Do You Really Know God?
Author Gary Thomas Helps Us Gain a More Accurate Picture of Our Creator
October 23, 2012 - Gary Thomas, award-winning author, will teach us here at The Cove later this month about knowing the Object of our worship. Read below, as he explains why it is important to know the names of God.
By Joy Allmond
We live in a self-important society. We take personality tests. We use social media to broadcast what is on our mind. We hear slogans that tell us we’re due something or we deserve a reward.
But, in order to live in such a way that God is most glorified, we must pursue a greater knowledge of Him.
“To really be who God made us to be, we must make it a priority to know Him over knowing ourselves. Who God is will transform our own lives, our relationships, and our own sense of identity,” explained Thomas.
God As Creator
One way Thomas will give the audience a biblical lens through which they can more closely examine God is to study Him as Creator. When we can emphasize God as our Creator as much as we do our Savior, this provides a stronger basis for worship.
“This understanding should change how we view our lives, days, body and money. God as Savior is such a glorious role. But He has a prior claim as creator.”
So, how does this understanding change the way we live?
“I think it feeds our worship. We realize just how great God is and that’s what informs our worship. We’re not relying on our feelings toward him but leaning on a deeper understanding of who He is and what makes him who He is,” said Thomas.
“The more we love Him and understand Him, we see that He’s better than could have dreamed. And we gain an appreciation of who He is by studying His names.”
Not only can we know God deeper through understanding His names and his attributes, we can better understand ourselves. God’s position as creator, explains our call to create. We are called to a sense of mission.
“We are to be people who create. The problem is passivity. We’re not creating as God calls us to create. Fathers are leaving children instead of creating families. Instead of creating work or business, people are waiting for handouts. Instead of sharing our faith to create bro sis in Christ, we often sit out these opportunities, afraid to do so.”
A Merciful God
Another name Thomas will examine during the seminar is “God the Merciful.”
We like to receive mercy, but we’re often slow to give it. Thomas hopes to help people become more merciful as he teaches them about the God of mercy.
“We’ll look at the well known passage in Micah that tells us to love mercy, act justly, and to walk humbly with God. We’re called to love, and out of that love we are to give mercy to others.”
Understanding: A Precursor to Change
Once we gain an understanding of God’s names and attributes (like Creator and Merciful), we get more than just knowledge: we’re called to action. We’re not learning just to gain information; we’re learning so we can change.
“Knowing who God is affects how we treat others. When we lack mercy, we have poisoned relationships because we’re holding on to things. Also, when we can understand who God is, for instance, as Creator, it changes the way we worship. We’re not just worshipping when the music is catchy or the hymns sound majestic, but we’re worshipping in spirit and in truth.”
You can still make plans! Join Gary October 29-31 as you fall more in love with God and learn to become a more accurate picture of Him.