Friday 30 May 2014

The Multi-faceted God and His Roles

In recent times, I often find that I lack an understanding of God in certain specific roles. Given God's divine nature and Him being the One True Source of all things, I believe that there's so much to understand about God. One of the ways I want to know Him and be known by Him is through drawing parallels between earthly relations and roles and then seeing God through that lens, and even more.

In other words, when I was a young believer, I use this statement to see how people, including myself, usually relate to God. The statement is: "God is my _______." (to be filled with one word only.) The word I used is "King". Sometimes, "Lord". And I can see the effects of understanding God as King in my life. I can simply obey and also serve Him willingly. About half a year ago, I was struggling with the understanding God as "Abba Father". Partly this has to do with our Asian upbringing where the father figure is generally quite distant. That has a great impact on my walk with God - God's love. I do not understand it, nor do I claim to be able to dispense that agape love to people. And also, I cannot deal with forgiveness, whether for myself or others, easily. So I sought Him, and prayed that He would give me a divine revelation on it. And He did. He met me beyond my wildest imagination. And now I can easily and confidently relate to Him as Father and son. 

The purpose of this exercise, of isolating the many facets of God, is simply and ONLY for understanding more of God. It can be viewed in isolation of God in His entirety, but only temporarily. In the end we must always learn to integrate what we understand from each role, such that we can have a complete, wholesome and unbiased nature of God. For all these roles are but earthly terms given by men to refer to a common concept, but their origin is in heaven and from God. These roles originate from God. But due to our limited earthly understanding, we seem to relate to God based on what we learn on earth. (which is not wrong or inferior)

Regardless, here are some of the relationships with God which I think Christians should aim towards having: (not in any order of priority)
  • God the Abba Father (all throughout the Book of John, Matthew)
  • God the King (Psalm 145:1 - A psalm of praise. Of David. I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever.)
  • God the Savior (Luke 1:46-47 - My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior)
  • God the Friend (John 15:15 - I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.)

*Take note that the above are viewed in terms of relationships and not the titles of God. The list above is not exhaustive either.

The product of understanding God in the above manner is:

  • God the Abba Father: We are loved, we are accepted, we can forgive people and ourself. We are secure people.
  • God the King: We obey Him, we are not subject to the whims and lack of faith. We become vessels that wish to glorify our King. And we learn to obey authority and spiritual authority in our earthly leaders.
  • God the Savior: We have hope. We do not break completely, even when we are hurt and broken. We do not give up nor do we succumb and surrender to the pressures of this world and the devil. 
  • God the Friend: He seeks us and are found by us. We seek Him and are found by Him. We desire each other's presence as peers and friends. 

*For the explanation behind God the Friend, please refer to my other post - God the Friend - as I've included a much more detailed illustration of it.

For some of you who read this, you might feel that all these are the by-products of finding God as He is and there is no point in isolating them. My stance is found in the words of Edwards Deming, someone I heard the name of during my Quality Management of Operations lecture in school:
"If you cannot describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you are doing." 
*By the way, I just googled and Edward Deming is a devoted Christian.

God is an infinite Creator, but that doesn't mean He is an unorganized mess of good stuff. There is a point in dissecting and understanding Him, although there is no way to finish doing either, for He is infinite. But to have a firmer understanding of the faith such that: 
Ephesians 6:10-13"10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 

We must be certain of our faith for us to be able to stand and defend with God's promises and the Word of God. Such that our walk with God will be proved genuine when the day of judgment comes. If there are some of the above relationships above that you not certain of whether you possess them with God, pray, and let Him speak to you. And then when He meets you, it'll add a whole new dimension to your walk with God, just as He did for mine. 

*Edit: The reason I think it's very vital that we are familiar with at least all 4 relationships above with God is because it'll impact more than just what we do/express about our faith. It'll help us rethink who God is in our lives. And that will change the nature and quality of our faith. You might not whine about your day to God if you only know about God as your King. You might not be able to sit still and just rest in Him if you do not know that God is your Father, etc. But when our understanding of God is as wholesome as possible (or on the way towards wholesomeness), then we are continually being transformed to be more and more like Jesus and exhibit growth in all 9 qualities of the Fruit of the Spirit. -thanks Noah for the feedback!


  1. Yes I think it is very important to keep in mind these aspects of our relationships with God, God the Abba Father/Saviour/King/Friend. Understanding God more in these aspects will allow us to draw closer to Him and feel His love for His children. So in order to grow in our relationship with God, we must have the desire to know more about Him. A relationship with God should grow deeper and deeper in understanding of Him each day.