Do You Know God? Or Just Believe in Him?

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Charisma Staff

A recent book entitled America’s Four Gods, written by Baylor University professors Paul Froese and Christopher Bader, is an in-depth study of how Americans view God.

With the help of the Gallup organization, thousands of people were interviewed. The findings were remarkable. Roughly 5 percent of respondents identified themselves as atheists, but after analyzing the rest of the results, the professors surmised that America has four main views of God:

  1. The Authoritative God. Some 31 percent of Americans believe God is both engaged in the world and judgmental, meaning He will use any way to get our attention and wake us up.
  2. The Benevolent God. Twenty-four percent of respondents believe God is engaged in our daily life, yet nonjudgmental.
  3. The Critical God. Some 16 percent of those surveyed said God is judgmental and disengaged from our lives.
  4. The Distant God. Twenty-four percent believe God is nonjudgmental but also disengaged from our lives.

By studying the landscape of belief in America, the authors ascertained that roughly 95 percent of Americans believe in God. But believing in God isn’t the same as knowing Him. I have to wonder how many people surveyed perceive God to be an awesome and holy Savior. I have to wonder how many have ever heard God calling their names. I wonder how many of them felt the touch of His Spirit. God reveals Himself through His Word and His Spirit. He doesn’t reveal Himself to only a special few. He is calling out to all of us, wanting us to awaken Him. And you know what? Our spirits cry out to know Him.

The spirit of a man searches past his intellect and knowledge to discover his Creator. First Corinthians 2:10-13 tells us: “It was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths” (NLT).

God is not moved by opinions or polls. He speaks through His Word and His servants, and to our spirits through the Holy Spirit. He still speaks through His creation!

It is my goal to give proof of who God really is to humanity. It would blow our minds if we truly understood how incredible our Creator is. The problem is, we have allowed others to define God. It is so easy to believe God is mad at you simply by listening to what others have declared.

But look at what the prophet Micah said about God: “Where is the god who can compare with you—wiping the slate clean of guilt; turning a blind eye, a deaf ear, to the past sins of your purged and precious people? You don’t nurse your anger and stay angry long, for mercy is your specialty. That’s what you love most.” (Mic. 7:18, MSG). I love that verse. Mercy is God’s specialty—not wrath or pain, but mercy!

I believe that if we truly want to change the world, we will have to be faithful to the walk God has placed in front of us. If we don’t stand for something, we will fall for anything. Together we can prove who God truly is and what He wants to do for His people. We must get back to God’s specialty, which is love, compassion, repentance and a life of victory.

My personal mantra has always been, “love without reason and holiness without compromise.” I believe right now that He, the living and awesome God, is calling out to you!

Adapted from “Why is God so Mad at Me?” by Pat Schatzline, copyright 2013, published by Charisma House. God is not mad at you. But millions of people have bought into the idea that He is not only angry but angry at them. This book sets the record straight introducing you to a God who accepts us, transforms us, renews us, and give us a future filled with abundant blessing and opportunity. To order your copy click here


This week thank God that He specializes in mercy—not wrath or pain, but mercy! Ask Him to ignite the same attributes in you so you can show His love, compassion, repentance and a life of victory to a dying world. Thank Him for grace to “love without reason” and to live in “holiness without compromise.”  Pray for those suffering loss due to recent winter storms, and ask God how you can be a blessing. Continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the protection of our allies, our military and their families, and those leading our nation. Ask the Lord to pour out His Spirit, bring repentance and revival, and send more laborers out into the harvest fields. James 5:16; 1 Tim. 2:1-4 

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