God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth is transformed and the mountains are toppled into the depths of the seas, though their waters roar and foam and the mountains quake in the surge. The LORD of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. – Psalm 46:1-3, 11 BSB
It was A.W. Tozer’s classic book, ‘The Knowledge of the Holy’, opens with the famous quote, “What comes into our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Tozer posits that our view of God—what we believe God is like in the deep recesses of our being—shapes the whole course of our lives. Our lives can be defined in regards to a single concept, “Who is God to you”, or even, “What kind of God do you serve?”. This is similar to the question that Elijah confronted the people of Israel within 1 Kings 18:21: And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. (1 Kings 18:21) Who is God to you? What kind of God do you serve? Elijah confronts the evil king Ahab and challenges him to a ‘Battle of the Gods’. The king was to have all Israel gather at Mt. Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of the false god Baal and the 400 prophets of the false goddess Asherah The people were not sure WHO THEIR GOD WAS, what type of God He was. Elijah then challenged the prophets of Baal to prepare a bull as an offering for their god—Elijah would do the same—with this catch: they could light no fire on their altar. The God who answered with fire from the sky would be considered the true God. Elijah knew who HIS GOD WAS. Elijah knew what kind of God he served. This is the reason for all of Elijah’s theatrics. Read 1 Kings 18 to see how GREAT OUR GOD IS! It is our view of God that dictates our FAITH! The bigger view of God, the greater our Faith. The lesser view of God, the smaller our faith and our fruit!
Leader, once the sacrifice was ready, Elijah prayed, “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again” (1 Kings 18:36–37). Then God did what King Ahab’s god could never do: the fire of the LORD fell from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, “and also licked up the water in the trench”. The people of Israel bowed down and declared Jehovah, Yahweh- Elijah’s God, as their God. Here is how Tozer opens his wonderful work, “The knowledge of the Holy’: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.” In studying the manner patterns of effectual prayer, I believe it is critical in the beginning to first establish who God is, then our problems seem smaller. When we acknowledge God as the author of the universe and the author of our Faith, then our problems don’t seem that extreme. When we put our focus on our problems, they seem so BIG. However when we focus on OUR BIG GOD, if that is how we see Him, then our problems seem mighty small compared to THE ONE who put the stars in the sky and name them. (Genesis 1:17, Isaiah 40:26) What problem could be too big for the GOD who laid out the foundations of the Earth (Job 38:4), and who knows the number of hairs on our head! (Matthew 10:30)
Conduit, In the Old Testament there are 16 names given for the ONE TRUE GOD. Some of these names are compound names. They attach ‘WHAT’ God does, to ‘WHO’ God is! There is no better way to discover what God is like than to look at His names. When we see WHAT God does for those WHO LOVE HIM, and who are CALLED according to HIS PURPOSE- what can separate us from our ABBA, DADDY, PAPA? Here are the 16 names from the Old Testament. Meditate on what these names mean, and what they mean for one who KNOWS HIM AS GOD, who is HIS CHILD, HIS BELOVED, HIS CHERISHED PRIZE. El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty), El Elyon (The Most High God), Adonai (Lord, Master), Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah), Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner), Jehovah Raah (The Lord My Shepherd), Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals), Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is Present), Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness), Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You), El Olam (The Everlasting God), Elohim (God-plural), Qanna (Jealous), Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide), Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace), Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Heavenly Hosts). How you See God, WHO you believe GOD is- will dictate what type of FAITH you have! I am not just talking about LITTLE FAITH, or GREAT FAITH- I am talking about ACTIVE FAITH, or a passive faith to a God that others talk about! The only way to make sure GOD KNOWS YOU, is to seek God, to DESIRE GOD…to KNOW GOD! “We are Messengers’ has a new song called, “The God You are”. In this beautiful praise and worship chorus, it is clear they know who GOD IS! “It’s in the empty tomb, It’s on the rugged cross, Your death-defying love, Is written in Your scars, You’ll never quit on me, You’ll always hold my heart- Cause that’s the kind of God You are.” I pray that we all GROW to KNOW THIS GOD!