We can either know God, or we can know what we want to know about God. What we see in the Christian world today is that people only see half of God because they only want to see half of God. They like the feel-good stories where Jesus is healing the people and holding the children. They like the feel-good verses that have to do with heaven and our final rest. They talk about God’s love, grace, and mercy but completely block out the fact that our God “is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). They like to talk about rest but they don’t like to talk about responsibility.
So what we see is a distorted version of Christianity based on only half the truth of whom God is. Yes, God is love (1 John 4:8), but He is also just (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9). God cannot exercise His love at the expense of His justice. In other words, He cannot overlook the disobedience of the gospel of Jesus Christ because He cannot contradict His just nature. Justice is as much a part of Him as love.
Seeing the entirety of God is important if we want to approach Him and His word correctly. If our focus is entirely one-sided, on God’s love, then we don’t feel it important to change ourselves because God is just too loving to punish us. More so, we can give Him whatever we want to give Him in our worship activity because God is so loving that He is just going to accept whatever we throw at Him like He’s some kind of beggar who says “Thank you” to just about anything we give. Seeing only this half of God makes words like “obedience” and “responsibility” seem like bad words.
The way you respond to God’s word and His commands proves to Him what you really think about Him. His word and His nature go hand in hand. Disrespect and disobey His word, and we send Him a message that really says, “I don’t fear You. I don’t hold you in reverence. I don’t respect you.” But to do the things that He has asked tells Him “I trust You as the guide in my life.”
From the beginning of the Bible to the end, the emphasis has always been whether or not we have brought what is acceptable to God, not acceptable to us. And if we don’t hold God’s word with the utmost respect, if we don’t fear Him, then we need to remember those who didn’t fear God either: Cain (Genesis 4), Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10), or King Saul (1 Samuel 15).
We can either fool ourselves and stick with only knowing half of God, or we can know His entirety and be the complete Christian that God intended us to be. God certainly is good and worthy to be trusted. God certainly is loving and merciful, and He proved it through the manifestation of His love, Jesus Christ. God certainly is all-knowing, all-powerful, and worthy to be feared and obeyed.
“For the word of the Lord is right, and all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” (Psalm 33:4-9)