5 Things We Can Know about God
- Felicia Alvarez Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2014 15 Oct
The sun sparkled on the water as I floated on my boogie board (yes, I’m a SoCal girl who hasn’t graduated to a surfboard). Glancing at the shore, I saw my family sitting on the sand peacefully suntanning—except for Adrien, our exchange student from France. He suddenly ran straight towards me, arms flailing, and yelled something I couldn’t make out.
I sighed and paddled towards him, wondering why all the drama.
Finally, he got close enough for me to make out his frantic words: “Get out! Sharks!”
Well, that totally freaked me out. I glanced around, heart pounding, to see fins sticking out of the water about eight feet away. Yikes!
I paddled furiously towards shore. When my feet touched sand, I stood up to look at the sharks.
Suddenly, my gasps for air erupted into laughter. Adrien stared at me in confusion. “Oh, Adrien,” I managed in between breaths and giggles, “Those aren’t sharks. They’re dolphins!”
A dolphin/shark mix-up is understandable. However, when it comes to recognizing God, we don’t want to get it wrong. Not identifying a shark might cost you your earthly life; not knowing God will cost you your eternal soul: “This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
Knowing God is EVERYTHING!
We should pursue a deep understanding of God more than we pursue anything— education, careers, hobbies, or even relationships. The apostle Paul understood this: “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him” (Philippians 3:8, 9).
J.I Packer explains, “When Paul says he counts the things he lost rubbish, or dung (KJV), he means not merely that he does not think of them as having any value, but also that he does not live with them constantly in his mind: what normal person spends his time nostalgically dreaming of manure? Yet this, in effect, is what many of us do. It shows how little we have in the way of true knowledge of God.”
Too many of us treat God like an accessory. We repent of our sins and believe in Christ, but then we go our own way. We discard God and pick him up again based on our time schedule and emotional needs. But this isn’t right! It’s like a girl meeting a guy, marrying him a few days later, and then zipping off to another country and only communicating with an occasional email. What kind of relationship is that? How can you properly worship, love, and serve a God that you hardly even know?
And it’s perilous…
When we understand God and his word, we have and receive directions on how to best live this life. But Packer warns: “Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.” Having the right knowledge of God is crucial!
How Do You Picture God?
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us” (A.W. Tozer). Do you picture God like a distant father? A kind of jolly Santa Claus figure? Maybe you liken him to a larger version of your conscience? Or simply good karma?
The truth is, we cannot structure an image of God however we see fit. Even though we cannot see him, he is a real, Holy being. Therefore we can’t just assign him human attributes—he’s God. In fact, we aren’t even capable of imagining all of who he is.
So how do we learn about him? We must look to God to reveal himself. One of the ways he does so is through the Bible. Let’s take a look at what the Scriptures tell us about God.
1. God is the All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Present Creator
“It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts” (Isaiah 45:12). What an incredible thought!
“In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10). Yet, even though he’s all-powerful, he still cares about each creature. He knows when a sparrow dies and even how many hairs are on our heads (Matthew 10:30-31). We can feel safe because he’s in control of all creation.
2. God is the Ultimate Promise Keeper
- “God is not a man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19). God is faithful, so we need not fear. He will never flake out on us or forget his promises, which include these:
- God’s love never ends (Psalm 136:1).
- God will be your refuge and comfort in times of trouble (Nahum 1:7).
- God will never leave you or desert you (Hebrews 13:5).
3. God is our redeemer though Christ Jesus
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9). Isn’t it amazing! The Creator of the universe cared enough for us to rescue us from our sins!
4. God is our Loving Father
God didn’t just rescue us, he adopted us (John 1:12). Thinking of God—trusting him— as our Father can be difficult for someone with a bad earthly father. But remember, God isn’t a sinful, imperfect human being; he is perfect in every way. He passionately loves you, his dear child.
Embrace his love and be confident in your value as his child!
5. God is Holy
Holiness originates with God. One author shares, “God is infinitely holy. God is unchangeably holy. And God is all of this without any effort on his part—it is who he is. It is not a list of rules that he must keep. Holiness is essential to his existence. It is as natural to him to be holy as it is for us to be human…God is morally separate from all that is spiritually contaminated. He is righteous—morally perfect.”
What’s more, he made a way for us to be cleansed from our sin so that we can also be pure—holy—in God’s sight. “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, above reproach in his sight” (Colossians 1:21-22).
Wrapping It Up
I don’t know about you, but the more I understand God, the more I marvel at his majesty. I am amazed that the Creator of the universe would take an interest in mere humans—in you and me! It truly takes my breath away and humbles me. God is so great!
Felicia Alvarez lives in Southern California and loves avocados, sunshine, and serving her Savior. Currently, she teaches dance to over one hundred students and is working on her second book. Connect with Felicia on her blog or Facebook—she would love to hear from you.
Publication date: October 15, 2014