What Is God Like?
What is God like? …the question of the ages. Since the beginning of time, humans have looked at the stars above and wondered what kind of Creator placed them in the sky. Is there just one God? Is that God-loving, kind, trustworthy? Is that God knowable? Does that Creator concern themselves with the everyday life of man? Youth With A Mission is passionate about these questions because they are at the very core of every human being. Let’s take a closer look at this God who is, indeed, knowable.
What is God’s character and His nature?
In order to unpack the question at hand, we must first clarify two categories. Within the attributes of God, there are things that God alone can be, and there are things that we, His people, can become.
God alone is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. This is His nature. Only He knows everything, is present everywhere and can do anything. Only He is above time, the laws of nature, and only He knows the depths of human hearts across history. Only He can forgive sin, offer eternal life, and enlighten our hearts to the truth. These elements are referred to as God’s nature. Things He is that only He can be.
“This is what the Lord says – Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.” Isaiah 44:6-7
His character, however, refers to attributes that Christians can work towards embodying. The Holy Spirit works within us, refining us to become more like Him. Kindness, gentleness, patience, meekness, humility, honesty, mercifulness…these are all things that rarely come naturally to our flesh. But through the process of sanctification, we can become more Christlike, taking on the characteristics of God.
Attributes of God
The list of God’s attributes is endless, just as He is. But here is a list of foundational aspects of who we know God to be from the Bible.
1. Loving, Kind, and Compassionate
John 4:7-9 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.”
Titus 3:4-7 “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”
Ephesians 2:6-7 “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
2. Patient, Gentle, Steadfast, and Enduring
Romans 15:5 “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus”
Joel 2:13 “Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.”
Psalm 103:8 “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”
3. Holy, Different, and Set Apart
Isaiah 57:15 “For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’
Samuel 2:2 “There is no one holy like the Lord, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.
Exodus 15:11 “Who is like You among the gods, O Lord? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?
4. Wise, Honest, and Trustworthy
James 3:17 “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”
Romans 11:33 “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”
Proverbs 2:6 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding”
5. Strong, Just, and Mighty
Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Jeremiah 10:12 “It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.”
Romans 12:19 “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”
6. Generous Giver
Ephesians 1:7-8 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us”
Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
James 1:17 “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.”
7. Relational, and Present With Us
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us”
Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
The Character & Nature of God Teaching at YWAM Asheville
This topic is a staple in YWAM Discipleship Training Schools. The DTS curriculum at YWAM Asheville includes an entire week dedicated to exploring God’s ways and what He is like. It is a vital concept for Christians (particularly those involved in missions) because it enables us to live missionally as we serve in all spheres of society. Understanding what God is really like gives us the confidence we need to communicate the goodness of God in any situation, across cultures. As we learn about God, seek to become more like Him, living out of His Spirit, we partner with God in demonstrating His character to the world.
YWAM training is all about KNOWING GOD and MAKING HIM KNOWN. It is our deepest conviction that knowing God will lead your heart to make God known….because when you know what God is really like, you want everyone else to know, too! If you need help sorting out who God is and what He is like, join us for a Discipleship Training School. During the lecture phase and outreach phase, you’ll be free to encounter God in new ways, dive into God’s word, and ask all the questions you have in a safe environment. We do what we do because we have asked the same questions…and in our search, we discovered a God who is not only worth knowing but worth our entire lives.