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Everything You Need: The Goal of Knowing God

‘[God’s] dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?”’ 

- Daniel 4:34-35 -

 

Too many people think they know God when the truth is they don’t know Him at all. Most people misunderstand God; blaming Him for things He didn’t do and giving Him zero credit for the things He does do. People blame God for their problems, then pat their own back when all is well. The enemy is busy convincing people that abominable behavior is acceptable in today’s world. People can’t see right from wrong, and this blinds their eyes from knowing God. They miss the truth that ‘God is light and in Him is no darkness at all’ (1 John 1:5). But as evangelists, we must be able to answer at least one question: who is God? After all, the correct answer is everything we need.


 

God is all we need to live well. He has many titles in Scripture, and each represents the good He does. When a baby is born, God is the ‘Giver of life’ (Ps. 36:9). If we’re having a peaceful day, God is the ‘Prince of Peace’ (Is. 9:6). We only start to know God intimately when we study how His titles reveal His character; who He is and what He is like. Even at the end of his life and ministry, Paul still says: ‘I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead’ (Phil. 3:10). Like Paul, the determined purpose of our life should be to know God better and have a daily walk with Him. To recognize how He is working in our lives and give Him all the praise.



Paul tells the Ephesians: ‘I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God’ (1:17). Paul doesn’t pray for their problems to vanish, but that they might gain intimate knowledge of God. The very name of God – Yahweh – was so revered by the Israelites that they were afraid to speak it. It translates as “I AM WHO I AM” (Ex. 3:14) and it revealed to Moses from the burning bush that God always was and forever will be. God is constant; ‘the same yesterday and today and forever’ (Heb. 13:8). He is the absolute standard of truth, goodness, and beauty. God will do what He will do. As we realize this, our fears will crumble. He is powerful to protect, has knowledge to guide, and His presence goes with believers into all the world.

 

When we understand God’s immensity, it reshapes reality and our walk with Him. ‘He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together’ (Col. 1:17). He is sovereign, possessing supreme power. Even Nebuchadnezzar is forced to admit: ‘[God’s] dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?”’ (Dan. 4:34-35). It is this all-powerful God who gives us peace that passes all understanding. He anoints us to be a blessing to others and inspires Paul to write: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Col. 1:17). This is our great God!

 

God is all and in all. He is “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8). Yet, almost unbelievably, Almighty God longs to hold us close to His bosom: ‘For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end’ (Ps. 48:14). Paul tells the Romans that we can even cry out to Him as “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15). ‘Abba’ is what a child would call their papa, and as God’s children we gain the intimate privilege to call Him by this name. This is high honor should motivate you to ‘walk worthy of the calling with which you were called’ (Eph. 4:1), sanctifying us to rise to a higher way of life.



Our ‘Abba’ possesses ultimate power. He is Yahweh El Elyon: ‘God Most High.’ In the midst of great trials, David says: ‘I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me’ (Ps. 27:2). This name stresses His supremacy in creation and can be translated ‘the Extremely-Exalted, Sovereign, High God.’ Those who truly know this powerful God overcome cowardice as ‘God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind’ (2 Tim. 1:7). Those who know God Most High are never passive. They face spiritual enemies head-on and act. Abram arms 318 servants to face a huge army that captures his nephew, Lot. By God’s might, Abram reclaims what the enemy stole and, afterward, the high priest Melchizedek blesses him, saying: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand” (Gen. 14:19-20).

 

We can overcome fear because the Lord our God is El Shaddai: ‘God Almighty’ (Gen. 17:1). Nothing is impossible for Him. He can solve any problem. What’s amazing is that this same power is made available to all Christ-followers. Paul writes: ‘I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms’ (Eph. 1:19-20). With Satan now a defeated foe (Col. 2:15), John reminds us that ‘He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world’ (1 John 4:4). We can be bold as lions knowing the power we need to live victoriously is supplied by God Almighty.


Paul admits: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God’ (2 Cor. 3:5). God is the power source. We need to stay plugged into Him every moment of every day. Samson was anointed to be strong and his connection to God was his long hair (Judg. 13:5). When he got involved with Delilah and she cut his hair off, he was unplugged from the power source and lost all his might. So stay close to God. Be quick to repent when you’ve done something wrong. That way you won’t lose your connection to God and you’ll be bold to confront the enemy. The power of God is available as long we have faith in His might. As David says: “Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all” (1 Chron. 29:12).



The first word translated as ‘God’ comes in Genesis 1:1: ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ The Hebrew word for God here is ‘Elohim.’ It is translated ‘God’ more than any other word in the Old Testament. Elohim is plural, showing that there is more than one member of the Godhead. There is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and Elohim refers to all of them. We may struggle to grasp the Three-In-One nature of God, but the Spirit teaches us that the Triune God is Elohim, the one true God.


