As I hid in my garden, the last thing on my mind was whether I had a high view or a low view of God. All I cared about was my view—and why God seemed to refuse to even consider it. His silence, lack of action, and willingness to let me suffer had left me desperate, hopeless, and angry. So I hid.
I wasn’t hiding from the Lord like Adam and Eve. I was hiding from my children. I didn’t want them to see me cry. Again.
I cried a lot in those days. Depression does that. I sat in tears behind my vitex tree and prayed.
Father, why? Why won’t You change my heart? I have begged You for so long. I want to be free of my sinful ways and attitudes that grieve You. Why won’t You change me?
I prayed through my mental list of what I knew to be true of God.
You’re in control of everything that touches my life.
You’re good and kind in all Your ways.
No power in heaven or on earth can stop Your hand.
You are the One who is at work in me, giving me the desire to obey You . . .
But that’s just it, God . . . You haven’t given me the desire to obey You.
Hot tears rolled down my face, and I slumped in despair. Then, like lightning in a storm, conviction crackled, illuminating the dark corners of my soul. The clouds in my mind parted, and understanding burst through.
I call You God, but I haven’t treated You as God.
My desires have been my God.
I’ve taken Your promise in Philippians 2:13 that says You’ll give me the desire to obey You, and I’ve demanded You change me, as if Your promise holds You in my debt.
I’ve made it Your fault that I’m not living as holy as I should. I’ve judged You for who I’ve not yet become.
O, Father, forgive me. I feel like Job, when he recognized his ignorance and said, “Now my eye sees You.” Now I see You in Your holiness, Father. And I see myself. And I repent.
No matter how hard it may be or what it will cost me, Lord, I will obey You. I will do what pleases You simply because You are God.
I stepped out from behind the tree and walked into my house with my head lifted and my tears wiped away. I hugged my children and laughed. I was going to be fine. No—more than fine, because the Lord God, maker of heaven and earth, was my God. And I was going to start living the Truth I knew—that it’s my honor and joy to obey Him.
The Seesaw Nature of Our View of God
Our view of God is like a seesaw. God is on one side, and everything and everyone else on the other. When life, people, situations, desires, and a host of other scenarios lead us into behaviors or thoughts that even teeter on sinfulness, we can be certain our seesaw is shifting. Our view of God is sinking as our view of the other is rising. We may not even realize it.
When we fix our eyes on who God is and obey His Word, our view of Him shifts back to where it belongs. So does our view of ourselves. Paradoxically, our sinking view of ourselves causes our heart, soul, and mind to soar. Only God can do this.
Just as we battle our sin nature, we battle our view of God. Even the most mature Christian’s view of God rides the seesaw. The smog of sin clouds our ability to see (1 Cor. 13:12). If we acknowledge this struggle, we can monitor ourselves without shame or paranoia.
How Can We Know if We Have a High View of God?
“What comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” —A. W. Tozer
The following lists of common symptoms can help you recognize if your view of God is on the upside of the seesaw or on the downside in the dirt. These lists serve as a helpful, but not exhaustive, guide.
You May Have a Low View of God If . . .
- You’re too busy to read God’s Word and pray every day.
- You read the Bible but don’t enjoy it.
- You wink at sin in yourself and/or in others.
- You’re not interested in joining and being active in a church.
- Your gut knots up and remains knotted over life, relationships, and/or circumstances.
- You lash out in frustration or anger when others disagree with you or don’t do as you want.
- You lie awake at night, troubled over your schedule, dreams, and/or trials.
- You worry that God and others don’t love you.
- You manipulate people to get them to believe what you believe or do what you want.
- You feel entitled to your rights and are easily offended.
- You tell yourself you’d be content if only you had ______.
- You use the phrases, “If only” or “What if.”
- You struggle to be generous or kind.
- Your worship is driven by your emotions—how God makes you feel—not by what Scripture says.
- You share the gospel using manipulation, pleading, and/or anger. Or you don’t share the gospel at all.
- You struggle with persistent fears and sins.
- You feel a relentless need to control people and situations.
- You find contentment elusive and joy fleeting.
If any or all of these symptoms plague you, ask yourself, Do I truly believe what I say I believe? Then open your Bible and dive deeper into what God reveals about Himself. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight (Prov. 9:10). It’s also the beginning of a high view of God.
You May Have a High View of God If . . .
- You enjoy reading the Bible and praying every day.
- You feel deep conviction and grieve over your sin because it’s an offense against God, not just because you regret the consequences.
- Your gut is relaxed and calm, even when life isn’t.
- Your nerves alert you to danger or troubling circumstances, but the truth of what you know about God brings an inner peace you could never achieve on your own.
- You forgive quickly and seek peace without compromising God’s Word when others offend you—even if they’re not sorry.
- You willingly yield your rights, entrusting yourself to the One who is your vindicator.
- You trust God to order your days and obey as He leads when your schedule, dreams, and troubles exceed your strength.
- You watch the news without panicking, trusting in the hand and heart of God.
- You hold everything lightly—except God.
- Your worship is driven by the Truth of His Word, not your emotions or environment.
- You share the gospel with boldness, respect, and kindness—not desperation.
- You’re characterized by holy living, not fearfulness or bondage to sin.
- You trust God to control people and situations as He sees fit.
- You find contentment and joy to be faithful companions.
Everything—EVERYTHING—in one way or another hinges upon our understanding of who God is. When we choose the high view, we will soar on wings as eagles, run and not grow weary, and walk and not faint (Isa. 40:31). And oh my, what a view!
What About You?
Have you been praying for God to make changes in your life? Try changing your view of God. Seeing God as He truly is brought me out of sin, depression, and hiding. What will it bring you out of?