Is Your God Too Small? | Genesis 1:1-2

If you find yourself struggling to make time for God or make Him the focus of your life, it is likely because your view of God is too small. In this first part of a new series, “Made,” Timothy “TA” Ateek identifies seven key characteristics of who God is in Genesis 1:1-2.

Timothy "TA" AteekAug 21, 2022
Genesis 1:1-2

In This Series (5)
Great Questions Q&A Panel + MADE: to Teach | Genesis 1-3, 2 Timothy 2:24-26
John Elmore, Cassidy Webber, Brett Bruster, Steven Ateek, Alan BeamSep 25, 2022
How to Hear From God | Genesis 1:1-31
Timothy "TA" AteekSep 18, 2022
The Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit | Genesis 1:1-5
John ElmoreSep 11, 2022
To Know God is to Worship God | Genesis 1:3-25
John ElmoreAug 28, 2022
Is Your God Too Small? | Genesis 1:1-2
Timothy "TA" AteekAug 21, 2022

Summary

Your view of God determines your response to God. Instead of trying to change your response—committing to read the Bible more, pray more consitently, or sin less—focus on intentionally reminding yourself of who God is and what He is like. In Genesis 1:1-2, we see that:

  • Our God is eternal. He had no beginning and will have no end. He always has been and always will be.
  • Our God is self-sufficient. He isn’t dependent on anything or anyone else.
  • Our God is atemporal. He stands outside of time. He sees the beginning of time and the end of time at the same time.
  • Our God is transcendent. He did not emerge from creation. He is the Author of creation, but is distinct from it. And yet, this transcendent God entered His own creation in the person of Jesus Christ. He became like us and identified with us so that He could be a sacrifice for us on the cross.
  • Our God is uniquely creative. He is the only one who has created something out of nothing. He is the only one who is truly original, because His only inspiration is Himself. Our lives have been planned out by this uniquely creative God, so we miss out on His goodness when we insist on doing things our own way.
  • Our God is near. God’s Spirit hovered over the waters, and that Spirit brought possibility and potential to the chaos. If you are a believer, that same Spirit hovered over your heart, allowed you to see the truth of the gospel, and brought order to the chaos of your life.
  • Our God is Lord. He is ruling and reigning over all creation. He formed and filled the earth simply by speaking. He has no rival.

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • Are you responding to the God who has created you, or are you responding to a smaller view of God that you yourself have created?
  • Does spending time with God and His Word feel like duty and discipline, or a right response to His majesty and unfailing love?
  • How has your view of God grown through this message? Pick a friend or family member and share with that person one way that your view of God was changed through studying Genesis 1:1-2.
  • How can you daily fight to have the biggest possible view of God?
  • Additional Scripture: Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 11:3; Job 38:4; John 3:30; Psalm 24:1
  • Resource: Great Questions

Good morning, Watermark. It is so good to see you. My name is Timothy Ateek, and I am one of the teaching pastors here. I'm so glad we get to spend time together looking at the Word of God this morning. I want to start by sharing with you what I believe is one of, if not the greatest, spiritual truths anyone has ever shared with me. I hope you heard what I just said. I'm about to share with you what I believe has been the most helpful spiritual truth that has ever been shared with me.

I was sitting several years ago at Rudy's Bar-B-Q in Austin, and I was sitting across the table from an older man named Doug Sherman who invested a lot of time into my life. I will never forget how he just interrupted my extra moist brisket in that moment to share this truth with me. Here's what he said. I still remember it. He had no clue that when he said it I would latch on to it and it would create a shift in my life that would last for well over a decade.

Here's what he said: "TA, you have to understand your view of God determines your response to God." That's it. That's the one truth that has been the most helpful spiritual truth I've heard that has helped shape my relationship with Jesus over the last several years. Your view of God determines your response to God. It just makes sense. That's how all relationships work. Your view of a person determines your response to a person.

Just look at an engaged couple. I mean, that guy in that relationship will do anything for that girl. He will spend all of his money. He will watch The Notebook. He will run an errand to get feminine hygiene products from the store. He will do it because he is so enamored with his bride. But just go be a fly on the wall in a marriage counselor's office, and what are you going to hear? You're going to hear story after story of small view of a person after small view, which is driving small response after small response.

See, your view of a person determines your response to that person, and the same is true with God. That's why if you wake up tomorrow morning and feel too busy for God or if it feels like only work and determination and discipline for you to open up your Bible and go through the motions and check it off your list… The reason it is like that is because of your view of God in that moment. You're having a small response because you have a small view. At least in that moment, God is too irrelevant or too incompetent or too unenjoyable for you to actually enjoy connecting with him.

