God Personified - He is Worthy, Part 4
This is the fourth part in the “He is Worthy” series.
Focusing on God in difficult circumstances by getting a perspective of who God is.
Catch-up on parts one, two and three.
Halfway through preparing this message, it dawned on me how arrogant it is for me to think I could describe God. That I could capture his essence using words. The truth is, no one can claim they fully understand God, and at times that may feel a little frustrating. Francis Chan summed it up nicely when he said “If my mind is the size of a coke can and God is the size of all the oceans, it would be stupid for me to say He is only the small amount of water I can fit inside my tiny can.” And I’m sure that’s not a God worth worshiping anyway.
In the Old Testament, God uses many names for himself – just to list a couple of them:
- El Shaddai means ‘Almighty God’
- Jehovah-shalom means ‘God our peace’
- Jehovah-rohi means ‘God my shepherd’
- Jehovah-jireh means ‘God will provide’
But I think what is more descriptive, or at least fitting in the context of this message, are the attributes of God associated with these names and meanings:
But just like heavenly accounts – words fail. These are words I can comprehend only within the confines of my “coke can” capacity to understand. He is so much more than we can fathom. We won’t truly know, we won’t truly get it, until we’re in His presence.
It’s only natural to be distracted by the storms in life and call out to God to help us with this, or save us from that. And this is not unbiblical to pray and ask. But we need to be mindful this isn’t all we do. And if I may be so brave to say requests to God should all be secondary to worship and praise.
Trusting in the Lord means to obey His will whether we like it or not
God does not exist to serve us. He isn’t a formula we can apply or manipulate to get Him to serve our purposes. Some things that happen we won’t understand, and that’s where trust comes in. The other week we had a gentleman share a testimony that it was an almost certainty that he would get a full scholarship to a university (everyone told him it would happen and his application was merely a formality), and he was dumbfounded when he found it he didn’t get it. It just didn’t make sense, and he asked God – ‘I don’t get it, why didn’t I get it?’ God’s answer came a little while later. The university he had applied to was a university in Wuhan – the epicentre of the coronavirus. Trusting in the Lord means to obey His will whether we like it or not, and it means accepting what He allows to come into our lives, whether we understand it or not. The example of the gentleman that shared the testimony, it become clear why he didn’t get it. But sometimes we might not ever know the reasons for things (read the book of Job). We have to trust that God has a plan and knows where all paths lead. There are some people who blame God for their problems. When trouble comes, they ask, ‘Why did God allow this to happen to me?’ But the truth is, we’ll never see God as our solution until we stop seeing him as the cause of our problem.
The apostle Paul said (Philippians 4:11-12) he could be content in any situation. I believe this is only possible through having an understanding, or rather an appreciation, of who God is. Having an appreciation of what He has done for us. Having foresight of the eternal. I don’t believe we can truly be content if all we focus on are the storm clouds of our circumstance. If all you do is focus on problems – that’s all you’re going to see. It doesn’t mean the storm’s not there, but you’re focusing on something greater. Something eternal. Something that gives a healthy perspective to temporary circumstance.
Worship is unconditional, because He is worthy. Because of who He is. And if we can hold onto that perspective, it will overflow into our lives. Into our circumstances. Into our prayer life. How we treat others. How we love others. The storms clouds of life will be there, draw close to God for strength through these times, but never lose sight of God our father. God our creator. Revel in his glory. My son Macs said to me some time ago – “Dad, I want to worship God in heaven, but I want to do other things too.” I said, “Macs, it’s quite likely that when you’re in heaven worshiping God is all you’ll want to do”