It is What It Is (Discovering the true character of God…because He is not a car-wrecking, cancer causing Creator, but a loving, life giving Lord!) part 35

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Over the last number of months we have shared with you our key verse for this series found in Hebrews 11:6, “For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

From there we shared three very important takeaways:

  1. Notice the word “cometh”.  The Greek tense for the word “cometh” is in the continual tense, meaning it is discussing those who continually come to God.  It could read “those that cometh and cometh and cometh to God”.  It describes a continual, communicative relationship.
  2. When we continually come to God, we must believe that “He IS”…not He was or He will be.  That describes a vast majority of the Body of Christ.  “God did a miracle in Biblical days” or “One day when we all get to Heaven, He will heal then.”  God is not the Great I was or the Great I will be…He IS the Great I AM!
  3. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Now we’ve left behind three quarters of the Body of Christ.  Most don’t believe He is a rewarder…most believe He is a taker!

Then we gave you 4 View Verifications:

  1. How you view Him will determine how much you come to Him.
  2. How you view Him is how you will treat others.  In other words, if you think He’s mad at you, it will be very difficult for you to treat others kindly.
  3. How you view Him will determine your outlook on life.
  4. How you view Him will determine your destiny.

Then we began to discuss 11 Characteristics concerning the Character of God:

  1. You can’t create God in your own image (Rom. 1:25).  
  2. Heaven yes…Hell no!
  3. Sin ruins the view
  4.  Will the real God please stand up?  (John 10:10)
  5.  The weather outside is frightful (Rom. 8:19-23, Matt. 24:1-8)
  6. Who’s in charge here?  (II Cor. 4:4, Luke 4:6)
  7. Stupid is as stupid does (James 1:13-17).  

Let’s review this Scripture:

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.  Do not err, my beloved brethren.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Last month we broke down these powerful verses for you.  We noticed in verse 13 you see the phrase, “Let no man say.”  In the Greek language this verse is written in the strongest tense possible.  It is called the imperative tense and it’s as if Jesus is pounding the table and saying, “Let no man say!”  It’s as if Jesus, by the foreknowledge of the Holy Spirit, was anticipating today’s generation that accuses our God of testing with evil!  

Then we noticed the phrase “tempted of God” and that little word “of”.  We learned that this is the Greek word “apo” which connotes an indirect action.  If it was a direct action the Greek word used would have been “hupo”.  We learned that this tells us something very important.

Many Christians will concede that God didn’t directly cause evil but they will say He indirectly allowed it to teach us something.  However because James by the Holy Spirit used the word “apo”, this verse is telling us strongly that God does not directly or even indirectly cause evil!  

We then learned that God will only test us with good, never with evil.  We must remember that there are two tests we must pass in life…the adversity test and the prosperity test.  The adversity test comes from the devil and must be resisted (see James 4:7).  The prosperity test comes from God and must be accepted.

We learned that the Bible tells us, “In my prosperity I shall not be moved” (see Psalm 30:6).  You see, even though prosperity comes from God, prosperity has a tendency to lessen our dependency.  When we have very little, we are totally dependent on God for our sustenance.  When we have much it is easier to depend on our finances instead of our Father!

Now we can jump into new territory – You might be thinking:

“Well then maybe God would take away our prosperity so we would depend on Him.”  It’s like I heard a Christian say on national television who had just returned from an impoverished country, “There is nothing so special as a man who has nothing but His dependence on God.”  Now this statement comes from a pure heart and sounds very spiritual, but it is simply not Biblically accurate.

In the Book of Genesis, God didn’t create man with nothing so he would depend on Him.  That is simply one step above communism.  God created man with everything and gave man options.  If man chooses God because he wants to, then God has what He has always desired…a relationship with man.  If man picks God because He has to, then God has a dictatorship with man!  

Think of it this way.  If there was a nuclear holocaust and my wife Anne was the only woman left on earth.  If I was supposed to re-populate the earth and I picked Anne, she wouldn’t feel very special.  If she was my only option and I picked her, this would not create the best of relationships.  However, if there were many options and I still picked her…then let the relationship begin!

In verse 14, notice where the temptation truly comes from when we are “enticed with our own lust.”   Notice it’s not even the devil who entices us.  Remember this:  I believe the devil could retire and leave us to our own choices and still do pretty well!  I believe he sees some of our own choices and actually is inspired!  “I never thought of that one!” the devil might say.  “I’m going to try that one out on the next human being I see!”

Join us next week as we continue in this series…

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