I hear people say, “God’s not like this. He’s like that.” And then I hear others who say the opposite. And I say, “You’re both right.” Some people came to Jesus to be healed, others to hear the Word. He refused to disappoint either group.
God is so vast that you can’t squeeze Him into your tiny conception of Him. However big you see Him, He’s even bigger than that.
My favorite revelation of the Lord is “My-Best-Friend-I-Can-Tell-Him-Anything-God.” Something deep inside me desperately needs his presence and His friendship. But, He’s a million times more than just my “best buddy.”
Last week I was preparing share a message about heaven. As I read what John related of his experience in Revelation, I thought to myself: “You know, everyone is afraid when you talk about hell. Woah! I’m a bit awed when I look into heaven.”
In Revelation, you get a glimpse of the “You-Better-Not-Mess-Around-With-Him” God. Don’t you dare take Him lightly. John knew Jesus as best friend, confidant, and someone he could go for walks and talk with. But, suddenly he saw the Lord in a way he had never known and his knees buckled.
“I, John, your brother who shares with you this journey in persecution and the establishment of the Kingdom and endurance in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the ministry of the word of God and my testimony about Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day (the first day of the week), and I heard a voice behind me. It sounded like the blast of a trumpet.
A Voice: 11 [I am the Alpha and the Omega, the very beginning and the very end…
12 When I turned around to see what sort of voice this was that was addressing me, I saw seven golden lampstands. 13 And among the lampstands, I saw One like the Son of Man right in front of me dressed in a long robe. Across His chest was draped a golden sash. 14 His head and hair were pure white, white as wool and white as snow; His eyes blazed like a fiery flame; 15 His feet gleamed like brightly polished bronze, purified to perfection in a furnace; His voice filled the air and sounded like a roaring waterfall. 16 He held seven stars in His right hand, from His mouth darted a sharp double-edged sword, and His face shone a brilliant light, like the blinding sun.”
The Son of Man is none other than the risen Jesus shining in glory, moving among the lampstands.
“When I saw Him, I fell at His feet. It was as though I were dead. But He reached down and placed His right hand on me.
“The One: This is not the time for fear; I am the First and the Last, 18 and I am the living One. I entered the realm of the dead; but see, I am alive now and for all the ages—even ages to come. [Amen.][d] I possess the keys to open the prison of death and hades.” (Rev. 1:10-18, The Voice)
Wait John, what are you getting overexcited about? It’s just your good buddy Jesus. Yeah. But, oh, la, la …
God is not a flat one-dimensional God. If you’ve got Him figured out, you haven’t figured anything out yet.
To those who need forgiveness and right standing with God He reveals Himself as the Lord our righteousness. To those who need healing He’s Jehovah-rapah, God our healer. Those who are troubled need to meet Jehovah-shalom, God our peace and those who are battling the enemy need to meet Jehovah-nissi, God our banner.
Some feel far away and they need to meet God as Ezekial saw him–the God who is there, present.
He’s not five different Gods. He’s all we’ve said and much, much more.
Honestly, (I think) I want God to reveal His glory to me more and more. I prize my relationship with my “Best-Friend Jesus” but I want to know Him intimately (Philippians 3:7) and if I really want to understand Him I’ve got to see more and more of His glory.
That’s a bit scary, not in a bad way but in an unsettling way. It’s also life-changing.
How about you? Do you know Him better than you did a few years ago? Or have you seen an aspect of His personality that you needed at the time and stopped there? If that’s the case, you’re probably wondering what God seems so flat and one-dimensional.
If you really want to know Him, what don’t you ask Him to reveal Himself to you in a greater way. Then hang on. It’s worth it. Definitely.
But it may be a little scary at first.
“People always ask me what reflex do I use, what technique do I use, which software do I use….why (does) no one ever ask me what “heart” do I use?”
Photographer Moyan Brenn