When you think about God, who do you imagine He is?
The truth is, what we think about God is the most important thing aboutus.That’s because what we think about God impacts every attitude, thought, andaction we take.
If we see him as a vengeful judge, we’ll always feel guilty. If we see himas an apathetic father, we will struggle with believing he loves us. If wethink he’s just like us, we’ll be casual about our sin.
Many of us have formed a picture of God from impressions we’ve picked upthroughout our life. Consciously, or unconsciously, our families, teachers,friends, and churches have impacted our view of Him.
Our culture consistently sends us messages about how to see God as well.Over time, this has caused all of us to carry a distorted image of God.
As a result, it’s natural to wonder … is it even possible to see Godjust as He is?
Can we really, in this life say, “I’ve seen all of God”? The answer is yes– and no. Yes, we can know God truly, but no, we cannot know himexhaustively.
We may not be able to see God face to face, while we’re still in ourphysical state, but we can see Him to the degree He reveals himself to us.We can receive genuine, compelling, and accurate knowledge of God.
That doesn’t mean God is a passive object of study for us to put under ourlimited microscopes. On the contrary, He is intimately involved inself-revelation.
In fact, his revelation to us will depend largely on his relationship tous. First Corinthians 2:12 describes this basic process:“We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who isfrom God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.”
It is only when we are born a second time as a result of having turned fromour sin and receiving Christ as our Savior that the Holy Spirit comes in.The Spirit gives us the ability to understand what we already possess inChrist.
So what’s our part in seeing God as He really is?
Seeing God is not a laid-back spectator sport. It will require everythingin our being, our heart, and our emotions. Our life must say to God, “Iwant to see you. I long to know you.”
Both the Old and New Testaments include promises about this process. Godtells us through Jeremiah:
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. (Jeremiah29:13)
Jesus also describes this process:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock andthe door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; hewho seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.(Luke 11:9-10)
God promises that when we seek Him, we will find Him. He alsopromises to give us the Spirit we need in order to know Him if we ask.
So what about you… Are you seeking Him? Are you asking? Are you knocking?Are you praying, “God, I want to know you”?
There’s nothing more important than getting an accurate view of God. Myhope and prayer is that God will do for you what he’s been doing in mesince I began my study of him – expanding your mind and enlarging yourheart as you seek Him and begin to see God as He longs to be seen.
To learn more about how to seek and know God, download our new, free family devotional: Real Conversations About the Real God.It offers a series of videos along with a downloadable discussion guideto help you and your kids begin to identify common misconceptions andexchange them for the view God has given us of himself.
Watch the first family devotional video in the series: Vending Machine.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip