God is God. I’m not, and neither are you. Isn’t it comforting to know? However, sometimes we don’t really understand what that means. Before rebirth, before our new eyes begin to focus, we have a distorted view of God. It isn’t always the same for everyone, but it is always ill-conceived.

Kurt Kaiser tried to capture the misconceptions about God in his early youth musical Tell It Like It Is. Listen to the words of an early rap (chant) on the subject of God:

When I saw God he had a long white beard,

And he brings me gifts at the end of the year;

But the big one comes in the by and by

From the Santa Claus up in the sky.

From the Santa Claus up in the sky.

When I saw God he was a vending machine,

I drop in a coin and he makes the scene.

You push the right button what have you got?

Instant first aid right on the spot,

Instant first aid right on the spot.

I think of God as the great computer;

Feed him the facts, he’s the instant tutor;

he’s gotta be right, Sure it’s easy to see

Since the stars haven’t fallen into the sea.

The stars haven’t fallen into the sea.

I think of God like in a museum

Kept under glass, Where I can go see him,

It’s such a comfort to see him there

He’s near to me, and not off somewhere.

He’s near to me, and not off somewhere.

When I’m in trouble he’s like a silver lining,

Although that does seem quite confining;

For the one who cars for people like me,

Is not at all like we’ve described him to be.

He’s not at all like we’ve described him to be.

(from “What’s God Like” in Tell It Like It Is, 1969)

Some people view God as Creator, and that’s good because He is. The problem arises when we stop at His creative activity. This viewpoint sees the Maker as making and then letting go. He set the world spinning in space and then sat back to watch and see what would happen. If this were an accurate view of God, then we remove from Him His interest in creation. He really is concerned what happens to us—that’s why He sent Jesus to provide salvation for all of mankind.

Others are satisfied to treat God as if He is their personal valet or servant. We bring to Him our wants, wishes and desires, and expect Him to hop to—doing what it I tell Him to do. Choose your concept of God from Kaiser’s list—all are inadequate, and all are pre-new Creation status for the spiritually alive.

Once we have spiritual eyes, we can see God as he really is and we are forced into the stance of Isaiah:

1In the year thatKing Uzziah died Isaw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the trainof his robe filled the temple. 2Above him stood the seraphim. Each hadsix wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one called to another and said:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

4Andthe foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, andthe house was filled with smoke. 5And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen theKing, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:1-5, ESV)

Why respond in such self-abasement? Because we realize that God is whole and we are broken; that God is immense and we are finite; that God is all and we are nothing. And the awesome thought that comes to mind is that He loves me anyway. All at one time, He is righteousness and justice, mercy and grace, without any contradiction in Him.

It is time for those who have new eyes to stop looking at God through the filter that the world has imposed on us, and view God for who He really is. When we do this we will respond in the only way we can: in utter worship and praise. That’s who He is and why we were created. Don’t you think?