One of my favorite books of all times is The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer. I initially had to read it for a missions class at Northland. It was one of those “I will read to get it done and move on” projects that every college student is familiar with. As I read it though, it captivated me and I took more time on it than I had planned on. Since it isn’t a long book, I reread it on occasion.
Tozer’s book goes through the attributes of God. In the preface, he talks about how modern churches are falling away from God’s plan because they have a low view of their Creator. He wrote the book in the 1960’s. I am sure he couldn’t have imagined how low the view would get by the 21 century.
Many problems are created when we take one aspect of God and make it primary. The problem with that is, God does not possess just one attribute. For instance, it is popular to dwell entirely on the fact that God is love. It comes to a point where we overlook sin and are fearful to confront wayward brethren. We make judgment calls on what God ordains to happen based on His love. “God would never allow that to happen – He’s a God of love” we say. Forget that God is also holy. Forget that God is also just. Forget that He is sovereign over everything.
In order to know God as fully as we can on earth, we must view all His attributes in balance. They intertwine with each other and help us to understand a little more about Him. When we take them out of balance, we make a false god – which is idolatry. That is why knowing God wholly is so important. If we really want to worship the true and living God, then we need to know Him as He has revealed Himself in the Bible. Why limit to one book? Because God wrote it! It is His Autobiography, His love letter to us, His instruction manual for life, His record of true history, His blueprint for the future.
It is humbling to think that God is so much more than we will ever know on this earth. Comparing ourselves to Him is out of the question, because there really is nothing to compare to. He is so vast and perfect in all his attributes that we cannot fully comprehend it. And we must live in the light of that, not bringing our relationship with Him down to our standards, but pressing towards His mark, which we may not fully perceive. As we grow closer to Him, we will catch a glimpse of His glory – then, and only then, will we be able to love and worship Him as we ought.
Face to face with Christ, my Savior,
Face to face—what will it be?
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ who died for me.
Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!
Only faintly now, I see Him,
With the darkening veil between,
But a blessed day is coming,
When His glory shall be seen.
What rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened,
And the dark things shall be plain.
Face to face! O blissful moment!
Face to face—to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ who loves me so.