Do you struggle to understand the who of God? God is love... God is faithful... God is merciful. We hear these words and most of us process and assimilate them on a natural level. We know people who are loving or kind. We know people who are trustworthy or loyal, although these are attributes of that person, they are only attributes. Those qualities make up the person, but the person does not make up those qualities. These descriptions are not adequate to sum up the person of God.
Attribute defined: An attribute is a quality or characteristic of a person, place or thing. (noun) Intelligence, charm and a sense of humor are each an example of an attribute.
A 'loving' person can choose to love or not love, but God is love and cannot not love. Love is His person. A mortal person, kind as they may be, can, given the right circumstances, not be kind, but God's goodness flows to the righteous as well as the unrighteous. Terrible things may be said about someone, and they can choose to forgive or take vengeance. God on the other hand, is slandered and blasphemed, but He doesn't send fire down on the ones who trespass because He has already poured out His wrath on His Son. Although we know there is a day of recompense coming, not because of vengeance, but because of rejecting His sacrifice for sin, for God is Holy.
One night my husband shared with me a word God had given him. He said he was thanking God for being faithful, but God told him, "I AM Faithful, it is not something I do, but who I AM. When he told me this, the words went straight to my spirit as a Rhema word.
Rhema revelation began to unfold! These are not the attributes of God, but who God is. God is Love, not just loving! God is Grace! God is Mercy! Recognizing this difference was life changing for me. I looked for ways to interpret this so that I could explain what I saw... I wanted others to see Him as I now saw Him. I tried to put what I see in picture form, but it is too awesome to even attempt to draw.
The simplest way to describe the difference between the Person of God and the attributes of God is to compare a person and the clothes that a person might wear. When some one walks into a room, we typically size them up physically by height, gender, attractive, or not so much; color, race, and so on. This is totally different from observing the clothes they are wearing. Clothes are what a person puts on. The clothes are the addition to the person, all of the other mentioned specifics are the person.
God has said that He is I AM. He is what ever we need Him to be... but He is I AM whether we need Him to be anything at all. He just is I AM. (Ex 3:14)
In the Old Testament He manifested Himself as El Shaddai, the breasty one (Gen 17:1); Jehovah Jireh, the Lord provides (Gen 22:14); El Elyon, the Most High God (Gen 14:20); Adonai, Lord and Master (Deu 10:17). Each name is a facet of His I AM. Jesus spoke of Himself to Lazarus' sisters as "I AM the resurrection..."(John 11:25) When the soldiers came to arrest Him said I AM... (John 18:6).
What I came away with is this: when I see someone named Mike walk in the door, I might see a male, 6'2", brown hair, brown eyes... When God flows into a room, love; mercy, grace, peace, joy, faithful and much more than we can imagine enters. Someone once said, and I can concur, that in Revelation 4:8 '...and day and night they never stop saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty (Omnipotent), Who was and Who is and Who is to come.', the living creatures saw a new facet of God's magnificence each time they bowed and rose up to behold Him