Our problem is we only try to address the response without ever addressing our view. We wonder why we feel spiritually dry or spiritually inconsistent, so we try to muscle intimacy with God by making more commitments. "You know what? I'll just commit to getting up earlier, and I'll commit to reading more, and I will try to pray longer, and I will try to sin less."

What are we doing? We're just addressing the response, and then we wonder why we make these commitments and then don't keep them. It's because we are trying to have a big response to God with a small view of God. Change your view, and I promise you will change your response. Let me illustrate it this way. Your view of God is like a balloon. I am going to attempt to inflate this balloon onstage. I say attempt just because… I don't know if you ever feel it.

Do you ever go to blow up a balloon and think, "What if I've forgotten how to do it? What if I just…?" Do you ever have that, where it's like, "I don't know if I can do this"? I'm just going to attempt to do it. I'll just preface by saying this is not going to change your life. No one is going to be like, "When TA blew up that balloon, that's when I met Jesus, and ever since… Praise God for that balloon." No. But you need to know your view of God is like a balloon. So here we go. (Thank you, Jesus. Let's pray and get out of here. I've done everything I came to do this morning.)

Your view of God truly is like a balloon. At least for me, it takes focus and intentionality to inflate a balloon. The same is true with your view of God. It takes focus, and it absolutely takes intentionality. If you want to have a big response to God, you first have to have a big view of him. Every single day, you have to put new air into your view of God in order to live with an inflated view of him.

What we want to do is take our view of God, which gets inflated on a Sunday morning, and we want to tie it off and live off of oxygen from Sunday morning all throughout the rest of the week. What happens when you tie a balloon off and just let it sit? It naturally deflates. You add to the mix that you have an enemy who hates you, and he is consistently lying to you about God.

Satan doesn't need you to believe that God doesn't exist. He just needs you to believe that God isn't worth it, because if he gets you to believe that… He just whispers lies to you. What happens to your view? It just deflates. I just wonder how many of us this morning have showed up to church, and our view of God is like this.

We look around and see people raising their hands, and they're really into it. We're like, "Why isn't that me?" They have a big response because they have a big view. Change your view, and you'll change your response. So, this morning, my sole goal is to put new oxygen, new air, into your view of God. If I'm going to turn anywhere in the Bible to do that, I might as well turn to the first page, to the first words of the Bible.

This morning, we're starting a new series, and we're going to be spending several weeks just in Genesis, chapters 1-3. You can't understand the Bible if you don't understand the first three chapters of the Bible. The series is called Made. Over the next several weeks, we're going to identify what we have been made to do. We're just starting by acknowledging that we have been made to worship God, but if we want to step into the purpose for which we have been made, which is to worship him, we have to fight for a big view of him in order to have a big response to him.

The reason I want to look at Genesis, chapter 1, is Genesis 1 was written to a group of people in order to inflate their views of God. If you're new to the Bible, Genesis was written to the nation of Israel, which had been in slavery to Egypt for about 400 years. In Egypt, there were over 2,000 different deities. When God, through Moses, brings the nation of Israel out of Egypt after 400 years of captivity and begins to lead them to the Promised Land, he gives them Genesis to clarify who he is.

When the nation of Israel came out of Egypt, they were clear on one thing about their God. They were clear that their God was rescuer, but the question then was, "Who else is our God? Here we are. We're wandering through the wilderness. We get hungry each day. We need water. We need protection. We need direction. Is our God able to do all of those things for us?" God gives Genesis, through Moses, to the people of Israel to clarify who their God is.

So, with that in mind, listen to the first two verses of Genesis. God, through Moses, says this to the nation of Israel: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."

So, the nation of Israel comes out of Egypt, and they're clear that "Our God is rescuer." God speaks to them through Moses and says, "That same God who rescued you is the same God who created the cosmos. That's your God." Talk about a cosmic-size breath of air into the balloons of each Israelite's view of God. As their view of God would have been inflated as they read Genesis, chapter 1, hopefully ours will be as well.

That's the goal this morning: to put new oxygen into your view of God, because your view of God will determine your response to God. So, if you have a Bible, make sure you join me in Genesis, chapter 1. We're just going to move through the first two verses. That's all we have time for this morning: two verses. We're just going to walk word by word, phrase by phrase, and we're going to unpack who our God truly is.

