As I have grown in my faith, I have learned the importance of knowing God’s character. When we reflect on who He is and how He has revealed Himself through Scripture, it changes everything. To celebrate the release of my book The Bible in a Year: A Reading Plan Focusing on God’s Character I wanted to share 4 key ways our lives are transformed when we really know and trust who God is.
1. Knowing God’s character builds our faith.
When we read the Bible and look for examples of God’s character, we are encouraged. Whatever verse or passage we are reflecting on or studying, it is so beneficial to get into the habit of looking for the attributes of God. Sometimes we can find them clearly stated, like in Lamentations 3:22-23: “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” We literally read His love is steadfast and unceasing, He is merciful, and faithful.
But in many passages, we have to do just a little more digging. For example, Genesis 1:26 says: “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…”” There may not be an attribute of God explicitly stated like in the Lamentations passage, but we can determine from these words that God is authoritative and the Creator.
Growing in our knowledge and understanding of who God is deepens our trust in Him. When we truly trust God is who He says He is, we are able to confidently live out our faith with greater intentionality and boldness. Our joy and contentment in Him increases. And as a result, our anxieties and fears decrease, because we truly know we are secure in Christ.
2. Knowing God’s character shapes the way we pray.
As a young believer, it took me awhile to learn how to be led by truth, instead of being led by my emotions. Truly trusting who God is has deepened my faith. It has changed the way I think and act on a daily basis. Consequently, my prayer life has been greatly impacted by this change.
When we trust in who God is, we pray in light of who He is. Instead of being swept up by our ever-changing emotions and circumstances, we are rooted in the truth of God’s character. There are many examples of this in the Bible, but Psalm 77 couldn’t be clearer. This Psalm is filled with very deep and real emotions, but the psalmist brings those thoughts and feelings under the authority of God. This is a great example of how knowing God’s character impacts our prayers.
3. Knowing God’s character enhances our worship.
Worship is the act of glorifying and praising God for who He is. Therefore, we must get to know Him in greater depth in order to properly worship Him. The fundamental way we learn about God’s character is in the Bible. It’s how He chose to reveal Himself to us. So, we must read, memorize, meditate on, and study His Word regularly, not simply to build up knowledge for the sake of having more knowledge, but because it directly impacts our worship. Having a greater understanding of who God is brings Him glory. It deepens our love for Him and enhances our own experience as we worship Him.
4. Knowing God’s character changes the way we interact with others.
2 Corinthians 5:20 reminds believers that we are ambassadors of Christ. In other words, we are His representatives. In order to represent our Lord and Savior accurately to the world, we must be growing in our knowledge of who He is so that our actions can better reflect His character.
And the more we get to know God, the better we understand who we are in light of who He is. This inevitably grows in us a greater appreciation and love for the Father who gave His Son to die for any unworthy sinner who repents and believes in Him. As our gratitude grows, so does our desire to proclaim the Gospel and share the hope we have with others. Consequently, the fear that many of us feel about evangelizing diminishes when we trust in our God’s character and promises.
Simply put, when we truly believe in Him, we act (James 1:22-25).
What steps will you take today to grow in your understanding and love for God? If you are unsure, overwhelmed, or need some help, I invite you to check out my book The Bible in a Year: A Reading Plan Focusing on God’s Character. Together, we’ll read the entire Bible in one year while learning to reflect on God’s character.
Knowing God’s character builds our faith and changes the way we interact with God and others.
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Unless otherwise indicated, scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.