Do We Know the God We Are Serving? - Radical

Do We Know the God We Are Serving?

What would you think of a husband who worked hard to provide for his wife, professed his love for her daily, and even brought her flowers on a regular basis, but never took the time to sit down and have a conversation with her? Sure, he’s making sacrifices, but can we honestly say that he delights in her?

The God We Serve

The obvious answer is no. But before we get too mad at this guy, let’s ask ourselves, are we doing the same thing with the God we serve? After all, we can claim to believe the Bible. We talk about how much we love Jesus. Maybe we even declare our willingness to go to the ends of the earth to share the gospel. But we still have little desire to know what God is like. Not only does this fail to honor God, but according to J.I. Packer, it’s also dangerous:

Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul. (Knowing God, 19).

More Practical Than We Think

Maybe you realize that you should be growing in your knowledge of God. But, if you’re honest, it sounds abstract or uninteresting. You prefer something more practical. If that’s you, then you may be thinking about this all wrong. Remember, when God saved us, he did not simply give us new information or a list of things to start doing. He brought us into a relationship. To be a Christian means that you have God as your Father. You are spiritually joined to the Lord Jesus. The Spirit of God lives inside of you. How, then, can we not want to know and serve the God who calls us his own? His character, his greatness, his mighty acts, his glory, and his beauty—these are the things that ought to capture our affections and motivate everything we do.

Now, just to be clear, getting to know God should not be disconnected from our everyday lives. John warns us, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6). Knowing God cannot be separated from obeying God. However, we don’t want to spend our lives serving a God whom we barely know. Peter tells us that we were chosen so that we might “proclaim the excellencies” of God (1 Peter 2:9), but we can’t do that if we don’t know what those excellencies are. Thankfully, we don’t have to be an expert in all God’s attributes to tell others about him, but wouldn’t it make sense that we would want to be more familiar with the God we’re proclaiming?

Snapshots of God’s Character

Our love and obedience should be the result of delighting in God’s ways. We should rely on his character as it is revealed in the pages of Scripture. With this goal in mind, we’ll consider several attributes of God over the next few weeks. These snapshots of his character are taken from Secret Church 4, “Who is God?” These truths are foundational to everything we believe and everything we do, for knowing God, the prophet Jeremiah tells us, is the only thing worth boasting about:

Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

David Burnette serves as the Chief Editor for Radical. He lives with his wife and three kids in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves as an elder at Philadelphia Baptist Church. He received his Ph.D. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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