Summary: God wants people to know who He is and what He is like so we can answer His call with full assurance that He is with us and will accomplish His purposes through us.
Knowing the One Who Has Called Us
Caller ID: Before you answer a call, it sometimes helps to know who is calling. Caller ID may be one of the greatest inventions since sliced bread. Many of you already have an idea of what is meant by answering God’s call. It is a call to do life with Him instead of going it alone without Him. It is a call to follow Him and live a life that honors Him in every way. It is a call to freely receive His grace and pass it on to others.
-I’d like to spend a few minutes tonight on knowing the Caller. When we think about God, what informs our perception of who He is? What is He like? What is important to Him? And most importantly, how does His identity impact my own identity?
-Has there ever been a time when you really thought you knew someone, but something happened along the way that made you realize that there was a whole lot more to this person than you realized? As we are getting to know God, that probably happens on a regular basis. Just when we think we’ve got God figured out, we glimpse another aspect of His character and personality and have to adjust the way we think about Him. Let me just say that whatever you think you discover about God must line up with what He has revealed about Himself in the Bible. Otherwise, it just isn’t true.
-God wants people to know who He is and what He is like, so He told Moses and the people of Israel not to misrepresent Him. Take a look at it in Exodus 20 in the 10 words or commands God gave them:
Exodus 20:3-5 3 "You shall have no other gods before me. 4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
-God made man in His image, and commanded that His people not change His image, or make other gods by coming up with their own images. Unfortunately, people have made God up for thousands of years. Look at how Romans 1 tells the story:
-Romans 1:22-25 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-- who is forever praised. Amen.
-Man has hijacked the things God has created (animals, stars, the sun, moon, etc.) and tried to make gods out of them. Most of us do not relate to this in our day and age, but there are ways we have tried to project human attributes and characteristics that we are fond of onto God. In essence we may have tried to recreate God in our own image the way we would like Him to be. So we have to ask the question, “Have we manufactured a tailor-made God who places a higher value on what political party a person may be a part of, or whether or not a person uses alcohol or tobacco or drugs, or what religious creed we subscribe to than on where a person’s heart is and how much of God’s love is flowing through it?” Have we remade Jesus to be a white middle class republican who faithfully attends church at least 3 times a week? That is not a bad image but God is so much bigger than our idea or representation of Him! He is big enough to love every sinner on this planet! He is big enough to reach out to the outcasts whose lives may be in bondage to addictions, to people who struggle with sexual sins, to those who embrace a different political ideology than you do. God’s love even reaches to politicians and IRS officials. His love reaches to those involved in homosexuality, to those who commit adultery, to those who have had abortions. Are you sure you know Who is calling you and so many others to Himself? How is your Caller ID?
-Now, we must understand that nobody on this earth has it all right. Nobody has perfect doctrine or a corner on all truth. However, there are certain unchangeable attributes that the Bible uses to describe God. Any time we remake God into someone He is not, we are moving in the same direction as idolatry – making God up and misrepresenting Him to others.