“What comes into our minds when we think of God is the most important thing about us.” (Tozer 1)
In a world seemingly defined by group identities – Democrat vs Republican, Black vs White, Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice, and so on – the first line of A.W. Tozer’s book, The Knowledge of the Holy, excellently reminds of the supremacy that faith ought to play in our everyday lives. Our belief in who God is, and what he has done impacts everything about us, and is the foundation of our worldview. Therefore, I exhort the reader to dwell on this question: What do you believe about God?
Perhaps you are the atheist, who argues that God cannot exist for a plethora of reasons. You have found rebuttals to every argument presented to you, and justify your rationalizations either through your experiences or the hypocrisy present in some churches.
Perhaps you are the skeptic or agnostic, who is unsure of belief. But your doubt is stagnant and not leading to a resolution.
Perhaps you believe in some deity, and think yourself religious.
And perhaps you are a nominal Christian, where your belief does not affect your life at all.
As for me, I am a Christian: I believe that God is the self-existent Creator of all things, existing in Trinity, and is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I believe that he created mankind in His image, but we rebelled to choose sin and depravity. The cost of our rebellion is death, and eternal separation from a holy, pure, and righteous God. Our sin created an impasse with God, that we could never pass on our own merits. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses,” sent his Son, Jesus Christ, who was both fully God and fully man, to take our place and pay the debt we owed (Eph. 2:4, ESV). God raised him from death, so that “whosoever believes in Him will have eternal life,” and thus spend eternity with the God who loves us (John 3:16, ESV).
The gospel that I just presented above drives everything in my life, just like any belief that you have about God will impact the way you see the world, and see other human beings. If you have not believed the gospel, I encourage you to look into Christianity and test the preconceptions that you have. Reflect especially on the year 2020, and how in just a few months, our whole existence was flipped upside down. Do not so easily forget the brevity and frailty of your life. Think about your purpose, and dwell on why the world is broken. The Bible says that God has set eternity in the hearts of men, so ponder your eternal destination (Eccl. 3:11, ESV). This very question can be the difference between life and death.
Encouragement to Christians
If you are a Christian and have claimed Christ as Savior, I want to encourage you by reminding of the centrality of the faith that you have believed. Every human division of the current day is worth far less in an eternal context than this one fundamental query asked above. This is not to say that our conflicts and divisions are unimportant, but rather our belief about who God is ought to fuel our involvement in any cause. But as the Apostle Paul reminds the church in Colossians, we have to remember that Christ is to have supremacy in all things (Col 1:18, ESV). Before any human group or current social struggle, our primary loyalty is to Christ.
And to the Christians, I ask the follow-up question: does your life demonstrate that loyalty? If Christianity was a crime, would there be evidence in your life flowing out from your faith to convict you beyond a reasonable doubt? It seems that we are often so concerned about external causes and groups, and we relax on our primary loyalty. If our foundations are unstable, then everything else will be shaky. We will draw affirmation and identity from the worldly aspects of what happens in the groups we conform to. But if our “designer and builder is God”, then we are confident no matter what happens in an external sense (Heb 11:10, ESV). With a proper orthodoxy fueling a proper orthopraxy, we can go into the world and impact people for the glory of God, making his name known, through the various causes that God drives us toward. Through it all, our primary loyalty must not change.
So, I ask you again, what do you believe about who God is?
The ESV Bible. Crossway, 2001, https://www.biblegateway.com/
Tozer, A.W. Knowledge of the Holy. New York: Harper Collins. 1961. Print.