I remember falling in love for the first time. The first things to catch my eye were his shoes. I know, weird, but they were sporty and I had been watching him for quite sometime. He seemed so nice and caring and I loved that about him, and just knew we would have a fun future together. He was also really cute and I loved knowing he would always look that way. I imagined what our first date, first kiss, and wedding day would be like. We would grow old together.
Gosh it was all just so perfect, if only he knew I existed! Finding true love in the 4th grade is the real deal, people – Nike soccer cleats bring souls together.
I know I’m not alone in this. To this day, 4th graders still fantasize about classmates as future spouses. But as an older, and hopefully much wiser, version of that little fourth grade girl, I found myself oddly “in love” with a God I didn’t really know.
I grew up in a Christian home my whole life and attended the über conservative Christian church where we sang the Doxology and held hands at the end of every service – yes I had to hold hands with trucker Joe, the man with sweaty palms. I’m not joking. I digress. I knew about God but I didn’t know God and I found myself claiming to be in love with Someone I did not know. While in college, after meeting with a friend and expressing my need for more to my relationship with and knowledge of God, she encouraged me to pick up the book Lord, I Want to Know You by Kay Arthur. So outside of my regular scripture reading, I took to her recommendation to learn more about God.
Name Denotes Nature
Needless to say, after finishing the book I realized how shallow my love for God really was, simply because my understanding of His character lacked depth. Reading that book helped me, and can help you, understand the character and richness of God himself. You want a deeper understanding of God? Study His character. You want to fall more in love with God? Study His character. You’re searching to find your identity? Study His character and find – no, lose – yourself there.
I knew about God but I didn’t know God and I found myself claiming to be in love with Someone I did not know.
Studying God’s names will help you understand His character, for name denotes nature. Kay Arthur biblically, intellectually, and passionately lays out 15 names of God found in the bible. Admittedly, the first time I read the book, I was more concerned with knowing how to pronounce the names and what they meant. But after that initial read-through, I hungered for context. My question moved from who/what to why. Why did God call Himself that, or why was He given that name? With each name, she gives the scripture and context to where and why God is called each name. It’s fascinating. Really. Not only did it give me a better understanding of who God is, it helped solidify my theology, and changed my perspective on so many circumstances! To this day there’s rarely a day that goes by that I don’t run into a situation where one of God’s names is revealed. But I think the best thing that book did for me was bring me more awareness. I had always struggled to incorporate God into my day, and greatly lacked awareness of Him. The more I studied those names, committed them to memory, and memorized the context, my eyes were opened to just how present and involved He really is in my life!
He sees you. Right where you’re at, whatever you’re going through, He sees you and He is with you.
As an avid reader, this book definitely ranks among the top three. It has left such a strong impression on me that I’ve reread it multiple times, and even challenged friends to memorize the names with me.
Here are my top three takeaways:
1. He is El Roi – The God Who Sees.
He sees you. Right where you’re at, whatever you’re going through, He sees you and He is with you…“Where is God, you ask. Where is this sovereign God who promises that all things work together for good? Does He know what is going on? Does He see?…The omnipresent God is there, and His eyes are not shut. He isn’t asleep, unaware of all the circumstances. He sees.” Many people might read this and become infuriated saying, “If God sees, and He was there, why didn’t He stop this from happening?” Great question. Hard question. For that, we’ll move on to number two.
2. He is El Elyon – The God Most High.
God is completely sovereign and has control over all things. And for some reason (or because He is God), sometimes God allows things, good things and bad, to happen but promises to always work them out for Good. (Romans 8:28) This is such a tough concept to understand, and a good one to really wrestle through. “If God is not sovereign, if He is not in control, if all things are not under His dominion, then He is not the Most High, and you and I are either in the hands of fate (whatever that is), in the hands of man, or in the hands of the devil.” Trust that He’s got you right where He wants you and will work out your situation and all things for good, in His time.
3. Lastly, He is El Shaddai – The All Sufficient One.
It’s in the story of Abraham where we see God revealed in this way. Abraham yields Himself to God Almighty, the All Sufficient one, outwardly by circumcision, and then also by the giving up of his much-loved son Isaac. And so, “…in the utter renunciation of Himself and of his own will, the power of ‘Almighty God’ might be brought in, and the elect in his weakness be made strong, and in his giving up of all be filled with all the fullness of God.” In my worse moments, I realize how desperate I am for more of Him, and less of me. God promises to be our All, literally, all that we ever need, if only we let him!
This book has seriously changed my life. Once I finally sat down and studied God’s character, I lost and found myself in Him. If you’re in need of knowing Him more, or unsure of your identity, pick up this book and let yourself fall in love for real. As hard as it may be to believe, it’s better than your fourth grade fantasy!
Interested in reading Lord, I Want To Know You? Check it out HERE!
This article has been republished from SelfTalktheGospel.com, with permission.
Image Credit: Jeremy Brooks, Creative Commons