“Who is God?” is such a good question to ask. Have you? Have you ever really spent more than a mere moment wondering exactly who He is? Some would have you believe that we can never even begin to understand who He is and what He wants for us. So they don’t ask such questions. Nor do they bother with pondering about His nature, His personality, His traits, or His attributes. Although most people claim to believe in the existence of God, they are largely unable to provide even a simple description of who He is.
Thankfully, God wants us to know Him. The Creator and Sustainer of all, and everyone, reveals Himself to us. God’s self portrait is found in His written word… our Bible. Scripture tells us that He alone is God. He has always existed. He will never cease to exist. He is one God, in three Persons. Head hurt yet?
Easier to grasp are His attributes. He is perfect. So is His love. He is perfectly just. He is holy. He is also perfectly merciful. His wisdom is beyond measure. Best yet, He never changes. And He wants a relationship with you.
Buried with guilt? So confused you don’t know which way to turn? Try something different this time: turn your attention to Him and study the God who created you. As you open His word and read about Him, you’ll find that many of His attributes are easily identified. For your convenience, the link below provides some descriptions of God’s nature. This short listing will help you better understand who He is, and how He can help you break through the barriers that keep you from Him.
I recently had the privilege of spending the afternoon with the staff of Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church – a predominantly African American congregation that is located in an urban, lower income area in Austin. And by the way… this magnificent group of people is having an enormous impact in our hometown. Pastor Gaylon Clark is convinced that in order to solve the challenges facing the urban community they have to fix the family – and he’s made the bold choice to be proactive in that healing process. Pastor Clark and GMZ have made the decision to become the first African American congregation to fully embrace the Faith Breakthroughs process and implement these principles into the entire church culture!
While its not an easy thing to talk about, African American households must acknowledge and deal with the generational challenges passed down from history. For example, slave traders in the 18th and 19th century would often separate families – selling off the father while leaving the mother with the children. After the Emancipation Proclamation, it wasn’t as if these challenges were instantly repaired. Women had taken on the role of raising the children, and men often had multiple families in several locations. Of course, the poverty that came with the Jim Crow laws, lack of access to quality education, and segregation in general only exacerbated the challenges. (For more information on this history, see Trained in the Fear of God by Timothy Paul Jones and Randy Stinson).
Walls are unhealthy mindsets, and they originate in a misunderstanding of who God is. When we remember that the primary place we first comprehend the nature of God is from our homes – and especially from our fathers – it is no wonder that we’re now facing a family crisis of epidemic proportions in the African American community.
… But I have great news: God’s way still works – and every home from any background can overcome the spiritual walls they faith by standing on God’s promises. I’m convinced that Greater Mount Zion is going to be a shining beacon to others of how that healing can take place. And I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store!