Several years ago, JB Phillips wrote the book, Your God Is Too Small, and I would dare say that this is true of almost all of us. It is difficult for our tiny minds and localized experience to grasp the true vastness of Jehovah God. How can we even begin to fathom something that has no beginning, that the universe has no ending, and that this God fills and commands it all?
There is part of our unknowing that is good for us. After all, God told Moses that he could not look on the full frontal sight of even the goodness of God and live. If a human can’t stand a glimpse of His goodness, how could we bear looking at His power, or His wrath? We’d be vaporized on the spot! God knows this and veils Himself so we can see in part and know in part, and still be awed and delighted by what we do see.
However, there is also part of our unknowing that is sinful, because it is born by apathy or ignorance. When we don’t trouble ourselves to think about what He has revealed about Himself, or try to the best of our meager capacity to know Him, or, in a shocking display of ingratitude, fail to seek to discover what pleases the One who gave His Son/His life for us—that is sin. It is borderline atheism. We need to repent, to turn and seek to know Him more!
Almighty God—What do you imagine when you think of this name? Something strong and majestic like a mountain? Something terrifying like a vicious storm or inferno? In a primitive world where everything was a mystery and every unexplainable action on the planet was attributed to a god/God, perhaps they had a better grasp of the concept of Almighty God. But we live in a culture where everything has a scientific explanation (even if it’s the wrong explanation). God is given no credit for wonders, and only mentioned with derision when blamed for disasters. At those times He is not seen as almighty, but cruel or absent.
Where does the Christian mindset fit in a culture like this? First, we need to cultivate our own concept and experience of who God is, including His might, by seeking knowledge of Him in the scriptures. We need to do this by study, not merely through casual reading. We should come to the Word with the intention, “What does this tell me about You? Lord, show me what I have been missing about You.” When we do this, God will delight to reveal more and more about Himself to us.
The second thing we need to do is a bit riskier, I won’t lie to you. We humans like our comfort zones, and we like to feel in control of our lives (it’s an illusion we delight in), but if we are intent on really knowing this Almighty God, we need to trust Him enough to take the next step and ask Him to allow us to know Him, not just intellectually through our study, but experientially. That sounds great on the surface, but when we realize that experiencing His might makes us feel so small, and experiencing His holiness makes us feel so depraved, and experiencing His provision makes us understand how truly helpless we are, we begin to realize that what we are asking is not for the faint of heart. We recall that that almost every God-encounter in the scripture left the human on their face and terrified.
And yet, do you think Moses, or Daniel, or John, or any of the others who saw the power and glory of God regretted what they had experienced? It was life-altering in all the right ways. It showed a trust in God that is not ever displayed by those who insist on sticking to their safe little worlds where they delude themselves that they are in control.
Bear in mind, I am not advocating we seek “experience” just for the thrill of it. My point is that we seek to experience God in order to know Him and worship Him more and better. If we are not at all interested in knowing more of this Almighty God, we need to question if we have lost our first love, and need to pray for renewal and revival in our hearts.
It is alright if this prayer makes us tremble a bit. It should, if we know anything about God. But that same knowledge should compel us to swallow hard and go forward to pray such a prayer, knowing that it will delight our Savior that we trust Him enough to ask for something that far beyond our control. It shows we are willing to take our hands off the wheel, to allow Him to blow the sides off the boxes we’ve put Him in, and to begin to see with sharper focus just how Almighty a God He truly is.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries