Who is God?
It’s a question universal in nature, one that people in every area of belief might ask in their pursuit of knowing God.
For the skeptic, “Who is God?” might be connected to more questions like, “Is He real?” or “Why should I believe?”
For someone new to faith and starting to ask questions, “Who is God?” might then be followed by “How do I know He’s real?” or “What do I do next?”
And then, for long-time believers, “Who is God?” might include more self-examination type of questions, such as, “Where has He been real in my life?” or “How can I feel Him right now?”
Over the course of this year, I have had the opportunity to spend more time in face-to-face conversations with people in our church community asking questions like these. Specifically, talking with those who have recently decided to declare their faith publicly in Jesus through baptism, or those newer to faith in Fresh Start. In this group, we walk through some of the foundations for reading the Bible, praying, and developing spiritual habits.One of the exercises in Fresh Start that we do on week one is ask the participants to write down on a blank sheet of paper 5-10 mile marking moments in their own story/journey. Then, after some sharing, we flip the page over and we talk about ways we have seen God at work drawing us toward Himself – in the good and in the challenging, in the highs and in the lows. The fact that we are even sitting in that room together is a gift from God.
I love getting to hear the honest, authentic questions people bring to the table. We’ve seen attendees that have just said “I believe” for the first time and are asking the hard questions about what it means to trust God. We’ve seen long-time believers show up with a desire to go deeper in their understanding of Scripture and prayer.The stories all point to a redemptive and transformative God – people in their 70s coming to know Him for the first time; couples looking to establish a firm foundation in their lives; individuals walking through brokenness, illness or addiction looking for a FRESH START…
The common thread through all of the stories is a desire to know Him more. It continually encourages me – as it should for all of us – to find that initial fire that came with following Jesus for the first time and remember WHY I believe.
The question “Who is God?” should never depart from our hearts and minds. It is a beautiful thing to continually pursue a deeper level of understanding of His character and nature.
Our current sermon series on the names of God has been thought-provoking. Pastor Aaron’s message from this past weekend revolved around the understanding of knowing Yahweh (or Jehovah) and the five things it reveals to us about who God is: He is RELATIONAL, HOLY, PRAISEWORTHY, LORD OF ALL, and ETERNAL.I have seen God at work in my life here at Hillside for many years. I am so grateful for the people in this community who have invested in my life as a student and through my 20s. People willing to connect and know me in each season. There is something powerful that happens in each of our lives when we begin to name what God is doing, and invite others into that with us. Today, with friends and those in our community, I continue to find myself asking questions about what ways God continues to work. It draws me to desire to see others experience that hope in Jesus too.Jehovah God, Yahweh, LORD… You are good, trustworthy, holy and righteous. Thank you.
“Moses said to God, ‘Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ‘ God also said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ ‘This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.’” Exodus 3:13-15
By: Andrew McKeown
Andrew is the Formations Coordinator at Hillside Community Church. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, spending time at the ocean, and dabbling in the fine culinary art of cooking and enjoying a good steak.
Andrew is the Formations Coordinator at Hillside Community Church.
Sign Up For Fresh Start!
Our next four-week session of Fresh Start begins in just a few weeks on October 4. This is a great step for people who have recently put their faith in Jesus, but is also a great place for those wanting to explore what it means to follow and journey with Jesus.REGISTER HERE