“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” –so said A.W. Tozer in the first line of his classic book, The Knowledge of the Holy.
Let that sink in…
The way in which we think about God is truly of immense importance. For ever since Eden, Satan, with great cunning, has been seeking to distort the truth about who God is within the minds of those whom God has created in his image and likeness. This distortion is no small matter. Scripture teaches us that all sorts of trouble flows out of an improper and impotent conception of the greatness, majesty, and holiness of God (see Exodus 32:1-6; Romans 1:18-32).
Perhaps you’re familiar with the modern hymn, “O God of Our Salvation”? The three verses and chorus tell of the Trinitarian nature of God and of our salvation. In sum, the hymn glorifies God by recounting how God the Father graciously sent God the Son to accomplish the salvation of his people; the results of God’s saving acts are then revealed and applied by the Spirit of God. In response to the glory of the gospel, drawing on 1 Chronicles 16:29, the bridge declares:
Ascribe, O Church, the greatness and the glory due His name!
One of the primary purposes of the church on earth is to continually declare, in the power of the Spirit, the redemption that God has accomplished for unworthy sinners through the person and work of his Son, Messiah Jesus. Yet, the church must be carrying out this task with diligence for, as he has been doing from the beginning, Satan will continually be working, with deplorable craft and serpent-like subtlety, to detract from a lofty conception of God within the church and from her commitment to proclaiming the gospel. How will Satan do this? Often by deceiving God’s people into focusing on non-gospel issues and making them matters of discouragement or division.
Satan will distract through the promotion of sinful gossip cloaked as “sharing a concern”, convincing saints to be more committed to nostalgia than considering how they may reach their surrounding culture for Christ, and elevating personal preference above gospel priority. All of these deceptions will eventually destroy our devotion to a lofty conception of God and an unwavering commitment to gospel proclamation, and replace them with a sinful devotion to self.
Tozer went on to say, “So necessary to the Church is a lofty conception of God that when that concept in any measure declines, the Church with her worship and her moral standards declines along with it. The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God.”
By God’s grace, let us fight to think rightly about God and allow nothing to distract us from proclaiming the great and glorious gospel of God for the sake of his Name and the joy of our neighbors.