In our world today, it is becoming increasingly harder to find people who can think critically about the issues of the day. We are each swayed by our emotions, the things we see on TV or in films, and even by our own thought life. The way we view God (or think about Him) says a lot about how we view the world. Do we see God through the lens of Scripture or have we created an image (idol) of God based on our own perceptions or assumptions we have about God. How does this “image” of God affect our theology and ultimately our worldview??? Does thought play a role in shaping our theology?
Theology defined is the study of God. In order for any study (-ology) to be valid it must have an object, concept, or theory on which to base this study. My oldest daughter is graduating from High School this May. She plans to study Marine Biology. In order for this discipline to be learned and practiced she must be near a body of water large enough to give her plenty of specimens to study. She plans to go to school in Florida, which is the perfect place for her to embark on this journey of discovery. It would not do her any good if she planned to go to a northern, landlocked State University to study Marine Biology. She could learn everything she needs to learn from books, but never really have any hands-on experience to help solidify her studies. The same is true of us when we try to develop a theology apart from having a strong, and vibrant relationship with Christ. If the relationship is not there, we tend to base our knowledge of God based on what we have heard or read about him. While these things are good and give us a picture of who God is, it falls short of the revelation that wants to share with us.
Our theology will only be strengthened if we truly study, worship, and follow the God of the Bible. We cannot create a god created in our image. We must worship the Image Bearer. We need to take time to read the scripture on a daily basis, pray, and spend quality time with God to get a clearer understanding of who He is. We must filter our view of God through the lens of Scripture. We cannot take it upon ourselves to “think” God is something that He is not or to “think” that He wants us to do something that He does not intend for us to do. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to “lead us in to all truth”. The Holy Spirit will confirm and remind us of what God has put in our hearts as we study and meditate on the Bible. God is no open to our personal interpretation. He is not validated by what we think of Him. He is God. He is Holy, Just, and Merciful. If we are going to be called by his name (Christ Follower), we have to know who we are following. So do not let your thoughts and feelings determine your theology, but let your theology shape and define your life. Let it guide, shape, and drive your worldview. We must get this right. There is too much at stake for us to be lazy when it comes to our knowledge of God. The world is struggling to even believe that God exists, much less believe He can guide their lives. We are God’s mouthpieces to a broken world. We must speak and share the truth. We must introduce the world to the God we know, but we first have to know him ourselves. Take some time this week and earnestly seek God. Put all those past images or views of God out of your mind and open your eyes to see God for who he really is. You might be surprised. It could change your world!!!