Another great name of God is Yahweh Shalom: ‘God is Peace’ (Judg. 6:24). In Gideon’s day, Israel was under Midian oppression. Food and livestock were stolen, so God’s people were forced to dwell in caves. Israel cried out for deliverance and God recruited Gideon, who built an altar of peace to God in expectation of victory. Gideon named it ‘Shalom,’ which means the absence of strife. So when it seems the whole world is against us or we’re unable to deal with the problems before us, turn to the God of Shalom to find comfort and strength. After all, ‘the Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace’ (Ps. 29:11).

 

Peace is the deepest need of the human heart and God desires to give us His peace. As God tells Jeremiah: “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (29:11). God wants us to experience His perfect peace which alone sustains us in trials. As such, we must petition God to sanctify us and cause us to walk uprightly, as ‘to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace’ (Rom. 8:6). The more we let God’s will become our will, the more peace we have. Christ declares: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).



God is many things to many people, but we give thanks most of all that ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8). Because of His love, God is the One who provides. God tells Abraham to offer his son as a burnt offering. He demonstrates his faith by rising early the next morning and traveling to Mount Moriah, where he builds an altar and binds Isaac. But before Abraham can offer up his beloved son, a voice calls from heaven, and Isaac’s life is spared. Abraham then sees a ram caught in a thicket, which he takes and offers to God instead. He therefore calls that place Yahweh Jireh, ‘God Will Provide’ (Gen. 22:14), due to God’s gracious provision of a substitute for Isaac, foreshadowing Christ’s sacrifice for sin on that very mountain two thousand years later.

 

The more we know God, the more we become like Him. God is love, so we ought to be loving. He supplies all our needs, so we ought to meet the needs of others. This is why believers are to ‘consider one another in order to stir up love and good works’ (Heb. 10:24). God’s family is to be a loving community vitally concerned about each other’s welfare. We must go out of our way to meet the needs of those around us. This doesn’t happen on its own. It takes a determined effort on our part. We need to observe and support others no matter the challenge, for this is how God loves.

 

We mimic God by giving generously; doing more than what’s asked. Love is unselfish and always advances others. This is how God is: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). Love gives but ‘does not seek its own’ (1 Cor. 13:5). Paul says to be ‘distributing to the needs of the saints [and] given to hospitality’ (Rom. 12:13). The word translated as ‘given’ means to hotly pursue something until it’s caught. So Paul is telling us to pursue hospitality until we become genuinely hospitable people. We must decide today to aggressively bless others, not just because it’s biblical, but it help us experience what God is like and lets us know Him better.



God is amazing. He is our provider and healer. He gives strength, wisdom, and peace in the midst of storms. He is Yahweh Sabaoth: ‘The Lord Of Armies.’ David help onto God’s greatness of God when he faced Goliath with a sling. He told the giant: “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” (1 Sam. 17:45). Like David, we are soldiers in God’s army, and with Him on our side, true defeat is never an option. Christ is our Captain and He ‘always leads us in triumphal procession’ (2 Cor. 2:14). God isn’t here to please us. No. We’re here to please Him. So heed Paul’s parting wisdom to Timothy: ‘No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier’ (2 Tim. 2:4).

 

Look around. The ravages of sin are everywhere. It’s at the point where homosexuals are ordained to lead local churches. This offends God who says: “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 20:7). He is Yahweh M'Kaddesh: ‘God who sanctifies and sets apart.’ No other name better expresses His character and the requirements on His people. Holiness is the most solemn and impressive of all His attributes. It encapsulates His splendor and majesty. His holiness is so intense that David says: ‘Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness’ (Ps. 29:2). And because we are His children, it is God’s desire to impart the beauty of His holiness to us. He actually wants us to be holy just as He is holy!



Our perfectly holy God doesn’t leave us to struggle toward holiness that’s impossible to attain by human effort. No, Yahweh M'Kaddesh makes us holy! What we can’t do on our own, He does in us ‘for His good pleasure’ (Phil. 2:13). This cosmic generosity ought to drive us into the arms of the only One who is holy (Rev. 15:4). God shares His nature with us via our union with Christ. He robes us in His holiness, transforming us into new creations by His good grace. So Hebrews warns that without holiness, ‘no one will see the Lord’ (12:14). This grows clear when we consider what God did through Christ: ‘He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him’ (2 Cor. 5:21).

 

We can’t become righteous by self-effort. True righteousness only comes from Yahweh Tsidkenu: ‘God our righteousness’ (Jer. 23:6). God reveals this name to Jeremiah in a day when His people were anything but sinless. In fact, they were being exiled into Babylon for constant sin and unfaithfulness to God. Yet in the midst of devastation, God comforts His own by promising to send a Messiah – Jesus Christ – to sit on David’s throne and give a permanent solution to sin. His righteousness becomes ours by faith, so stand in awe of Him! Bow down in reverence. Call upon the Lord of righteousness today. His arms are wide open. James says: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above’ (1:17). Christ’s righteousness is gifted to us by our Father above. In Him we shall not want as He is everything we need.



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