The Attributes of God

It is my opinion that the Christian conception of God current in these middle years of the twentieth century is so decadent as to be utterly beneath the dignity of the Most High God and actually to constitute for professed believers something amounting to a moral calamity.” A. W. Tozer

After a lot of prayer and discussion, I came to the conclusion that what most of us here in the US need is a fresher, bigger idea of who God is. Tozer is right. Here in the West, we have probably the smallest view of who God than at any other time in Christian history. Because we’re so comfortable in our individualistic “American Dream” way of life, we don’t need a big God. This means that on Wednesday evenings at our church, we’ll be starting a study on the attributes of God. We have talked a lot about how we relate to each other in the body of Christ and how we relate to those outside of the body of Christ, now, we’re going to spend time talking about God and how we relate to Him. If we don’t get that right, we’ll never get the relationships here on earth right.

In doing some preliminary thinking and reading on this new Wednesday study, I came across this little “devotional” to help to prepare our hearts for this study. I hope you, whether you are studying the attributes of God or not, will read it and think about the passages listed and consider how you can grow through your knowledge of God.

Why study the attributes of God?

Studying the character and nature of God is not at the top of most people’s “to do” list. Even many Christians, interested in furthering their spiritual growth, might question the practical value of such a pursuit. Why not study something more applicable to real life – “how to read the Bible”, “how to pray”, “how to resist temptation,” “how to share your faith”? What good can come from merely knowing more about the attributes of God?

Surprisingly, however, for many of the heroic figures in the Bible, growing in their knowledge of God was the number one priority of their lives. In fact, the men and women in history who were used most greatly by God all seem to have been gripped by one overriding passion – a burning desire to know the Lord. Christians of a former generation believed that the primary purpose of life is “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” They sensed that, if we really come to know God and learn to delight in him, most of the practical matters of spiritual growth will eventually take care of themselves.

Read the passages listed below. (Take several days to do so, if needed.) As you read, ask yourself the following questions:

1. How did this person express their desire to know the Lord?
2. What do you think drove them to want to know him this way?
3. How might your life change if you were gripped with such a passion to know the Lord?
4. Pray that the Holy Spirit will ignite within you a burning desire to know God better.

Jacob – Genesis 32:22-32
Moses – Exodus 33:12-34:9
David – Psalm 27
Mary – Luke 10:38-42
Paul – Philippians 3:4-11

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