February 12, 2014

Will the real God please stand up . . .

I’ve heard it said that in a conversation between two people, there are at least “six people.” That is, there are two as they actually are, two as each imagines the other to be, and two as each wants the other to be. Very precious is the conversation between two who are actually who they are!

Today’s devotional reading reviews that worship is about accepting God as He actually is, and in the process He communicates Himself to us. Such worship is infinitely precious. Not only does it require that I be totally transparent before God, but that my understanding of who He is matches up with what He has revealed about Himself. This revelation came to us through Jesus Christ . . .

No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. (John 1:18)

In this short verse, several things are said. One is that God is not visible, but He exists and He is the only God. Yet that “only God” is referring to the Son, Jesus Christ, who is at the Father’s side, God made flesh. The Son is not the Father, but He is God and makes the invisible God visible and known to us.

There is more. The Son makes God visible, but the Holy Spirit is also at work to make God known . . .

These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. (1 Corinthians 2:10–13)

When Jesus walked this earth, He knew He would not stay here forever; when He rose from the dead, He would return to the Father. However, He would also send the Holy Spirit who would continue to present God to us, not a god we imagine or a god that we make up, but the genuine, actual God.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. (John 16:13–14)

Of course, idol worship is forbidden. My God cannot be a god that I imagine, or make up, or devise in any way. I am not to worship anything or anyone but the real thing, the real God. Whenever I get confused about the nature of the real God, then I can check what I am thinking against the Person of Jesus Christ, who is God visible, a God with skin, a God that revealed Himself in a way that I can grasp and understand.

The catch? First, I need to believe that God does exist and that He will reveal Himself to me. Second, I need to believe that Jesus and the Father are one, that the God who exists and reveals Himself has done so in the Person of the Son and whatever the Son has done is a revelation of this God that calls me to worship Him . . .

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. (John 14:10)

Third, I must also believe and accept that what Jesus said about Himself. That is, He communicates through His Word, the Bible, and that gives me all that I can know about God and all that I need to know Him, the true and living God.

For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. (John 17:8)

If I trash the Bible or dismiss it, then my concept of God will be an error, and my worship a vanity. How can any worship be real if the god that I worship is not? And how important to remember that He wants me to be real also!

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