How Do You Picture God?

Part 1of 3

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Phillip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father, so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” John 14:9 (NKJV) 

When people imagine God, there is a wide assortment of viewpoints. Some picture Him as an old, giving man, like Santa, ready to bless and give whatever is requested of Him. Others picture God as judgmental, ready to strike down anyone who strays from what they think He demands. Some people think of Him as indifferent, having wound up the world and walked away from it. The Lord God is described by Jesus as our Heavenly Father, but if one has a negative example of an earthly father, one can have a hard time relating to a loving Father God.

One thing I realized about myself is that I tend to put Almighty God in a box, and not anticipate Him to act beyond my expectations. He didn’t heal my parents of terminal cancer, so I’ve been reluctant to pray with the certainty that He will heal. Yet I personally know people who had been healed of stage-four cancers and other health issues.  During my mission trips to Colombia, I saw people come to faith in Jesus during door-to-door evangelism. I didn’t expect the welcome the local believer, my translator, and I received.  I didn’t expect so many to show interest in Jesus and give their lives to Him. God blasted out of my box. I’m learning that He will do much more than I imagine or pray for.

Photo by Monstera on

We can know who God is through studying His Word. Scripture teaches us about His character and attributes. Many of His names are listed. We can look at how He interacted with people in the Bible as well as with us. Because Jesus said that He and His Father are one, we can examine Jesus’ life. (John 10:30).  No one has ever seen God; the Begotten Son who abides at the Father’s side has made Him known. (John 1:18 MLV)

Jesus showed us the Father through how He conducted His life on earth. Scriptures show the same character traits in the Heavenly Father. Here are just a few:

Truth. Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NIV) Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. (John 17:17 NASB20) The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalm 119:160 NKJV)

Unity of God- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.”…”I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him for he dwells with you, and he will dwell in you.” (John 14:10, 16, 17 RSV)

How do you picture God?

The next devotional in this series will go deeper into the character of God.

In the meantime, let’s dig into God’s Word that we may know Him better. How many attributes of God can we find? Let’s write them down and post them on the refrigerator or another spot where we will see them daily.

Dear Heavenly Father, Help me to see You for who You are, and not with any misconceptions or limitations. Thank you for sending Jesus so I know You. Amen.


Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs.  Blogs post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your convenience.


Be Still and Know That I Am God

“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10

How am I going to get through the week? My garden accuses me of neglect with a crop of weeds. Grapes dried to raisins on the vine before I admitted that I won’t finish canning grape jelly. My employment includes lesson plans and teaching. My exercise regimen and housework is often sidelined in the juggling of my to-do list. I want to spend more time with my family and friends, yet a writing deadline looms later this week. Sometimes, I feel like no matter how much I love what I’m involved in, I’m drowning below the waves of tasks and duties.

Do you feel that way, too? Are your responsibilities weighing you down? You may have an aging parent or children to care for, or someone with an illness may depend on you. Work, or the lack of it, may consume you. Maybe you just learned you are supposed to bring cupcakes for the school function tomorrow.

I have a mug that says, “Be still and know that I am God.” As I read it while I drink my tea, part of me asks, “How?” I’m almost always on the go. Who has time to be still in the mad rush of the week?

Deep down, I think the answer to my drowning life is to learn to faithfully and continually be at rest in the Lord’s presence daily, not just when it fits into my day. A quick reading of a verse or two so I can check off my quiet time with God is not what He desires. He reminds me that He is the source of strength and the One who will fulfill my life. He wants each of us to be in constant communication with Him.

Be still and know that I am God – photo by Kathryn Hughes

Be still – If we want to be still, we need to set aside time to not be running from one duty to another. For me, I have to schedule that, or it either does not occur or is at the final minutes before I head, too late, into bed. Sometimes, my body is motionless, but my mind is chasing after other things. Christian music can help redirect my thoughts. I find journaling about my time with God helps me to focus. In it, I write down what I read from Scripture, and what God is teaching me in it. My prayers may be added to it. How can you be still?

Know that I am God – Knowing who God is and knowing Him personally are two different types of knowledge. We can know our neighbors’ names, but we won’t know them unless we spend time with them. If we want to really know God, we need to spend time with Him in Bible reading and in prayer. We know Him better when we learn what He desires and what He thinks, and when we talk with Him and listen for Him to answer through His Holy Spirit.

God is the eternal being who made us and loves us. He has a perfect plan for each of us – and it isn’t to have us drowning in our responsibilities, for Jesus said He came to give us life abundantly (John 10:10).

Let’s give God our frantic schedules. Let’s find moments throughout the day to just take a deep breath and thank God for it. Let’s practice being quiet in His presence. We can really know God if we set time aside and spend time with Him. Start with five or ten minutes every day, expanding that time with God even longer as being still becomes more natural. Let’s exalt God in our homes and in our lives as we know Him better and become more like Him.  

Thank you, God, for always being available. You are never too busy to spend time with me. Help me to be still and to know you.


Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. They post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your use.

Top photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels