Broad brush leads to fine detail
• We’re talking about how God has made Himself known. His hand in creation can be seen all around, but that is a starting point. How else is God revealing Himself?
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Romans 1:20 NIV
God reveals Himself in one way, by the ‘broad brush’ of hills and valleys, seascapes and sunsets. He reveals Himself in the fine ink detail of His own words and stories revealing what He is like. This is the account of who He is, and His good purposes, detailed through times of peace and also times of turbulence, in the Bible.
In medieval times when few people, even among the nobility, could read, and before printing had been invented, church offered an experience of hearing God’s wisdom read out and related to everyday lives. This was done by a ‘cleric’ or ‘clerk’, one who had been educated in reading and writing, and in the scholarship of the time .
But now, whatever your people group, whatever your language and — in English at least — whatever your level of scholarship, there’s an affordable Bible version for you, and it is probably available free online at YouVersion or BibleGateway.
We can know God, worship Him and seek His guidance, all through the main way He speaks to us — His word of Scripture. It does not have magical powers but it IS inspired writing, literally ‘God-breathed’ but also involving a spectrum of God-submitted human authors who wrote down what they were given to write.
The relationship with God is given to us by Jesus. The knowledge of God is found by us in the Bible. And the wisdom of God, the guidance for living, the ‘how to’ of living by His values in a conflicting world comes to us through the Holy Spirit who begins a work of transformation in us the moment we accept Jesus as our Lord.
The encouragement, teaching and pastoral support of a good church is invaluable. But it is not indispensable. When we need to find God, talk to Him and also worship Him for who He is:
- we have the witness of His creation
- That leads us to study His self-revelation in His Word, and
- Helps us to be alert to the voice of His Spirit saying ‘Amen’ to our praise.
Father God, we thank You for Your creation. We see Your work in the grandeur of the mountains, the way the valleys are sculpted and clothed in different colours, in the detail of tiny flowers and grasses, and in the inspired work of architects and artists. And we get to know You in the pages of Your book or books — directing Your people in the Old Testament, revealing Yourself in Jesus, Your exact representation, in the New. And being God With Us, Your Holy Spirit dwelling in us and being our guide, encourager and teacher, giving us Your wisdom in each different situation we find ourselves.
We thank you especially for Jesus making a way for us to know You and come close to You. And that’s what we want, most of all.
May we grow more and more aware of You working in and around our everyday lives — and better at telling others about Your greatness and goodness. To the glory of Jesus, Amen.