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describing god?

I received the text from a brother through our MPACT Warriors military veteran support group.  The question was,  “Can you help me out brother?  What is the one word you would use to describe God?” 


How simple is that?  A word to describe my feelings toward my creator?  I picked up the phone and called my friend.  I wondered what prompted the question.  He told me of a situation in his life that he found very challenging.  After a very long time of doubt that God wasn’t answering or even listening to his prayers, The Lord reached down when least expected and gave my friend answers and more importantly, revelation.  The situation brought a tear to his eye as he asked what the word was that best describes God and His love. 


I told him I needed to think about it.  I’ve never been presented with this thought before.  I mean, I think of my earthly father, and I can rattle off several words that would apply to my dad.  Wise, brave, inspiring, loving, strict, strong, funny, etc.  But If I had to capture a word to describe my Father in heaven, where would I go?  Awesome, Almighty, Omnipotent, Authoritative, Disciplinary, Forgiving?  What word would you use?


Then I thought, “How often do I even consider who The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are in a word or two?  That’s a thought I feel is beyond me, and quite frankly, I don’t think of this question very often at all.


So, I looked to Isaiah’s first vision of God.  Remember the scene where God’s robe filled the Temple and the angels had 6 wings that covered their face and feet while they hovered in the air?  How they sang out loud, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!”  In God’s presence, these angels were in total AWE of The Father.  Imagine being in His presence, knowing how great God is and His power is so overwhelming that you can’t even look at Him.  You actually feel the need to cover yourself, then you start praising Him at the top of your lungs . . . What word or words can capture that experience?


I think of Paul’s letters urging the new church to understand grace like never before.  (Yup, you knew I’d mention grace, didn’t you?)  Through his prayers to the churches he planted, Paul always encouraged them to grow in the knowledge of what Jesus did to them through His blood and resurrection and their resulting identity.  You can almost hear the urgency in his words that these people understand that life is about JUST Jesus and nothing else.  That they can’t mix law and grace. That they understand how truly free they became the day they accepted grace through their faith alone. 


In Ephesians Paul has several prayer moments that always leave a mark on my heart. 


“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” – Ephesians 1:17-18


Wait a minute! Paul is praying that we have revelation in the knowledge of Him.  To know Him better?  That He is now living in us.  He prays that the eyes of our hearts are enlightened . . . (Our hearts have eyes?  That’s a pretty cool and powerful imagery!)  He prays we know our inheritance.  We are actually in God’s will and testament! (No lawyers needed for probate.)


“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” - Ephesians 2:4-6


He made us alive even when we WERE dead?  You mean Paul urges us to come as we are to Jesus?  In our brokenness?  His grace and nothing else saves us?  And are you telling me that upon my belief in Christ, I am immediately raised up with Christ and I’m now seated with Him?  Right then?  All because I believe in my need for Christ and the power of his blood and resurrection to save me and guarantee my eternal life?  


“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” – Ephesians 3:14-19


Did you catch that?  The power of Him in our inner being?  He wants us to grasp Him and His love that surpasses knowledge.  He wants us to know the unknowable . . . and to know that we may be filled with the fullness of God!  THE FULLNESS of HIM!  Are you kidding me? 


These prayers of hope and encouragement of the FINISHED work of the cross; the promise kept by God that we are ONE with Him, filled to the brim with Him, through our belief in our hearts and confession with our mouth that Jesus is Lord . . . These words and truth take my breath away when I absorb them.  They change my heart and mindset to walk more boldly and through His grace, walk more upright and Godlike (See Titus 2).  This awe, this power, this peace, this love, this hope, this boldness and this promise kept by God help shape the word I feel best describes God in my life . . . BREATHTAKING!


What word would you choose?

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