Getting To Know God

by Dr. Harold J. Sala

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  Colossians 1:15

When Moses spent 40 days on Mt. Sinai with God, he came down the mountain and his face shone with a brilliance that frightened people.  This man had been in the very presence of the Almighty.  It was much like how Jesus looked when He took Peter, James and John and climbed a mountain and spent time in prayer.  The face of Jesus shone with a supernatural radiance.  We call it “transfigured.”  Matthew grasps for words to describe it.  He writes, “His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:2).

Question: Would you have liked to have been there?  I mean, to see this for yourself?  Most of us, other than being spectators behind protective glass, would probably answer, “No way!”  Why?  Too close to God?  Too scary?  Who knows what might happen to us?

The reality is that we like a God who is there as insurance in the time of trouble, someone who can bail us out of a tight spot.  But to see His glory, to be touched by the radiance of His presence, may be too much.  We think a comfortable distance away is better.

When Jesus said he was going to the Father, Thomas said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us” (John 14:8).  Do you think he felt left out because he wasn’t there with the other three at the transfiguration?  The word Thomas used wasn’t the one that would be used if you said, “Show me the picture of your kids!”  But it was one which means, “point out, reveal, explain, or prove.”  And with that understanding the whole picture changes.

What he wanted is what every child of God wants who sincerely desires to know God, to understand His ways, to comprehend something of His nature and character.

So how did Jesus answer?  “Sign up for the ‘God Seminar,’ which will be held in your local church?”  No.  Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?  Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Paul understood the truth.  He wrote to the Colossians saying, “He [Jesus Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15).  And that word Paul used which we translate “image” is the Greek word icon.

Yes, we know what icons are—religious images!  But beyond that, they are an artistic impression of a real person.

What’s the point of today’s thoughts?  It’s simple.  Getting to know God is not a long, drawn out mystical exercise.  It’s a matter of getting to know His Son who is the icon, the image of God, as Paul put it.

A final thought.  There’s no record of anyone approaching Jesus asking for an appointment for a thirty-minute interview.  Yes, people sat under His teaching and grew to love Him.  Others were blessed by being healed by Him, or being forgiven.  But I, for one, would have wanted to walk with Him, say, from Galilee to Nazareth, up and over the hills, to ask Him a few of the questions that I really wish someone would have asked and then recorded.

But there is something better, much better!  He promised to walk with me, to never leave me or forsake me, to go with me wherever God leads me.  Ah, yes, as C. Austin Miles wrote, “He walks with me, and he talks with me, and he tells me I am His own.”  What more could you ask?

Resource reading: Matthew 17:1-13

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Harold J. Sala 2015_resizeSpeaker, author and Bible teacher, Dr. Harold Sala founded Guidelines in 1963 and has served at its helm since its inception.  Pioneering the five-minute commentary in Christian radio, Dr. Sala’s daily “Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living” is broadcast in 49 of the 50 states and is heard the world over in a variety of languages. Sala, who holds a Ph.D. in biblical text, has authored over 55 books published in19 languages.  He speaks and teaches frequently at conferences, seminars, and churches worldwide. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children and eight well-loved grandchildren. 

Used with permission from Guidelines International Ministries.  To learn more about Guidelines and the ministry, please email info@guidelines.org.  You may also visit the Guidelines website at www.guidelines.org

 

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