In his book The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer says this: “We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God.”
Think about that for a few moments. Do you think of God as distant, not really aware of what’s going on in the world? Remember the song “From a Distance,” which was popular even in Christian churches a few years ago?
According to this song, “From a distance, we all have enough and no one is in need. And there are no guns, no bombs, and no disease, no hungry mouths to feed.” From a distance, we are told, the world is in perfect harmony, everyone gets along like friends, and the world is peaceful. Further, we are told, God is watching us “from a distance,” meaning that He cannot see what’s really going on. All He sees is the peace, the harmony, the plenty. From that distance, He is unaware of any problems in the world.
Well, if that’s your idea of what God is like, then you have absolutely no reason to believe He sees your problem. That god is unaware of the pain you suffer. That god has no solution for your pain, nor does he have any reason to assume you need a solution.
Why would you consider bringing your problems, your pain, your desires to that kind of god in prayer? Why would you even consider praying to a god that far away? It’s highly unlikely he would be able to hear you, much less be motivated to intervene.
But does that image of God match what we read about Him in the Bible? Hardly! Here’s just a sampling of what the Bibles tells us about a God who knows, who cares, and who acts on our behalf.
- John 3:16 – 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 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
- Romans 5:6 – You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
- Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- Romans 8:32 – What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Back to Tozer. He warns, “The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.”
Think about your idea of God. Are your thoughts worthy of Him—who He really is? If not, spend time in His Word. Find out who He claims to be, and reflect on His amazing love for you!
Because our God is the One who:
“when the fullness of time had come,… sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God” (Galatians 4:4-7).