How Do You Perceive God?

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What is your perception of God? What does the Bible say about religion?


God wants us to know the importance of Who He is and how we perceive Him, so how do you think of God? Do you see Him as a loving Master or do you see Him as a task master? Is He some creative being Who only sees us from a distance and makes unreasonable demands of us, or is He a God Who is close up and Who loves us dearly as an individual and only wants good for our life? This first stanza of Psalm 119 is headed with the Hebrew letter Aleph, which is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet. The letter Aleph is related to the word Aluph, which means master, lord, or friend. Aleph is also symbolised as the head of an ox in pictograph form. This relates to the symbolism of the more experienced ox carrying most of the weight of the yoke, and gently guiding the younger, less experienced ox. The writer of Psalm119 knew God as His Master and Lord. Psalm 119:1-8 reads:

Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules. I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!

The words of Jesus help us understand what it means to hand our lives over to Him. He says in Matthew 11:29-30, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Come and Rest

Jesus called people to Himself who were weary and in need of rest. He called them to receive His yoke. For years I wondered about this, for how or why would you give work to someone who is exhausted? Then a pastor explained what it really meant. In the times in which Jesus spoke, the people would have understood about the way the oxen worked. An older, more experienced ox would bear the weight of the double yoke, while the younger and less experienced ox would just walk under the yoke and little if any weight. The learner in this case was guided by the teacher. The learner would rest in the knowledge that he had no little or no weight to bear while learning, thus Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” yet so many times we take on burdens that are far from light. This can cause us to become exhausted and over stretched in our lives. The end result is burn out and achieving far less than if we had just trusted and rested in Christ, so do you see God as a loving Master? Do you understand what it means to submit your life to His authority? Until you truly understand and receive the truth of His love, there will always be part of you that will hold back and will not be able to fully trust or surrender to Him. I am hoping that if you are not yet in that place, you will be when you look at the Word of God and learn that you are already deeply loved by Him.

The Yoke of Religion

Grace is shown by God through Jesus Christ as our yoke bearer. We are yoked with Him to learn, but He Himself has borne our weight because He is the one with power and authority. The Apostle Paul asked, “why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear” (Acts 15:10), meaning, religion can be a yoke we were never meant to bear. For me, Psalm 1 is a good place to go when thinking of these characteristics. The psalmist writes, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3).

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3).

A Life of Integrity

A person of integrity does not let the lack of moral values in others persuade them to give into wrong decisions and actions. A person’s life of integrity will bear good fruit, for they will be those whose lives bring light into darkness, honesty into a world of lies, and vulnerability enough to show others that they still need to depend on God. This means we are to live a life of awareness and submission to the moral values of our Creator. When we submit to His authority, we are agreeing to let Him guide us in all of our decisions and to shape our attitudes, but it is also a life of honest trust, knowing that, on our own, we are sinners without hope, and that it is only through Jesus Christ that we have been made perfect and complete (2 Cor 5:21).


What does it really mean to obey God? It is He who helps us to obey. It is His Spirit Who empowers us to live as we should. It is He who caries our burdens, teaches us how to live, and sets us free from religion, or the idea that we have to do it alone in order to win His approval. A person of integrity has joy in their hearts because they’re no longer burdened by religion. A person of integrity knows joy, because by living an honest life, they have no fear of being caught in a lie. If you hear a preacher going on about what you must do, I dare you to talk to him afterwards and remind him it is really about what God has done and is doing in us. Jesus is our burden bearer, and those who truly know who God is and how much He loves us, will no longer try to carry their own burden ourselves.

About the Author

Carol Elliott became a Christian in her teens and attended the Irish Baptist College. The author is in her late fifties, is married, and has two grown children.  Mrs. Elliott presently attends Exchange Church in Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Here is some related reading for you: What Sets Christianity Apart From All Other Religions?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible : English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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