How do you relate to God? How would you classify your relationship with the Creator of the Universe, the Author of Eternity?
My wife Mandy and I were on a long road trip recently, which gave us a great opportunity for long, deep discussions. One of the questions she asked on our most recent trip was related to a guy’s view of our relationship with God. She was telling me that as she considers her relationship with Christ, she most often relates to the idea of the church being the Bride of Christ: Christ loving the church as a husband. So Mandy’s question to me was, “How do GUYS view their relationships with God? How do they relate to the idea of being a bride?”
It challenged me to articulate how I most often characterize my relationship with God. Do I view Him as a father? A friend?
Some of my favorite sections of the Bible are found in the Old Testament. Every time I read through those books, I’m astonished by how many times, in dramatic fashion, God would show up to deliver the Israelites through nothing short of a miracle… and then how quickly they subsequently forgot. I’m always struck by God using the phrase, “and then they will know that I Am the Lord.” I struggle to escape the mightiness and holiness of our God. I think too often we try to limit our understanding of God into what we can comprehend as humans, and we completely lose the awesomeness and unfathomable nature of His
holiness. “Then they will know I am the Lord.” God told Lot and his family, don’t turn around and look back at Sodom, or you’ll turn into a pillar of salt. God sent devastating plagues to Egypt, parted the Red Sea, and had manna fall from the sky. He would only let Moses see him AFTER he passed by the mountain, because his glory is too much to behold. The Levites were prohibited from touching certain items in the tabernacle, or they would DIE. Leviticus and Numbers are filled with commands of the amazingly large sacrifices that He demands, and the overwhelming details in types and number of animals, fragrances and even the manner in which they were killed for sacrifice.
If you read through the books of the Old Testament—and allow your imagination to take you through the text—it’s easy to see an incomparable grandeur in the works the Lord displayed to not only show His glory, but to show how much He loved His people. As I absorb the descriptions of His glory that we’re given in the Old Testament, and then reiterated in Revelation, I don’t think we can even begin to comprehend what’s in store for us.
It leads me to a unique captivation with God’s holiness. It makes me want to avoid trying to put “what God must be like” into any human terms, because I (maybe we) end up limiting God to some kind of super-hero. I don’t have, nor do I want to try to have, the ability to comprehend REALLY what it means for Him to be omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. And at the same time, through His unfathomable holiness and glory, He loves us to the point of sending His son to reconcile us, so that we may enjoy and be a part of His glory, forever.
So how do you view God? Allow me to encourage you, if you haven’t recently, to read through some of the text of the Old Testament. Allow your imagination to experience Elijah as he was performing miraculous works to reveal God’s glory. Allow yourself to imagine living in Egypt as the plagues of locusts, or darkness, or frogs, or blood, came to destroy. Put yourself in Ezekiel’s shoes as He hears God say, “and then they will know I am the Lord….” Become captivated by His unfathomable Holiness.