Raising Our View of God

Psalm 145:5 
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.

Introduction 
J.I. Packer wrote that, “The word majesty, when applied to God, is always a declaration of His greatness and an invitation to worship.”1  We serve a God that is infinite, eternal and almighty, but do we really regard Him as such? Too often, it is easy for us to view God through the same lens we view people; we may believe that He has forgotten about us or that He has lost interest in us.  Nothing could be further from the truth! Our God is perfect and holy. He is compassionate and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love.2  He is our healer, sanctifier, Father and so much more.3  The very thought of Him should spur us to worship. So, how do we begin to raise our view of God and give Him the praise that is due? 

There is a direct correlation between how we view someone and how we treat someone.  When we have an accurate view of who we are speaking to, it will affect the way we speak to them.  It is the same way with God.  If we want to find more joy in Him, revere Him more, and worship Him wholeheartedly, we must try to understand just how awesome and majestic He is.  We must raise our view of God.

God’s Revelation and Israel’s Reaction 
It is easy for us to look through the Old Testament and think, “Those faithless Israelites! What were they thinking?” If it had been us, we probably would not have behaved much differently.  Here are several examples where God revealed Himself, His might and His faithfulness: 

  1. Moses performs signs before the people.4
  2. God sends the ten plagues.5
  3. God uses Moses to part the Red Sea.6
  4. Water comes forth from a rock.7
  5. God provides manna and meat to eat.8
  6. Water comes forth from a rock.9  

Despite God’s persistent faithfulness, Israel demonstrates an attitude of ungratefulness, disbelief and bitterness.  Because of their lack of faith, they revert to a state of disobedience.

  • Exodus 16:3, 3:13, 32:1
  • Joshua 24:2-3
  • 1 Kings 18:26-29

Our Disease 
The examples given from the Old Testament allow us to understand man’s natural inclination to not regard God as highly as He deserves.  Natural man is sinful, and without being touched by God, we cannot understand the ways of the Spirit. 

  • 1 Corinthians 2:14
  • 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
  • John 3:19
  • Ephesians 4:17-18
  • Isaiah 59:9-10

An Accurate View of God
A.W. Tozer said that what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.  The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.10   We must correctly understand the nature of God.  We must study His attributes.  An attribute of God is a perfection of His being; a quality that, without which, God would not be God.  It is not what we imagine, visualize or analogize Him to be like, for when we do these things we start with things that are like us and our experience, which will lead us to an incorrect image of God, which is idolatry.

  1. God is Self-Existent. He is uncreated; He owes His existence to no one and to nothing.  He is therefore obligated to no one; responsible to no one, accountable to no one, for anything He chooses to do.  He is indebted to nothing. He is perfectly, completely, uncontrollably, unchangingly free.  God said, “I am that I am.”11   This is the ultimate statement of self- existence.  He is limited, bound, obligated, and completely understood by no one.  He is to be feared and revered.  We should not offend Him.
  2. God is Self-Sufficient. He needs nothing for His continued existence.  He has life in and of Himself; He is the dispenser of life.  He is unlike us, in that He is all He needs.  He is therefore never threatened, deprived, or “blackmailed.”  Conversely, nothing can promote or elevate His position – He has it of Himself, and the creatures He has made are powerless to change Him. He therefore does not need us to believe in Him – man’s doubt does not affect Him in the least, because He is what He is in Himself, without regard to any other.  To believe in Him adds nothing to His perfections; to doubt Him takes nothing away. 
  3. God is Supreme. He rules and reigns freely above all that exists.12  His will is therefore never effectually resisted, His power never restrained, and His purposes never frustrated.13  
  4. God is Sovereign. He does as He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases.14
    • Isaiah 46:10 
    • Psalm 115:3 
    • Daniel 4:35 
      There is therefore no “Law of Right” to which God must conform or be subject.  He is a law unto Himself, so that whatever He does is right.15   God is not subject to law, nor is His law arbitrary.  God’s ways are right and good because He is the standard; goodness and rightness are His very nature. 
  5. God is All-Powerful. He has the ability to actualize whatever He pleases.  His power is like Himself – infinite, incomprehensible, cannot be checked, restrained, or frustrated; not acquired; independent of recognition; self-existent; self-sustained.  Venues of His power include creation,16  preservation,17  and judgment.18  Our response should be to tremble,19  trust20  and praise. 21 

Practical Next Steps 
Saturate your mind with the Word.  God’s mighty attributes are brimming from each page of the Bible.  Spend time meditating on it, memorizing it, and letting its truth transform your mind.  

  • Romans 12:2
  • Psalms 119:14-16
  • 1 Peter 2:2
  • 1 Timothy 3:15-16
  • Hebrews 4:12

Elevate your view of God.  Seek Him earnestly and ask Him to transform your view of Him.

  • Romans 11:33
  • John 1:14
  • Hebrews 1:3
  • Colossians 1:15-17
  • Isaiah 46:5-9

Conclusion
It is simple enough to reel off a list of God’s adjectives – merciful, righteous, gracious, etc. But when times get tough, will you choose to still view Him in the same way? A.W. Tozer compared possessing the right concept of God to having a strong foundation of a building. “Where it is inadequate or out of plumb," he wrote, "the whole structure must sooner or later collapse." Take a few moments and meditate on the knowledge of what you have learned. Begin praying that God transform your view of Him and give you a window into His splendor of majesty. 

Application Questions 

  1. What are some particular areas in your life that show you are thinking inaccurately about God? Perhaps you do not want to trust God with your money or a relationship. 
  2. What does the Bible say about the inaccurate thinking? 
  3. What are practical ways that you can begin to live according to what the Bible says and not your own understanding? Share these goals with your discipler.

Memory Verses  
Psalm 145:5
Isaiah 40:28 

How does this study reinforce your belief in the gospel?

References

  1. Packer, J.I. Knowing God Devotional Journal. 82.
  2. Psalm 145:8
  3. Exodus 15:26
  4. Exodus 4:29-31
  5. Exodus 7:1-11:10
  6. Exodus 14:20-21
  7. Exodus 15:25
  8. Exodus 16:1-13
  9. Exodus 17:1-7
  10. Tozer, A.W. Knowledge of the Holy.
  11. Exodus 3:14
  12. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12; 2 Chronicle 20:6; Psalm 2:1-5
  13.  Job 23:13, 42:2; Psalms115:3; Proverbs 21:1,30; Ephesians 1:11; Romans 11:36
  14. Pink, A.W.
  15. Isaiah 45:9
  16. Genesis 1; Psalm 33: 6, 9
  17. Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3
  18. Ezekiel 22:14
  19. Psalm 96:9
  20. Psalm 27:1
  21. Exodus 15:11
 

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Other Resources

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The Gospel Coalition
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The Resurgence
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Desiring God
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God Squad
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Gospel Centered Discipleship
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CCDA
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