The God Who Wants to Be Known
This past weekend I had the privilege once again of leading a renewal weekend at a local church (this time in Michigan) as we trained a group of leaders from the region, conducted an all-day Prayer Summit, and spoke for the Sunday morning services. The pastor requested that I lead a “Fresh Encounter”-style morning service, praying from Psalm 19. In the course of my preparation, I was struck once again by a profound and encouraging truth. Our God wants us to know Him more than we could even comprehend or desire. What an overwhelming privilege. What a compelling call.
A.W. Tozer wrote, “Wrong ideas about God are not only the fountain from which the polluted waters of idolatry flow; they are themselves idolatrous. The idolater simply imagines things about God and acts as if they were true.” [i] It is a tragic error to imagine a “god” who is distant, removed, or passive – shrouded in a mysterious cloak of heartless religion. Rather, the God of the Scriptures is working constantly to reveal His glory, redeem His people, and draw us to an intimate encounter with His Gospel heart. Author Tim Stafford, in his book Knowing the Face of God, says, “If the Bible carries one repeated message about God, it is that He wants to be known.” [ii]
Revelation in Creation – Do You See it?
If you are familiar with Psalm 19, you will know it is a classic psalm featuring revelation and response. The bulk of the song speaks of God’s revelation through creation and His word. The psalm ends with a practical description of our heart-felt response to His initiative of truth.
All of us have been awestruck by the grandeur of God’s creation, whether it be the vastness of the galaxies of stars, the expanse of the oceans, the majesty of the mountains, or the endless beauty of the plains and valleys. What is the point of this inspiration? It is not simply to impress us with created matter. Rather, it is to inspire us to seek the Creator.
Psalm 19 tells us, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world” (vv. 1-4). The message of creation is a declaration, an announcement of God’s glory, His person, His presence – so that we may know Him.
Romans 1:20 confirms this: “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.” Even the unrighteous cannot block or ignore the omnipresent message of God’s self-revelation in creation.
Take time today to carefully observe and intently consider the beauty of creation, right where you are. Hear the call from the throne of the holy, humble, compassionate, and loving Creator as He invites you to seek Him, know Him, and walk intimately with Him.
Revelation in the Word – Do You Experience it?
Take a minute to read these words carefully and prayerfully: “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19: 7-11).
The point? Through the indescribable treasure of God’s truth, He wants us to know Him through a converted soul, a wise understanding, a joyful heart, enlightened eyes, a teachable mind, and in the expectation of great reward. Don’t read the Bible just for information. Experience it for the reality of intimacy with God through the work of Jesus Christ.
Redemption in Christ – Have You Received it?
God’s ultimate demonstration of His passion for us to know Him was in the cross. When Christ died, paying the penalty for our sin, the Bible tells us the veil of the temple that separated Holy God from sinful man was torn from top to bottom (Mark 15:38). God miraculously confirmed His initiative and invitation for us to know Him through Christ. We now come boldly to the holy throne of grace at the bidding of Jesus, our compassionate High Priest, in intimate encounter, finding Him sufficient for every need (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Response of the Heart – Will You Choose it?
All worship involves revelation and response. Psalm 19 calls us to pray, “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer” (vv. 12-14).
Our earnest response to God’s overwhelming initiative is to acknowledge our tendency toward self-deception, invite His sovereign evaluation, cry out for His cleansing and restoration, and trust Him for the power to live with a pure heart and a life pleasing to Him. This self-revealing and awesome Creator, revealed in Christ, is indeed our strength and our Redeemer. Praise His name!
Copyright © 2012 Daniel Henderson. All rights reserved.
[i] Tozer, A. W., The Knowledge of the Holy (New York: Harper & Row, 1961), 12.
[ii] Stafford, Tim, Knowing the Face of God (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 25.