He doesn’t cater to our every wish (James 4:3; I John 5:14-15).
Counterfeit Image #5 – God the Faceless Force
This sees God is a universal influence of good…a power, entity or energy that can take many forms. Because of this, your view of God may differ from someone else’s. But Scripture Says – God is not an “it” or a “thing”, “whatever you want Him to be”…or even different things to different people. He’s a Person who can be known in a personal way. (Isaiah 55:8-9; Numbers 23:19; John 1:18; 17:3) And He is who He says He is, not who we think He is.
Counterfeit Image #6 – God the Callous Creator
He really doesn’t care about us. It’s up to us to solve our problems, struggle through this life, and ultimately correct our mistakes and atone for our sins. But Scripture Says – God cared so much about us that He even became one of us (John 1:14; I Peter 5:7), atoning for our sins at the cross.
Can you see what’s wrong with each of these views? Do you see how they fall far short in accurately describing who the God of the Bible really is? The image of God in your mind right now greatly affects your perception of Him. And your perception of Him radically influences your relationship to Him. For example, if He’s a Punishing Policeman, you will want to hide when you make a mistake or break His law. If He’s the Callous Creator, you surely aren’t going to bring your hurts and problems to Him. That is why it is so important to have an a true, biblical image of God in your mind. It purifies your worship and maximizes your experience with Him. And isn’t that what you really want?