When I have found myself in spiritual and emotional valleys, one thing has always played a key role in helping me come victoriously out of them: meditating on the nature and characteristics of God. It was A. W. Tozer in The Pursuit of God who said, “The modern scientist has lost God amid the wonders of His world; we Christians are in real danger of losing God amid the wonders of His Word.” Tozer’s point was that it is possible to lose sight of the personhood of God as we interact with the propositions of God that comprise Scripture. Embarrassingly I confess that I have caused Tozer to be right more than once.
But when I stop using Scripture merely as fodder for sermon preparation and ingest it as nourishment for my own soul, I am confronted by more than words to define and parse; I find myself face to face with Divine Personality. And this contemplation of and communion with my God has often transported me from valleys to mountaintops. In this space over the next few weeks, I’d like to share with you some of my meditations on the personality of God.
God is good. He can be nothing else. This is not because he arbitrarily chooses to be good (and therefore could theoretically choose one day not to be good), but because goodness is the essence of his being. God can no more choose NOT to be good than water can choose not to be wet. “Good and upright is the Lord” (Psa. 25:8). “O taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psa. 34:8). “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). “I have no good apart from [God]” (Psa. 16:2).
Every good thing you have ever received; every warm embrace; every fit of wholesome laughter; every feeling of awe at a snow-capped mountain peak or starry midnight sky; every meal enjoyed; every grandchild’s smile; every thirst-quenching drink of cold water; every disciplinary test; every hour of inspiring worship; every sin forgiven; every positive experience from childhood until this moment – all are gifts from God, bequeathed not because you are good, but because he is.