Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Unknown God

Acts 17:23
For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, “to an Unknown god.” What therefore you worship as unknown I proclaim to you.


How do you worship that which you do not know? It is amazing how a stadium of screaming teenagers will pledge their unyielding allegiance for some idol that they love. If these teens were to get to know some of these idols they probably would realize that they were in love with an image and really didn’t know the person. Some of the people I have admired from a distance have changed my mind once I got to know them up close and personal.

Could it be that some of us that are in churches shouting every Sunday are in love with an image of an unknown God, but we have failed to really get to know who God is? Could it be that we are more in love with our tradition and have made a god out of our denomination, idolized our pastor, but failed to get to know God?

Our cities are full of idols. There is a smorgasbord of things that people worship and idolize money, sex, power, material goods, etc. Then, there are temples, synagogues, mosques, and churches full of people who are worshipping unknown Gods. Some of these places of worship might as well have a sign that says, “Welcome to the house of the Unknown God” because often we are worshipping what we have failed to get to know.

Paul was in Athens where he was walking through a city full of idols and he discovered a monument to an “unknown god.” Often times people erected monuments to unknown gods just in case they forgot one and they didn’t want to offend any. I think many times we attend our houses of worship to the unknown god just in case there is a God and we don’t want to offend him by not attending. Yes, God is Real but do we know him? The word “Know” implies intimacy. Whenever you see “know” in the Old Testament it implies the sexual union between a husband and a wife. There is a deep connection between a husband and a wife that ought to be reflected between God (the husband) and the church (the bride). Often we worship the idea of God without going deeper into the person of God.

It is only through Jesus, the bridegroom, that we really get to know God. God revealed himself through his Son, Jesus. When we accept Jesus Christ as Savior we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the mind of God, if you want to know what’s on the mind of God, you must have His Spirit. When Jesus was debating with the Samaritan woman at the well about the right place to worship, He told her, “You worship what you do not know...you must worship God in truth and in spirit.”

We know God through:
1. His Word. In verse 23, Paul proclaims the Word of God to the people of Athens. The preached word is the only way we can know more about God. Romans 10:14
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

2. Seeking him. Jeremiah 29:13
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

3. Jesus Christ. Luke 10:21

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

Dear God, make yourself known to your people. Give us the ability to proclaim your “unknown-ness’ to those that don’t know you because of their sins. I want to know you more so I can proclaim you to a people that are lost in a city of idols. In you, we move live and have our being. Show us how to find ourselves, our salvation in you.

In Jesus Name,
Amen.

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