Knowing the Unchanging Nature of God

Since being a slave to Christ is such a big topic, I decided to write about it again this week. So much can be learned of how to follow Jesus through scripture. There are directives, explanations of the Kingdom of God, and attributes of God presented. But there is another side as well.

God actually gives us personal instruction. He literally invites us to join him. He gives us tasks with unique invitations, he convicts us of sin, he gives us purpose and draws us into intimate relationship. Slavery to Christ is not just interpreting instructions in the text of the Bible. It is a living word, and a living relationship filled with conversation with God.

This means being a slave to Christ involves asking God what to do. If you have a decision to make at work, ask God for wisdom and courage. When you have a conflict with a friend, ask God how to deal with it. We are not left on our own in this relationship of slave to master. We are children of God who are loved by God. The relationship of father-child does not disappear in the slave-master relationship.

It is sometimes very difficult to understand the constant nature of God. Sometimes this is due to a culture giving new meaning to words, and sometimes it is due to the flawed human examples we cling to.

One might wonder how can God be both Lord and master, and our father? How is a loving father able to take on the role of master? Is not one harsh and to be feared while the other is loving and sacrificial? If you were to look at how people view the title of Father around the world, the description would look different. There would be some consistency, but probably differences as well. As believers we need to understand the nature of God not from a human perspective, but by who God says he is.

When the nature of God is revealed to us in scripture, it is who he always is. He doesn’t change from one day to the next. Change is a thing of the flesh, not of God. So when God is both Father and Master, there is no point in time when one ends and the next starts. Both relationships are happening at the same time.

Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:9-11

When God as a father gives good gifts to his children, he is also demanding our obedience. When God looks for what is best for his children’s future, it is the same master that invites us to endure the suffering of Christ. This is not an easy thing for us to understand, but important nonetheless.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
James 1:17

There is much danger in throwing aside an attribute of God. What we end up doing is creating God in a fleshly image. Instead of one who is constant, he actually becomes a God who is more an imitation of man instead of the one who created them.

Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you will remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
Psalm 102:25-27

As we look at the unchanging nature of God, we need to understand in fullness who he is. He doesn’t change from one moment to the next but remains the same. He in all instances is still lord and master, father and friend, saviour, the lord of heaven’s armies and judge (just to name a few). These are not split personalities, but the make-up of I AM.

There will always be aspects of God that are more comfortable for us. A lot of this has to do with our experiences, temperament and the culture we live in. But God is not subject to these things. His nature never changes, and we are forever discovering the fullness of who he is. We must take God for who he says he is even when we do not understand how it can coexist with other parts we already understand.

May we forever pursue greater understanding as we walk humbly and obediently with our God.

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