"We want to know Him as He reveals Himself, not as our unassisted human hearts or the world define Him." - Bob Gladstone
Reflections on a Revelation of God as God...
I need to know God as He really is, not as I imagine him to be. Not as someone else has told me he is. Whose word could I trust? Whose experience could be an infallible witness explaining him perfectly?
And yet... God is perfectly revealed in Christ. He is the exact representation of him. That which is unseen is seen in Christ.
Don't you know me, Jesus asked Philip, have I been with you all this time and you still don't know who I am? This his response after Philip exclaimed, "Show us the Father! And it will be enough for us." Seems like an admirable request, one coming from the depths of Philip's captured heart. But Jesus gives him a mild rebuke - how could you ask that, don't you know who I am? When you've seen me, you've seen the Father.
So getting to know Jesus = getting to know the Father. He has declared him. This is the mystery and the significance of the incarnation.
God is revealed in his word. When we read the word of God, divinely inspired by him, we are beholding a true reflection of who he is. This is our standard of measurement for every other revelation. If we think we receive something about God and it doesn't square with what he has already said, then we know that our "revelation" is somehow flawed. God doesn't contradict himself nor does he change like shadows that dance around in the dark.
God desires to reveal himself to me. He longs for me to know him. He wants to pull back the curtain and show me a little more of his goodness, his mercy, his compassion, his glory. He knows I'm weak and can't absorb more than a small fraction of it at once, but still he desires fellowship with me. He wants to break into my world and have me recognize him. He wants me to learn to hear his voice. He wants me to be searching the Scriptures for words to live by, lifting my voice in worship throughout the day, sitting at his feet pouring out my worship perfume.
I want to know him as he is. So many images have been created in the name of God, so many icons, so many avatars impersonating him. People, ideas, false gods, fantasies, theories, all pretending to be THE God of the universe. Yet there is only One true and living God, One way to eternal life, One Creator of all things. Who is this God and what does he say about himself?
Gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
The only way I can truly experience God is by revelation. My heart has to be drawn and he has to open my eyes. Otherwise I cannot know who he really is. Jesus said no one could come to him unless the Father would draw him. So I need God to have God. I need God to even begin to desire God. Everything begins with him. From him, to him, and through him are all things - to him be the glory forever.