Writer: Keith McMinn; Doxology Journal
Whatever your view of God is, it is too small. We do ourselves well to think on the greatness of God; to let our mind, heart and affection be set on and deepened by God’s greatness in humble reverence. A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” (1) Let us seek to revere God through knowing some of His attributes.
God’s sovereignty is most beautifully seen in the life of His saints throughout redemptive history. God is in absolute control of the universe. Paul states, And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent (Colossians 1:17-18). God makes His decisions at His divine pleasure, which is always right and good.
God is all powerful. He does and can do as He pleases. There is no “being” that has more power than God possesses. Job 42:2 says, I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Think of that for a moment; He can do all things, and no small or big event can hijack God’s purposeful purpose.
God is everywhere. The Psalmist states, Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me (Psalm 139:7-10). We cannot go anywhere uninhabited by God. This should not make us afraid but should make us humbly grateful for God’s presence in our lives.
God knows all things. Tozer states, “To say that God is omniscient is to say that He possesses perfect knowledge and therefore He has no need to learn. But it is more: it is to say that God has never learned and cannot learn.”(3) We read in Psalm 139:1-6, O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. God’s knowledge of us, and all things, is vast.
God is unchanging whereas we change all the time: our shoes, minds, ideas, feelings, likes and dislikes. Our surroundings and circumstances are always in transition. In Virginia, the weather changes nearly every day; cold to hot, rainy and cool to humid and hot. But God does not change, at all. Never! Let that sink in. He is entirely perfect and in need of nothing and always the same. The scripture says, For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6). When you face a trial, remember that God is faithful. He is completely and perfectly consistent with His presence and promises. Tomorrow when you rise and dress for the day, remember in that daily moment that God never needs to change, has to change, or will change.
Our God is self-existent. Nothing, or no one, created Him. Jesus said, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end (Revelation 22:13). Tozer once again states, “Origin is a word that can apply only to things created. When we think of anything that has origin we are not thinking of God.”(4) God’s self-existent nature connects to God’s self-sufficiency as He has no need of someone outside Himself. If He did, He would not be God. There is never a time that God needs to be replenished.
God is holy. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory (Isaiah 6:3)! God is pure and set apart so much that we cannot even begin to fully conceive of His holiness. The reformed theologian R.C Sproul states, “The idea of holiness is so central to biblical teaching that it is said of God, “Holy is his name” (Luke 1:49). God is perfect in all of His ways,(6) sinless, blameless, and without blemish.
The love of God is a precious gift from God in His Son, Jesus Christ. We experience love with one another horizontally, but nothing compares to God’s love vertically by the Word coming to dwell and redeem mankind from sin. J.I. Packer states, “God’s love is an exercise of His goodness toward individual sinners whereby, having identified himself with their welfare, He has given His Son to be their Savior, and now brings them to know and enjoy Him in a covenant relation.”(7) Paul says in Romans 5:8, but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. This is ultimate love, in that God sacrificed His Son for His bride.
“All God’s acts are done in perfect wisdom, first for His own glory, and then for the highest good of the greatest number for the longest time. And all His acts are as pure as they are wise, and as good as they are wise and pure.”(8) This statement from Tozer beautifully captures the essence of God’s perfect wisdom. You and I need wisdom. James speaks to this by saying, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:5-8). Be quick to recognize your need for wisdom and then go to the source of perfect wisdom who is God.
We see God’s goodness throughout the Bible. Nahum 1:7 states, The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. We see God’s goodness to us in His Son. Jesus loves us, cares for us and is always with us. We should rejoice that God showed us mercy, not giving us what we deserve. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5). God did not spare His Son but spared us through the blood of His Son, Jesus. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7).
As we meditate on the nature and character of God, we are moved to worship. We must agree with the psalmist when he says, O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:1) All praise and honor be unto the Lord!
Behold our God seated on His throne
Come, let us adore Him
Behold our King! Nothing can compare
Come, let us adore Him! (9)
(1) A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (NY: Harper Collins, 1961) 1.
(2) Incapable of being communicated or imparted
(3) Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, 55
(4) Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, 25.
(5) Capable of being communicated.
(6) Anthony Brown and Pat Barrett, Good, Good Father (Capital CMG Paragon)
(7) J.I. Packer, Knowing God, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1973) 123.
(8) Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, 60.
(9) Music and words by Jonathan Baird, Meghan Baird, Ryan Baird, and Stephen Altrogge © 2011 Sovereign Grace Worship/ASCAP, Sovereign Grace Praise/BMI (adm. by Integrity Music) Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Churches. All rights reserved.
Keith McMinn serves as Worship Arts Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Yorktown, VA. He enjoys writing, arranging, and orchestrating music, reading deep books about God, spending time with his family and being with God’s people in worship.