God is doing a great and mighty work in Brentwood Church! Whether you join us at Jefferson Forest High School, Brentwood Church Online, or simply follow us on social media, we hope you have experienced the stirring in the atmosphere. The power of the presence of God is among us, moving and awakening hearts and we are definitely experiencing it in our church family right now. But no matter where you find yourself as you read this blog, it is my prayer that you personally experience it too.
It’s a tremendously exciting and terrifying thought, the power and presence of God. In the Bible, we read of so many momentous moments where the power of God manifested in a way that was so incomprehensible to those present. Think of the first rainbow brushed across the sky as a promise to Noah or the parting of the Red Sea, the announcement of the Incarnation to Mary or the unanticipated Resurrection of Jesus.
"It’s a tremendously exciting and terrifying thought, the power and presence of God."
When Moses received the Ten Commandments, he did so in the presence of God, and we see that when Moses came down off that mountain, he was so changed by the encounter, even physically so, that his face shone with radiance, frightening those around him. He had to wear a veil to conceal the radiance of his skin because of the encounter he had with the presence of the Almighty.
But the power of God can also sometimes be a terrifying thought, such as the Great Flood or the plagues upon the Egyptians, the desolation of Sodom and Gomorrah or the sudden death of Ananias and Sapphira. If you have ever taken the time to think about these happenings, it’s likely that, more than anything, God seemed more unapproachable or incomprehensible to you. But have you ever thought about this:
The God that exists inside our minds is infinitely diminished and far too familiar than the God who exists outside our minds.
We tend to be all too comfortable with a God we can measure or control. We find security in understanding just exactly who God is and who He isn’t. But what kind of God is this?
A.W. Tozer writes in his book, The Knowledge of The Holy, “The God of contemporary Christianity is only slightly superior to the gods of Greece and Rome, if indeed He is not actually inferior to them in that He is weak and helpless while they at least had power.”
The God of 2017 seems so different than the God we see in the Bible. Our world has done an incredible job at making God out to be some helpless deity, begging and pleading for us to turn to Him and allow Him to make our already luxurious life somehow better. God’s identity of power and glory, radiance and marvel has been given to a franchise of leather-dressed, sarcastic super-humans.
What happened to our view of God? Why did we allow Him to become so tangible to us?
Well, I'm glad you asked because I have a theory, but to understand this theory, we have to understand something else first. Though God is incomprehensible, we can know God. Contradictory, I know, but bare with me. Because we have been created in the image of God, there is a yearning within man, a “yearning to know what cannot we known, to comprehend the incomprehensible, to touch and taste the unapproachable”.
"Though God is incomprehensible, we can know God. Contradictory, I know..."
And through God’s presence, the Holy Spirit, He reveals Himself to the honest at heart. To the one who earnestly seeks, He will be found. But I believe that somewhere along the way, some centuries ago, we were told a lie that one cannot ‘know God’ on his/her own. This lie infiltrated the church, silencing the yearning of our minds, the desires of our hearts, and the curiosity of our imagination.
Even after this lie was uncovered and brought to light, it had already done its job. We became complacent and all too eager to let someone else wrestle with the mysteries of God for us, only to gorge ourselves with their findings thereafter. We stopped gazing upon the glory of God, praying for His power and presence, and we most definitely stopped being filled with awe and wonder. But it was not meant to be this way! We are each to know God in an intimate, wonderful way! As we are experiencing right now in our church, God’s power and presence are available to each and everyone one of us who believes in Jesus and follows after Him each day.
"We became complacent and all too eager to let someone else wrestle with the mysteries of God for us, only to gorge ourselves with their findings thereafter."
God has revealed things about Himself through His Word, through His Son, through His Spirit, and through His creation. So how can we reignite the ‘yearning in our souls to know What cannot be known, to comprehend the Incomprehensible, to touch and taste the Unapproachable’? I believe it’s quite simple and found in one single word: