This week's 'thought' comes to you from A. W. Tozer. It is found in his book, "The Root of the Righteous," and deals with a correct vs. an incorrect view of God, and the heavy toll one pays in the soul when they hold onto an incorrect concept of God. I trust you may find his thoughts helpful! Enjoy.
"Satan's first attack on the human race was his sly effort to destroy Eve's confidence in the kindness of God. Unfortunately for her and for us he succeeded too well... Nothing twists and deforms the soul more than a low or unworthy conception of God... To a Pharisee (for instance), the service of God was a bondage which he did not love but from which he could not escape without a loss too great to bear (Luke 15:29). The God of the Pharisee was not a God easy to live with, so his religion became grim and hard and loveless. It had to be so, for our notion of God must always determine the quality of our religion.
Much Christianity since the days of Christ's flesh has also been grim and severe. And the cause has been the same--an unworthy or an inadequate view of God. Instinctively we try to be like our God, and if He is conceived to be stern and exacting, so will we ourselves be. From failure to properly understand God comes a world of unhappiness among good Christians even today.
For many the Christian life is thought to be a glum, unrelieved cross-carrying under the eye of a stern Father who is austere, peevish, highly temperamental and extremely hard to please. The kind of life which springs out of such libelous notions must of necessity be but a parody on the true life in Christ. This is why it is so important to our spiritual welfare that we always hold in our minds a right conception of God. If we think of Him as cold and exacting we shall find it impossible to love him, and our lives will be ridden with servile fear. If, again, we hold Him to be kind and understanding our whole inner life will mirror that idea.
The truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and His service one of unspeakable pleasure. He is all love, and those who trust Him need never know anything but that love. He is just indeed, and He will not condone sin; but through the blood of the everlasting covenant He is able to act toward us as if we had never sinned. Toward the trusting sons of men His mercy will always triumph over justice.
The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul. He is not sensitive nor selfish nor temperamental. What He is today we shall find Him tomorrow and the next day and the next year... Unfortunately, many Christians cannot get free from their perverted notions of God, and these notions poison their hearts and destroy their inward freedom. These friends serve God grimly, as the elder brother did, doing what is right without enthusiasm and without joy, and seem altogether unable to understand the buoyant, spirited celebration when the prodigal comes home. Their idea of God rules out the possibility of His being happy in His people...
How good it would be if we could learn that God is easy to live with. He remembers our frame and knows we are but dust. He may sometimes chasten us, it is true, but even this He does with a smile, the proud, tender smile of a Father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect but promising son who is coming every day to look more and more like the One whose child he is.
Some of us are religiously jumpy and self-conscious because we know that God sees our every thought and is acquainted with all our ways. We need not be. God is the sum of all patience and the essence of kindly good will. We will please Him most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections, and believing that He understands everything and loves us still."
I guess we can all consider ourselves to have had the Gospel preached to us once again!