By Luma Simms
Not long ago I asked the ladies in bible study if they could tell me why it’s important for them to know the attributes of God. While making my way through the list of attributes from Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy, I gave the example of immutability. “Why do you need to know that God is what in theology is called immutable (unchanging over time or unable to be changed)?” Continuing, I asked: “Why is it important for you in your life as a Christian, as a woman, to know that God doesn’t change? “What would happen if God was inconsistent?”
Our life, our habits, the way we make decisions, which decisions we make, are all the practical outworking of the theology of our hearts. This is true even if we don’t recognize that our heart and mind are processing things through that “filter.”
Scripture tells us God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He doesn’t change. He doesn’t start down one road, change his mind and decide to do a U-turn. He doesn’t order vanilla ice cream and say “oh shucks I wish I had gotten strawberry instead.” So if our God doesn’t change his opinion willy-nilly, if he doesn’t start a plan and give up on it when it gets difficult, and if he’s not capricious, then what does that mean for you as a Christian woman?
Our Unchanging God as Savior
The first and most important reason this matters so much is in our understanding of salvation. Because God is unchanging, it means once he saves you, you will always be his. He will not give up on you when you get “difficult,” when you cause problems, when you let him down because you are a weak sinner. Because once you are his, you are his forever! He will not cast you out! He doesn’t throw up his hands and decide to un-save you if you irk him. This includes seasons of doubt, fear, anxiety, and questioning. I remember one day, many years ago, during my early twenties, I was so angry with God because of certain hardships in my life that I told him out loud to go away for a while. I told him I wanted to do things my way. I shake inside with fear and trembling when I think about how I spoke to the God of this universe who created me and called me to salvation. But he didn’t un-save me! By his grace and long-suffering through the power of the Holy Spirit he pulled me back to him. He lovingly chastened me again and again until my stiff neck softened and my hard heart melted because of his tender kindness. Even when I walked away (not that I’m recommending that!) he loved me back to himself like the way Hosea did for his unfaithful wife.
Our Unchanging God as Father and Husband
Understanding that God is unchanging also gives us insight to his position as our heavenly father and husband (Isaiah 54:5, Galatians 4:6–7, 2 Corinthians 6:18). He will not abandon you! We can be difficult to love (I know I am). We have sins we continue to war against throughout our life—no matter how old we are. We throw spiritual temper tantrums when we don’t get our way. Our love and desire for God grows cold during different seasons in life. Like Hosea’s unfaithful wife there are seasons we may even wander from the Lord. And frankly, even when our mind knows God loves us as a Father, we struggle to believe and trust in his love as daughters. Some of us may have never known what it’s like to have a loving father in the home, others have experienced the unfaithfulness or rejection of a spouse. All of our earthly experiences and memories work against the knowledge that God will not abandon us—that he is faithful. How many times have we heard or said “I know in my head that God loves me, but it doesn’t feel like he does because of…” We grievously connect a hard circumstance or relationship with whether or not God, our heavenly father and husband loves us. If all is well, we feel loved. If we are hurting we feel like he doesn’t love us. We forget that God’s love is so much different than what we think of as love. This is another reason we need to know God’s attributes. God is God. We are finite human creatures whose minds will never fully grasp the wisdom and actions of an infinite God. This is where Scripture helps us immeasurably. Reading God’s Word we see how he has acted in times past with those whom he loved and called to be his. Through this we learn what he’s like and what he’s done. This trains our hearts to recognize his love in our lives. When I quiet my soul and think about all that God has done over the years to continually draw me closer to him, through the ugly and the crazy, the good and the beautiful, I weep with joy inexpressible. Oh how I encourage you dear sister to meditate on your timeline and mark all his acts of faithfulness and love to you!
Our Unchanging God as Provider
Because God is a faithful provider he will meet our needs. This is sometimes misunderstood to mean that he will always provide for us in the way and within the socio-economic level we want. There was a time, as a single mom after my divorce, when I didn’t know where I would live and how I would eat. God provided in miraculous ways. Even during this rough season when I was angry with God he provided for me and my daughter. He fed me even when I was smacking his hand away—oh will he not also care for you (Rom. 11:33).
“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:13–14).
Luma Simms (@lumasimms) is a wife, and mother of five children between the ages of 2 and 19. She has a B.S. degree in physics and studied law before Christ led her to become a writer, blogger, and Bible teacher. Her book Gospel Amnesia can be found at GCD Press. She blogs regularly at Gospel Grace.
You, too, can help support the ministry of CBMW. We are a non-profit organization that is fully-funded by individual gifts and ministry partnerships. Your contribution will go directly toward the production of more gospel-centered, church-equipping resources.