God the Referee, Askari, & Servant

A.W. Tozer, a famous theologian, once said: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Further, John 17:3 says, “3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” So salvation of our souls is genuinely based on what we know and believe about God. So, what do you believe about God?

Many people have an image of God in their heads. This image is shaped usually by our worldview. Some things that make up our world view are life circumstances, culture, values, and family background. Our worldview can develop our knowledge about God. Our worldview can be a positive thing in helping us understand God, but most times it is filled with half-truths which aren’t the truth at all. It is essential to have the right knowledge and thoughts about God.

Recently I heard a sermon that talked about three views of God that may people have that cause them to view God wrongly. They have the wrong thinking about who God is. Do you see God in any of these three ways

  1. Referee

    Many people view God as a football referee. They see God running up and down the pitch of life, making sure that we play according to the rules. If we break the rules, he pulls the yellow card, and if we break the rules enough times or severely enough, then he pulls out the red card. Now, truthfully seeing God this way will help you be a moral person, but it will not help you love him or have a relationship with him. The Pharisees are an example of those that would view God as a referee. The Pharisees lived a very moral life. They were those that would tithe small things like mint, dill, and cumin (Matthew 23:23). They would also do everything they could to follow the Old Testament law. They were known as the most faithful people in the Jewish community. However, it was this very commitment to the law which made them moral, but far from God. They believed that it was by following the requirements of the law that they were going to heaven, which was not true because nobody can keep the law perfectly except Jesus. They needed grace and not morality. The foundation for the Pharisees was built on a referee view of God. Do you see God this way?

  2. Askari

    (Gate Keeper)- Many people view God as an askari who guards a gate. The askari lets you in if you have proper papers and documents. If you do not have the proper papers or documents he keeps you out. So, to meet the requirements of the askari people will do anything to make sure they get those papers, so they are not locked out. The strength of this view is that it helps you live a religious life. Religious in the sense that as long as I do the right things like pray, go to church, read my Bible then I will please God and enter the gates of heaven, etc. People say “I don’t want a problem when I reach the gate, therefore let me get everything in order.” The rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-30) is an example of those that view God as an askari. The rich young ruler essentially told Jesus “Tell me what to do to get into heaven, and I’ll do it.” The rich young ruler was committed to living a religious life. Jesus told him that if he did not commit adultery, murder, stealer false witness, or disobey his parents, he could enter into heaven (Luke 18:20). The rich young ruler said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” This proves he was living a religious life. He was serious about getting his everything in order so that he could get to heaven. However, his askari view of God would not enable him to truly love Jesus which is what Jesus revealed to him when he said: “Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” The rich young ruler was devastated and walked away be he realised he loved money more than Jesus. An askari view of God will help you live a very religious life, but you will be hindered from loving God and following him. Do you see God this way?

  3. Servant

    (What I want)- Many people view God as a servant who brings me whatever I desire. I send the servant to bring me something, and they bring it as fast as possible. We believe that God is there to give me what I want. I want health, money, and A on my exams, to achieve my dreams, a good job, to marry, to not struggle, long life, children, etc. We view God as a servant, and we believe that he will give us the desires of our heart if we have enough faith, pray about it, and believe hard enough that he will do it. The strength of this view is that you will be confident in God. You believe in his ability to do many things. Confidence leads you to believe that nothing is impossible for God. The problem with this view is that it breeds a mentality of “you owe me these things because I’ve lived well, and I have confidence in you.” However, this is a fast track to being bitter and not loving God. What if you have believed, had “faith,” and trusted in God to give you all that you desire and you don’t get it? You will become bitter and not understand why he is not giving you what you want. The servant view of God is a sad one that many have fallen in the trap of it. We believe God will bring us everything we want, and that is just not the case. Even if he does bring you what you desire, do you love him for who he is or for what he does for you? Be careful of this view of God as your servant, because you will eventually become bitter towards him or you will not truly love him. Do you view God this way?

How do you view God? If you see him as the referee, askari, or servant, then you are not going to have proper knowledge about God, and you will never have a good relationship with him. Please carefully think today about how you view God. Our worldviews can easily sway us in the wrong direction, but a right understanding of God from his word is essential to have a proper worldview where God is as the centre of it. I would recommend that you learn more about God and his character by reading our Kuza devotion named “Names of God” on the app. It will help shape your worldview to have the right understanding of who God is.

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