Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Personal God

"God is also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers … has sent me to you.’ ” (Exodus 3:15a).

God not only incomprehensible and wonderful, He is also personal. He names Himself, and He gives us names for Himself. The God who created heaven and earth is a person, and we are persons. That’s what makes it possible for us to have a personal relationship with God.

In fact, a personal relationship with God is inescapable. Often we hear Christians give their testimony of how they were born again, and they say, “Now I have a personal relationship with Christ.” We understand what people mean by this. But what is often overlooked is this question: What kind of relationship did that person have with God before he was born again?

You see, we always have a personal relationship with God because we are persons and He is a person. That relationship is established in creation between God and us. I can deny the existence of God, but all that does is put me in an estranged relationship with God. It is a relationship now of hostility and denial, but it is still a relationship.

So the question is not whether there is a personal relationship, but rather what is the “quality” of that relationship. Is it a healthy or an unhealthy one? It is a redeemed or an estranged one? Is it a relationship of love or of hate?

Notice something else about this personal relationship. When God revealed Himself to Moses, He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6). God was personally known by the saints of the Old Covenant, and He spoke to them. The God of the Old Testament is the same as the God of the New Testament.

This fact brings up the following question regarding the God we worship: Do we come to worship on Sunday, do we tend to bring with us only the New Testament? Are we guilty of overlooking God’s personal self-revelation in the pages of the Old Testament?

One of the reasons our worship is often so meager today is that we tend to lose sight of the historical continuity of God’s family. Over the next few days—in your times of devotion and worship of the God of Abraham and the Patriarchs, of Paul and the Apostles, and of the Reformers—consciously thank Him for your great spiritual heritage.