How do you imagine God?
Is He an old man sitting upon a heavenly throne, unmoved by the affairs of our world? Is He a soft-hearted lamb, concerned only with peace, love, and harmony? Is he a wrathful father, writhing in judgement over the crimes of humanity? Take a moment to examine your thoughts.
Now, imagine your relationship with God.
Are you important to him? Does he care about your day? Does it matter that you have ignored? Does it matter that you’ve welcomed him? Take a moment to examine your thoughts.
Here we find an overwhelming truth: How we picture God, and our relationship with him has a profound effect on our spiritual health. If my God is uncaring and ignores me, then I become uncaring and ignore others. If my God is ready to condemn me at the slightest failure, then I condemn others when they fail. There’s an old saying, “you are what you eat,” but more truthfully, you are what you worship. Humans are designed to reflect the divine (Gen. 1-2). But as sinners we are bent to reflect our own insidious desires and the corruptible idols we worship. It is this sinful persuasion that mars our picture of God and prevents us from becoming spiritually healthy.
So now we understand two important truths: a) we are what we worship, and b) what we worship is often a corrupted picture of ourselves and God. So how do we arrive at a true picture of God? And how can reflect that picture of God in a healthy manner?
It is the Sunday School answer, the Christian cliché, the obvious, plan-to-see, in-your-face solution. But this is where so many of us falter in our spiritual journey. This is where so many of us count our possessions and walk away sad. Jesus asks so much of us, even more, he asks us to surrender the belief that we can solve our issues with strength of will and determination. It is time we put aside our pride and admit, “yes, Jesus is the only answer to the deficiencies in my spiritual health.” It is time to acknowledge that our portraits of God are more often fashioned by a mixture of pop-Christianity, secular media, and impersonal deism than by the raw, humble, and merciful portrait of God in the person of Jesus Christ.
As we begin our walk towards greater spiritual health, we’re going to explore Jesus in an unadulterated way. If Jesus is truly the face of God, then knowing him will help us reflect God in our lives, which will help us grow heathier in our spiritual formation.
Read Colossians 1:15-23 as you meditate on who God is:
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a] your evil behaviour. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.