WHEN WE THINK WE KNOW GOD

 

 

 

 

Do you know God? It’s a question that’ll elicit all sorts of reactions from people across the world (and funny enough, even reactions to the reactions). Some will respond with varying but strong emotions, some little to none. Some won’t respond at all. Then there’s some that’ll respond with another question—which god?

 

For followers of Jesus Christ, there’s only one God—The only true God, the three-in-One; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

 

But how would we actually respond to that question—Do you know God?

 

I believe it’s a question that requires greater attention than our initial and quick responses of “Yes”. It’s actually a question we can’t afford to overlook, no matter how far and long we’ve been a Christian. In fact, if you are a Christian and you said “Yes” to that question, I would even go so far as to challenge you to think and consider the question again.

 

I’ve had the blessings of living on the two coasts of the U.S., and thus the opportunity to have witnessed many a time the vastness of both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. When I say “witnessed the vastness”, I meant from their shores. Yet without actually traversing the entirety of their overwhelming depths and immensity, I know that it’s great. None can tell me otherwise or even believe it so themselves. Just by beholding the ocean from their shores alone, it was enough to invoke in me not just acknowledgement and appreciation for them, but great respect, even fear.

 

What secrets do they keep? What sorts of creatures live in their depths? What wonders do they hold? What colors, textures, scents, and sounds do they harbor; of the miniscule to awesome creatures that call them home? Just how deep and how wide are they?

 

The oceans we see with our naked eye can invoke such wonder and awe from us, and that’s just one of God’s amazing creations. We haven’t yet considered the range of majestic mountains that exist!

 

What about God?

 

The Creator of both the oceans and the mountains…

 

I once journeyed to the mountains of Hurricane Ridge in the National Reserve Park of Washington state. It was a breathtaking journey, and I was brimming with excitement and giddy anticipation during the three-hour trip to get there. But the moment when I finally got to the top and parked the car, hot burning tears welled up in my eyes and burst forth like waters breaking through a dam. I couldn’t stop them from flowing even if I wanted to. I sobbed and sobbed for quite a while, and I hadn’t even gotten out of the car. The display of majesty before me literally seized me and I said, “How can anyone deny God…”

 

Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…”

 

It is no wonder that when we behold Creation, we can’t help but yearn to know and worship the Creator. I walked away from Hurricane Ridge with a renewed soul—I had learned more about the Creator-God that day—but I also left with an understanding, that I didn’t really know God, at least not all of Him yet. The little that I knew of Him, I knew well and nothing could take that from me. I had met Him, knew Him, and had experienced His love and power. Today, it’s much the same. The only difference is I know Him much more now and that’s because I’ve grown in the knowledge of Him, and by His grace, will continue to mature in that knowledge. Still it remains, that I cannot claim that I know God—all of Him—yet. It’ll take eternity to even begin to know Him!

 

One of our temptations as Christians is to settle for our current knowledge of God and be comfortable with where we’re at. I pray that though we can experience joy with our current knowledge of God (as we should), we’ll continually hunger and pursue after Him still.

 

What secrets does He keep? What wonders does He hold? Just who is this God whose throne is heaven and footstool is the earth? Just who is this God who left that heavenly throne for the sake of a broken world?

 

The great apostle Paul was on to something. I pray that we have this same mind that he urges us to;
 

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

 

“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

 

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehend; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

 

“Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.”

 

- Philippians 3:7-16

 

 

Rebecca Ticoalu serves as the director of Wellsprings Creative, the worship creative ministry of Jesus Reigns International and Abundant Grace Christian Church located in NJ. She is the founder of LOVE OUT LOUD, a love movement fighting against slavery and poverty through artistic and creative expressions.

 

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