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Westminster Shorter Catechism

Question 4. What is God?

Answer. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. — Psalm 90:1-2

Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.  They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment.  You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.Psalm 102:25-27

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.Malachi 3:6

There are days when I could be best described as either having my “head up my posterior” or “collapsed in upon myself.”  On those days, I am anxious, self-absorbed and in a swirl over all that I’m not getting done.  I feel that I’m failing miserably and am a great disappointment to those around me.  My perception of myself and my performance seems clear to me though it is much different, more extreme and direr than others’ perception.

Like a sudden onset of vertigo, this craziness comes upon me with no warning and with no perceived cause.  I was great this morning— I’m reeling this afternoon.  Last night was a time of peace and rest— this morning I’m in a hellish hole of obsession over all that I’m not and all that I’ve failed to do.  In those moments, what I think I should do is to dwell on my “failings.”  If I do this, my anxiety only increases.  I ask myself,

“What has changed?  Why is it that only hours ago I was fine and now I’m not fine … at all?”

The wonderful truth, the absolutely wonderful truth is that NOTHING has changed!  My problem is that I’m caught up in the swirl of my feelings and misperceptions, and I’m not resting in the reality of all that has not changed.  By nothing has changed, I mean the following:

  • God is still on His throne sovereignly ruling over all that is. Psalm 103:19

  • God’s love and commitment to me are still forever intact. Jeremiah 31:3

  • God is still over time sanctifying me, transforming the dark places of my heart and mind, to make me more like His Son. Philippians 1:6; Psalm 138:8

  • The world I live in is still both wondrous and thoroughly fractured, longing for restoration. Psalm 119:1-6; Romans 8:19-22

  • Satan is still my enemy, seeking to consume me with every tempting tool he has. I Peter 5:8

  • My perception of reality is still partial, seeing and understanding only some of what is going on around me. I Corinthians 13:12; II Kings 6:15-17

  • My anchor today is still to remember God (Deuteronomy 8) and worship Him (Deuteronomy 6:13-15) then trust (Proverbs 3:5-6) and obey (Deuteronomy 27:10) and to run to Him and to pour out my heart to Him (Psalm 62:5-8).

I’ve learned through the years that the thing I must do is to shift my focus and thoughts to God – to who He is in general and to who He has promised to be for me.  In a sense, I need to lose myself in Him, or as the hymn says, “hide myself in thee.” It also helps to share with others my perception of myself and my performance so that they can level set my skewed perception with their less skewed perception.  On those days, clear, accurate and God-centered perspective is a precious commodity.

So tonight, by His grace, I’ll rest again in Psalm 90:1-2 and Psalm 102:25-27.  Nothing has changed.  Bless God, nothing has changed.  God is from everlasting to everlasting.  He is the same and His years have no end.  He does not change and even amid the swirl, I’ll not be consumed.  Bless the Lord.

Take it to the Lord

  1. Read through this meditation again, asking God to open your eyes, mind, heart and soul to His message for you today.

  2. As He speaks to you, listen. Ask Him to guide you as to what you should do with what He says and for the grace to do so.

  3. End your time with some form of worship—prayer, praise, thanksgiving or surrender.

[1] From Longings Toward a God-Centered Life: Meditations on Great Thoughts and Passages by John Hawkins. The purpose of publishing these meditations is to share perspectives for leaders and followers on biblical understanding for daily living. The meditations are derived from John’s reflections on quotes from Christian leaders and from God's Word.

Copyright © 2019 John L Hawkins. All rights reserved.