Summary: This is an introduction to the series. How we see affects our relationship with Him and the way we live. Our view of Him is affected by how see Him and how we think He sees us. We must not assume that God is just like us or reduce Him to human terms.
[Adapted from Chip Ingram’s book God: As He Longs for You to See Him.]
We are starting a new series called – God: as He Longs for You to See Him.
Why is there a need to see God rightly?
John 17:3, 25-26 – In Jesus’ pre-departure prayer:
3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
25 Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.
God invites us to know Him. Life is a friendship with God.
• Eternal life is not defined by its length but by our relationship with God.
• There is nothing more important than this, because this relationship will last forever.
Jesus says He has already made known to us the Father. And then he says He will continue to make the Father known to us.
• Jesus is revealing the Father to us all the time. We are growing continually in our knowledge of Him.
• God has something new to show you about Himself every day - through His Word, His creation, and through life experiences.
We are called to know Him personally and intimately, not just knowing about Him.
• If we are made to have fellowship with God, then knowing Him must be the goal of our lives.
• Jesus says “in order that” we can fully experience God’s love. We experience His love through knowing Him.
To really know Him, we need to be aware of the things that can distort our understanding of God. Our knowledge of God is affected by TWO things:
(1) HOW YOU SEE GOD
Take a look at these pictures (show slides).
• Your perception is very important. We can end up seeing God with many different lenses. Reality and perception can be miles apart.
A. W. Tozer in his book, the Knowledge of the Holy, says: “What comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
• Who we perceive God to be, greatly affects the way we live.
• What you think about God shapes your whole relationship with Him.
Have you ever had a misunderstanding and the words goes like this: “I thought you like this” or “I thought this is what you want” or “Why are you like that.”
• Wrong perception leads to barriers in the relationship. We misread someone’s intention, motivation, or action.
• As long as we have an inaccurate view of the other, the relationship cannot develop in meaningful ways.
(2) HOW YOU THINK GOD SEES YOU
What you believe God thinks about you determines how close you will grow toward Him.
• Many people form a picture of God from their past upbringing or experiences, or from impressions they picked up along the way.
We are always worried and tense because we see God as an over-zealous policeman, a cosmic cop.
We feel guilty and unworthy, because we see Him as an angry judge.
Or we are casual about our sin, because we think God is just like us.
But are these really accurate? What if they are not true at all?
• Misconceptions about God will create barriers to an intimate relationship with Him.
• How you see God and how you think God sees you, affects the quality of life you have.
• It is the same with any relationships. How you see that someone, and how you think that someone sees you, affects that relationship.
THE COMMON ERRORS ABOUT GOD
(1) We tend to assume that God is just like us
Isa 40:25-28 "To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One. 26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God"? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.”
Isa 50:2 “Was my arm too short to ransom you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you?”
• Don’t project human’s limitations and experience upon God. He is not like us.