One of the verses that have stood out to me over the past few months is Daniel 11:32:
“But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him.”
Yes, I know this verse speaks about a specific prophecy regarding the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. Yet, there is a truth in these words that is timeless. Here it is:
If we want to be strong people of God who resist temptation and all of the evil in the world around us. If we want to be people who have the strength to stand up against persecution and stay faithful to God in these end times, then we need to know our God.
We need to be people who know Who He Is, how He functions, what He thinks, and what He wants. We need to know what kind of relationship He wants with us…what He wants us to do and who He wants us to be.
These questions are only answered as we develop a deep, personal relationship with Him.
How do we do that?
Well, we begin by spending time in prayer. We get to know God by spending time with Him. Like Joshua, we come to know God as we “linger” in His presence. (Exodus 33:11)
We also get to know God as we read and study His Word. As we said before, God’s Word is His revelation of Himself to His people. Like an autobiography, the words of the Bible are God’s way of voluntarily revealing Himself to humanity in His own words. As we read and study the Bible, we get to know Him.
One final way we can get to know God is by studying His theological principles. To help us get started, this week, we’re going to talk about some of the basic facts that every Christian needs to know about God.
These facts are called God’s Constitutional Attributes. Knowing these facts helps us understand Who God Is, How He Exists, and How He Functions. They also show us how great, powerful, and completely awesome the God we serve truly is and how He is unlike any man-made Deity ever created.
Let’s get started:
1. God is self-existent.
He does not look to any other source for His meaning and being. He doesn’t need humans to exist and does not depend on outside sources. (Acts 17:25)
2. God is spirit.
God is not restrained by the constraints of human matter. His existence cannot be observed by our physical senses. His form is spiritual, not physical. As a Spirit, God is immortal, invisible, and eternal. He lives in light that humans are unable to approach.
3. God is knowable.
Our God does not want to exist in a far-off galaxy, simply observing mankind. Instead, God wants humans to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him. Throughout the Bible, we see Him creating ways for this relationship to be possible.
Throughout the Old Testament, He revealed Himself to His people, spoke through the prophets, established a method for Israel to worship Him, and miraculously intervened in their lives and history.
In the New Testament, God revealed more of Himself through the character of His Son, Jesus. As Jesus said, “ If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:7, ESV)
We can also know God through the Bible, where He tells us everything He wants us to know about Himself.
4. God is eternal.
Granted, this one is hard to understand because we think of time as past, present, and future. However, God is timeless. He has no beginning and no end. He existed before the creation of the world, and He will never cease to exist.
5. God is omnipotent.
This means that God is all-powerful. He is able to accomplish anything He wants. Nothing can stand against the power of God.
6. God is omnipresent.
He is everywhere at all times. As David says, “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 139:8-10, ESV)
7. God is omniscient.
He knows everything all the time, including the thoughts and intentions of men. He also knows what will happen before it happens—this is called foreknowledge.
8. God is wise.
“Wisdom” is combining knowledge and truth with experience in life. God’s knowledge gives Him insight into all that is and can be. In view of the fact that God is self-existent, He has experience that we cannot even imagine, and His understanding is unlimited.
I don’t know about you, but many of these character traits are absolutely mind-blowing for me. Looking at these facts, all I can do is stop and think about the greatness of the God we serve! Why He even bothers with a woman like me is beyond my comprehension. Yet, that is what’s truly remarkable about God—as powerful and beyond comprehension as He is—He wants us to know Him.
He desires to be involved in the intimate details of our lives.
It makes me want to shout along with David, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!….what is man that you are mindful of him,….and the son of man that you care for him?…O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1, 4, 9, ESV)
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."