“Knowing about God is crucially important for the living of our lives. As it would be cruel to an Amazonian tribesmen to fly him to London, put him down without explanation in Trafalgar Square and leave him, as one who knew nothing of English or England, to fend for himself, so we are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it. The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfold, 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.” – J.I. Packer, Knowing God
What we believe about God and what we believe about ourselves shape how we pray (or don’t pray). Some people view God in the same vein they see their earthly father. Some see Him as an angry authoritarian. Others view Him as a disinterested bystander. Sadly, many have been hurt by a church. These people may view God as a bully, hypocrite, or suffocating perfectionist. From cosmic genie to “people are their own gods,” the list varies from person to person.
So, who is the true God?
What if our understanding of God is skewed? I know I’ve been guilty in the past of placing God in a neatly packaged box.
Hebrews 1:1-3 says:
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His own Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
God is not whatever, whomever, or however our minds construe Him—apart from the Bible. To clearly understand God we need to get acquainted with His Son, Jesus, “the exact representation of God’s being.” God gave us the Bible, not just for the sake of knowledge, but also that we might come to Him and personally know Him.
The New Testament Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—present the life and teachings of Jesus. Each book focuses on a unique facet of His character. If you have never read any of them, I recommend beginning with John. Led by the Holy Spirit, he provides clear evidence that Jesus is the Son of God and by believing in Him we may have eternal life.
How has your understanding of God been shaped by family, friends, culture, church?
Do you know the truth about God?
Do you know God?