The subject of the Knowledge of God is not a common emphasis in the Church of Jesus Christ. It is not popular nor an easy subject to speak on, to listen to or to fully digest but it is worth the trouble to work through this weighty subject. The one need in the Church of Jesus Christ today is to recapture the reality of the Personality of God in all its majesty, passion and awesomeness. The image of God that is popular in today’s Church is so far from the biblical revelation of God – it is not a high and majestic or passionate view of God. The preaching of our times has produced a Church with so little God-consciousness; it doesn’t confront the Church with the Personality of God in all His majesty and diversity. We have lost a God of majesty, passion and pleasure in our preaching.
The busy and cluttered Christian in our hectic society is overwhelmed with responsibilities and tasks, and has made almost no time to withdraw in silence to meet a God who requires that He be sought diligently if He is to be known intimately. The Church is growing at a faster rate than ever with more new books filled with new insights on Church growth, leadership, counseling, family life, ministry skills, emotional wholeness, etc. Yet we continue to decline in our grasp of the Eternal One who is in reality the CENTER PURPOSE of all things – the One for which all things exist. We have lost our hold on God as a PERSON. We continue to grow in our ministry skills and come up with new strategies, yet our depth of worship and adoration continue to decline. The knowledge of God’s majestic Personhood confronts people’s spirit with eternity and infinity.
True Image of God
A.W. Tozer said, “The decline knowledge of the Holy has brought on our troubles. A rediscovery of the majesty of God will go a long way toward curing them. It is impossible to keep moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate. If we should bring back spiritual power to our lives, we must begin to think of God more clearly as He is.”
The popular message of today’s Church avoids the weighty issues of discerning the true image of God. It takes diligence and effort to cultivate insight into the infinite Personality of God. A significant answer to this present crisis of the Church’s lack of deep intimacy with God is long and loving meditation on the Personality of God. We need many preachers who long to freshly awaken hearts unto this end and to inspire passion and loyalty to Jesus along with deep affectionate and contemplation on the Excellencies of Jesus.
I long to communicate accurately about God’s Personality so as not to contribute to a low or wrong view of God. We long to know God according to truth and not our vain religious imaginations. The religious and secular views of God are totally inadequate to renew our hearts. The Holy Spirit simply doesn’t bear witness to such views – they don’t renew us as Col. 3:10 promises. We must refuse to substitute the God of the Bible for the god that our modern culture proclaims.
What do you imagine God’s Personality to be like?
Everyone has an idea. Even vague unspoken ideas have a hold on our thoughts and therefore, emotions toward God. It is vital that our image of God be according to the truth. There is nothing more important about our spiritual lives than our image of God. Our lack of clear Biblical image of God is a significant root of many of our emotional problems, wrong attitudes with sinful practices. Our passion, devotion and worship will never be stronger than our clear deep thoughts of God.
The question of the hour is always the one Jesus asked the disciples in Matthew 16:15 or Pharaoh asked Moses in Exodus, “WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?” This is the most vital spiritual issue that we continually seem to make light of it. When the Church thinks of God differently than what He actually is, then many troubles start. The remedy for our problems is one which requires a diligent searching for a new depth in our knowledge of God. God is a Person who is known and loved and must again become CENTRAL in the Church.
It is vital that we search diligently to come to understand God as the Scriptures describes Him. No subject is more important to the spiritual health of an individual or of the Church as we enter into the Last Days. Our intellectual doctrines about His love and majesty matter little if they don’t grip our inner-man. This search for a deeper understanding and intimacy with God is the most practical thing we can do to find wholeness for our souls and minds.
The Unending Understanding of God – who He is, what He is like, how He feels and what He wants from us. This is the mammoth issue ever before the Church and the whole human race. No question is greater than this one. No issue has more practical implications to the quality of our spiritual lives than the understanding of God.
Beholding the Glory of God
The greatest need of the hour is to behold the LORD in the glory of His awesome Personality. By this we shall be transformed (2 Cor. 3:18). John says that when we see Him then we will be like Him (1 John 3:2). Rom. 1:23-25 says that fallen man continues to exchange the glory of who God is for one like the image of sinful man. They continue to exchange the “truth” about God’s glorious personality for a “lie” concerning God’s image. Aspects of this “lie” continue to grip the minds and hearts of many of the Church leaders which will continually weaken and cripple the modern Church. The Church will never return to Apostolic New Testament Christianity until it recovers an understanding of the God of glory that the New Testament apostles adored and worshipped with all their hearts.
The heart of fallen man who doesn’t search the Scriptures under the ministry of the Holy Spirit will always end up with a “lie” in regards to who God is. They automatically create a god in man’s image instead of seeking to worship the true image of God. Church history confirms this reality. When the Church loses the truth about God’s glorious personality then it loses it’s passion for purity. Then compromise will enter in at all levels. It all begins with a loss of the majestic sense of God’s glorious personality regardless how tightly the Church holds on to her accurate doctrinal orthodoxy.
I believe one of our greatest challenges as we prepare for the Last Days is to rediscover an understanding of God’s glorious personality that is as high and glorious as the Scriptures reveal. This objective should be our greatest concern and most urgent priority as we equip the saints for the work of the ministry. Eph. 4:12-13 teaches us the necessity of equipping the saints in the knowledge of God. This is my greatest delight!
Who is like You, O LORD?
Exodus 15:11 says this, “Who is there like You, O LORD?” This is always the great question of every hour for every person. Nothing could be more important than this question. The answer is – No one and nothing is exactly just like God! The Scriptures use familiar metaphors to paint word-pictures for us to help our understanding of the unsearchable riches of His Personal splendor (Eph. 3:8). Nothing created has enough glory to be a worthy object of comparison that adequately reveals the true image of God’s glorious personality.
The Holy Spirit uses “comparison words” to at least give us a dim view of God’s glory. God’s full glory is completely outside the sphere of man’s understanding of language. All those believers who have experienced heavenly visions relay how impossible it is to find adequate language to report the glorious things that they said. For example, Rev. 4:3 tells us that God is like “a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance”. In Rev. 4:6 before the Throne of God is like “a sea of crystal”. Ezekiel 1 describes God’s glory with many comparison words.
For God’s glorious Person is above all created things, thoughts and words. We must not lower God to ideas that are familiar to us. This is comfortable to our fallen minds. But He is so beyond the fallen created order tat we never even get near to His likeness by comparing Him with the most glorious created thing. Song of Solomon is filled with comparative words that are totally inadequate but they do set our minds on the right direction for meditation. We see His glory dimly as in a mirror in this age (2 Cor. 3:18).
God is “unapproachable” (1 Tim. 6:16) in this age. He will never be fully discerned. We are totally dependent on the Holy Spirit to reveal God to us (1 Cor. 2:14). How can we fully discern He who is unsearchable (Eph. 3:8), unapproachable (1 Tim. 6:16) and incomprehensible? Jesus is the only one who knows the Father (John 6:46). But the Holy Spirit will reveal some of God’s glory to us (1 Cor. 2:10-11). Our fallen senses don’t have the capacity to fully grasp His glory. We groan with creation (Rom. 8:23). Our natural senses are helpless without the Holy Spirit’s quickening, yet He will never fully reveal Himself to us in this age. What God is like? We can only know what He has willed to partially reveal about His Personality. God’s fullness is incomprehensible in this age.