Here’s an old story:
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a scorpion needed to cross a pond. Wondering how he would get to the other side, he noticed a frog nearby.
“Mr. Frog, will you please hop me across this pond?”
Now the frog, who was kind and gentle, responded, “Certainly, Mr. Scorpion. I will be glad to do so.”
So Mr. Scorpion jumped onto Mr. Frog’s back as Mr. Frog hopped from pod to pod, bringing Mr. Scorpion to the other side of the pond.
But just as the frog said, “Well, Mr. Scorpion, here we are,” he felt an excruciating pain in his back. Mr. Scorpion had stung him.
As Mr. Frog lay dying, he looked up at Mr. Scorpion and said, “How could you do this? I brought you from one side of the pond to the other and now you sting me so that I die.”
Mr. Scorpion looked at Mr. Frog and said, “I can’t help it. It’s my nature.”
When we talk about the nature of something, we mean what is intrinsic to its being. When we talk about the nature of God, we speak of characteristics intrinsic to His being.
If you and I are going to have an intimate walk with God, we must understand His true nature.
Tony Evans says, “God has been so misdefined, tragically redefined, and even dismissed that people do not understand His true nature.”
People operate in one realm thinking they know or understand God, when in fact they are completely off base. We must know God as He has revealed Himself, rather than how we wish He were.
We can understand His nature by looking at five areas.
Transcendent: God exists totally distinct from His creation.
God is unique
Isaiah 40:18-23, 25-26
Spirit: Immaterial (or non-material) Luke 24:39
Person (possesses emotions, intellect and will)
Invisible(we see the ‘effects’ of God) John 1:18
Eternal: No beginning (eternity past)
No end (eternity future)
Independent (deriving from eternality)
Immutable: Does not have the ability to change
Changeless in His Person
Changeless in His Purpose
Changeless in His Character
James 1:17, Ps. 119:89
Triune: One God – Three distinct Persons (Father, Son, Spirit)
Deut. 6:4, Is. 45:5, I Pet. 1:1-2
My personality is such that I want to know basic truth. I want to get to the foundational truths. I am not afraid to dig deeper into something, even when what I am finding begins to run counter to what I have believed in the past. I am open to new thoughts and ideas, as long as I have some basis to believe in their veracity.
I have seen enough evil, abuse of power, selfishness, lying and manipulation in my travels around the world to know that things are rarely what they seem. I have found that God is exactly Who He says He is – all the time. His love for each individual is unconditional. However, He will be found, and a relationship developed with Him, when we consider the whole truth of the Bible.
Various groups and individuals throughout time have taken bits and pieces of knowledge and formed a picture of God that they are comfortable with. They will discard the things that are hard or that they find distasteful. As a young adult, with a wife and daughter and fast moving career, I reached a point where I was unable to just accept the mainstream thinking. God Himself, through His Spirit, will teach us all things and lead us into an understanding of His nature – if we will allow Him.
Societies today, especially the affluent ones like theU.S.A., are allowing emotion to be their guide. Emotions are deceptive, conditional and variable. Life is not “one big bowl of cherries.” We must be willing to make the hard decisions. God’s truths, and His unchanging nature, give us that capacity.
Here is a little phrase I have developed to remind me of that:
“The right thing to do is always the right thing to do.”