All our troubles ultimately emanate from our ignorance of God....You will never know God as Father except by Jesus Christ, and in particular, by his death on the cross. ... Look there, gaze, meditate, survey the wonderous cross. And then you will see something of him.
Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones
This chapter of Outrageous Mercy "God 101" begins with a quote from A.W. Tozer, "what comes to mind whe we think about God is the most important thing about us." We worship what our idea of God is and that idea then becomes what we think and do. Many of us have such a skewed view of who God is. Coming from a dysfunctional background as so many of us do, it's difficult to see an acurate view of God especially as a perfect just Father.
Part of the problem is we view God in the subjective, based strictly on our emotions instead of on the objective truth of what God's word says about us and about God. Thinking of God's love in an affectionate way, meaning that when we feel good then God must love us. "No religion has ever been greater than it's idea of God" continues Tozer. " Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God." it all comes down to who we believe God to be.
We don't have a full view of who God is, we forget that God is also a God of wrath as well as a God of love, " Modern christians are too sophisticated to accept such an antiquated view of God."
When we look at the cross and understand it properly it resolves the dillema of God being totally loving and also a God of wrath as the whole of scripture reveals. We must have an accurate knowledge of who God is. The way that Farley describes it is, "at conversion, God lights a fire in our hearts. The fuel that sustain the flame is an accurate knowledge of God." Not just a knowing about God but an intimate relationship with God, getting this confused will cause unwanted problems later on.
The bottom line is that we have a very inaccurate view of not only God's wrath but also of who we are in our depraved nature, our pride won't allow us to see things accurately because we don't think that we're really all that bad. We say our prayers, get involved with the right amount of "stuff" at church and we're good, we check Jesus off of our list of things that we accquire and everything is neat and manageable. The cross states somethng totally different, at the cross we see a God who demonstrates perfect justice and perfect love simultaneously, without contradiction. Sin could not be left unpunished while at the same time God performed the greatest act of love the world would ever know in sacrificing his Son for the very ones that hated his name. I want to dwell at this wonderous cross and know the God of outrageous mercy.