The Most Important Fact About Us

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us”

-Tozer, A.W.

The Question Still Haunts Me

I was sitting in the second row, listening to my favorite professor at Bible college, Dr. de Rosset, discussing whatever fiction literature we were addressing at the time and how it reveals God in our lives. I took or audited a number of classes with her, but my guess is that this was the Violence and Grace in a Novel class that analyzed how God’s grace and His wrath are not opposites- they are often in tandem with one another in a spectacular display of God’s love.  I don’t remember anything else about that day (it was over 10 years ago, and a lot has happened in between), but I still remember the general question she asked us- one that still haunts me today.

It was something along the lines of: “If you were brutally honest with yourself, how do you really picture God? Not an image or an idol- How do you really think of Him? What do you really believe He is like?” She gave some examples of images students of past days presented to her. Images like their angry father, picking at their mistakes, someone cold and distant, a benevolent but weak old man…

The Folly is Obvious. While the point is to analyze honestly how we each really thing about God, the folly with having a picture of God like that at all is obvious- He is incomprehensible and we mustn’t make Him in the image of anything we know or experience here on earth. As Tozer said in The Knowledge of the Holy, humans use pictures to bridge over to the ineffable, but God is so far beyond those pictures it strains our minds:

God is not like anything; that is, He is not exactly like anything or anybody. We learn by using what we already know as a bridge over which we pass into the unknown. It is not possible for the mind to crash suddenly past the familiar into the totally unfamiliar…The effort of inspired men to express the ineffable has placed a great strain upon both thought and language in the Holy Scriptures (p. 6).

Our Lives Reveal what we Believe about Him. As we all strain in our minds to grasp what this incomprehensible, holy God is like, our words and actions well up from whatever image we actually have of Him- whatever we actually, in our heart of hearts believe He is like. I remember struggling in that class to know how I really thought of Him. I still struggle with it.

I know how I should think of Him, and I yearn for myself to wholly, truly believe that. Yet, as I look at my responses to others, to situations, my approaches to life, my actions, my words, I realize that my cognitive belief of who He is as revealed in the Bible is not always the belief system I act off of. What I’m trying to say is that I don’t always live like I believe what I know to be true of Him. Which means- in my heart of hearts, I am not revering Him for the fullness of who He is in the moment-by-moment, day-to-day happenings of life.

There is so much He has promised to be for us- a good Father, Love, a Warrior, the King of Kings, a Wise Counselor, our Comforter… so much more- and yet how much do I really fully embrace Him for all He wants to be for me, in me, through me- all for His glory? I know that where I’m at is a far cry from what He longs for- yet He will carry on His good work in me to completion (Philippians 1:6).

Real Worship. He created us for His glory.

  • Isaiah 43:7 …everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made
  • 1 Peter 5:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Our lives are to be worship unto Him. Tozer writes:

Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God. For this reason, the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at any time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.

He Longs for us to Know Him as He is. As Jesus prayed earnestly to the Father just before His betrayal and death, he started out with,

Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. John 17:1-5

Encapsulated in the whole concept of eternal life is that it is about knowing God. For those of us that know we have eternal life (1 John 5:13), we can revel in the reality that this means we may know Him- HIM!- personally, intimately, moment-by-moment, truly know Him. We get to personally know the One who is:

  • Incomprehensible (beyond what our minds can fathom)
  • Holy
  • Self-existent (has no origin)
  • Self-sufficient
  • Eternal (lives outside of time with no beginning nor end)
  • Infinite (knows no bounds, He is all He is with no limit)
  • Immutable (He never differs from Himself)
  • Omniscient (possesses perfect knowledge)
  • Wise
  • Omnipotent (having all power)
  • Transcendent (so far above us {in quality of being, not location} that we cannot imagine it)
  • Omnipresent (He is everywhere here, next to everyone)
  • Faithful
  • Good
  • Just
  • Merciful (doesn’t give us what we do deserve)
  • Gracious (gives us what we don’t deserve)
  • Sovereign
  • Love (And these are just the attributes Tozer addresses in The Knowledge of the Holy)

The Privilege of Knowing Him

The privilege of knowing Him is like an invitation. It is an invitation into the courts of a King- the King- the King of Kings! As His dearly loved children. He delights to reveal Himself to us, and He has resounded the truth of this throughout time by preserving so profoundly His Word to us. We are invited in return to delight in His presence- to enjoy being with Him. He wants us there. We belong there. To think of it! We get to do life together with the Almighty- celebrating each moment we have as one in His presence. I want to live like that. I want my life to reflect clearly that I believe who He is- all He is. I want to cultivate an awe of Him that results in godliness and in a life that resounds to His praise.

And between the snapshots of myself even this week that horrify me- (Here I am screaming at my kids as they drive their cars into the stove for the 3rd time. There I was snapping at my husband. Look, there’s me again, allowing myself to dwell on the negative.)- between those snapshots, the Holy Spirit reminds me that a life lived delighting in His presence continually is what I’m called to (1 Thess. 5:16-18), what God longs for me to experience, and what He is working in me and all His followers moment by moment, day by day.

So, in a way, this is an invitation to consider honestly how you view Him, and then to consider how that compares with the reality of who He is. If you have never really believed in Him, this might mean you simply ask Him, “God, if you are real, please reveal yourself to me,” and then crack open your Bible and start reading Luke or John. Either way, I pray we all grow deeper in our knowledge of Him and our awe and delight in His presence.

 

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “The Most Important Fact About Us

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s