Peter Horrobin

Founder & International Director of Ellel Ministries

What Does God Look Like?

John 1:18, ESV
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father`s side, he has made him known.”

I laugh when I remember my nine year old nephew Tommy`s first time at Sunday School. He was a little reluctant to go, and I had a difficult time trying to convince him that it would be a fun experience. It’s quite normal for both children and adults to feel a little anxious when trying new experiences, but I was intrigued by his reluctance.

With a little further questioning I discovered the problem. He exclaimed, “ Aunty Susie, what if they ask me to draw God. I don`t know what He looks like!` His concern was now out in the open and we could discuss it. I must admit that I did laugh out loud at his heartfelt concern, and had to `pull myself together` before I could relieve his fears. “Tommy, you don`t have to worry about that, because no one knows what God looks like, so your Sunday School teacher is not going to ask you to draw Him”.

Content with my answer, Tommy went to Sunday School and loved it. He is still working out what he believes about God but I’m encouraged that he’s started the journey. I suspect you are much further along on the journey of discovering who God is than my nephew, and may even have smiled at his childish understanding.

Tommy is still a child, and thus thinks and acts like a child. I found him amusing, while at the same time understood that it was an important step in his spiritual journey. None of us understand everything about God or His character overnight. It is a process and the more we seek after Him, the more we come to know Him. God is a person, and not an entity or power, so like all relationships, it takes time to get to know Him. None of us can physically `see` God on this side of eternity, but we can come to know His character in ever increasing degrees as we study the Scriptures and look at the life of Jesus. Remember that Jesus was the exact representation of God.

Over the years my perception of God has changed significantly. For a season I defined Him through my experiences, and got a very warped image of who He was and what He could do. It was a difficult time in my life, with much sadness, and I began to `see` God as someone who `held me at arms length` and was totally uninterested in my pain. I did not `see` Him as forgiving or compassionate or merciful or long suffering or `ever present` or as a loving, heavenly Father, who longed to draw me close. I repainted God according to my perceptions and He looked nothing like the true God revealed in the bible.

If your Sunday School Teacher asked you to `draw` God, in terms of His character, as you see it, how would He look? Have your perceptions warped His image and misrepresented Him, even to yourself?

God is all the things I mentioned previously, and even more than that, so why don`t you spend an extended time this week getting to know Him better. He delights revealing Himself to us as He really is, and not as we suppose He is.

Prayer: Father God, I want to know You and `see` You as You really are. Where my understanding of You is warped or misshaped, bring Your truth. I want to worship You for who You really are, and to see You clearly. In Jesus` name. Amen.

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