Genesis 1 starts, and it says, "In the beginning, God…" God is the first subject that shows up in the Bible. The word God shows up 32 times in 31 verses in chapter 1. So, Genesis 1 is all about God. Some people misunderstand the point and purpose of the Bible. Some people don't want to have much to do with this book because they just believe it's a book of rules, that it is somehow an instruction manual from God to us.

Before this is an instruction manual, it is first and foremost a worship manual. This book exists to tell us who God is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will do. So, anytime you read this book just to figure out what you're supposed to do, you've missed it. We come to this book to realize who God is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will do.

Before we get back to the first verse, I think it's good to point out a disconnect. I just shared with you why Genesis 1 exists. It exists because God was speaking to the nation of Israel that had just come out of a polytheistic society, and he was clarifying who the true God was. Our tendency is to bring the debates of today and impose them onto Genesis 1.

So, when we come to Genesis 1, the primary questions we're looking to answer are: "Is there a God or did we come here just by time and chance? How long is a day? Is it seven days, 24 literal hours, or are they periods of time? How old is the earth? Is it thousands of years or billions of years?" These are the questions we tend to bring to Genesis 1.

Now, can the Bible speak to these questions? Absolutely. These are good questions to ask and to answer, and we want to answer those questions. We have a whole ministry here called Great Questions where we can answer these questions. In a few weeks here on Sunday morning, we're going to talk about science and how it works together with the Bible, but it's good for us to understand these are not the primary questions God is addressing in Genesis 1. If he was, I think he would have devoted more than one chapter to it.

This was written to the nation of Israel to clarify who. Our tendency is to come to chapter 1 with questions of how and when. Genesis 1 exists to answer who. So, we want to read Genesis 1 through the lens of an ancient Israelite. God says through Moses, "In the beginning, God…" What does this tell us? This speaks of an absolute beginning. Meaning, there was nothing, and then God did something, and then there was something.

Do you guys remember Blockbuster Video? That just dated myself, but I just want to give a shout-out to the people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond. "Be kind and rewind." Do you remember rewinding that VHS cassette? Some of y'all never rewound before you took it back. You were like, "It served its purpose. I've gotten what I needed. The next person can figure it out." You'd hit rewind, and that ribbon would begin to roll on the tape.

Do you remember listening to the sound of that ribbon rewinding until it got to the beginning, and Boom! You would hear this loud stop. You had reached the beginning of the ribbon. I just want you to think if somehow we hit the rewind button on all of history, and the ribbon of history were to begin to roll back and stop, wherever that beginning point is, God was already there. God wasn't just at the beginning of the ribbon of creation. He was the one outside of it who created it and pushed play on it. That's what Moses is telling us when he says, "In the beginning, God…"

So what does this tell us? Let's inflate our views of God. First, it tells us that our God is eternal. He's eternal. God had no beginning, and he has no end. He has always been, and he will always be. He's eternal. If he's eternal, that also means he's self-sufficient. Have you ever thought about that? God is completely sufficient within himself for existence. He is not dependent upon anything. Long before all of creation existed, God existed, and he was fine without any of us or anything within the confines of the observable world.

He doesn't need oxygen. He doesn't need food. He doesn't need nine months in a uterus. He doesn't need an umbilical cord. He doesn't need anything that we would need for life on this earth. He's completely self-sufficient. He didn't make us because he was lonely and incomplete without us. He made us out of an overflow of his completeness. He's self-sufficient.

Also, when it says, "In the beginning, God…" it just means God is atemporal. It just means he stands outside of time. He's unaffected by time. He sees the beginning of time and the end of time at the same time, which is really interesting to think about. Who God is reminds us of who we're not. His identity should breed humility in us, because when we think about time, we're enslaved to time. Our calendars run us. We are confined to a 24-hour day.

We can only see the minute we're in. We can't see tomorrow even if we want to, which is why we stress out. Any control freaks in the room? Anyone stressed out right now? (A few people are honest. Way to go. It's church, so you have to be really careful about honesty here.) Just think about what stresses you out. Stress is the result of not being able to control the outcome. It's a lack of control over how things are going to play out. You can't see how things are going to play out.

Anyone ever stress out about how their kids are going to turn out? Anyone ever stress out about finances? Anyone ever stress out about what's going to happen at work? It's simply because you are locked in time. You can't see tomorrow. You can't see next week. You can't see the outcome. God sees the beginning of time and the end of time at the same time. He sees how things are going to play out, and he doesn't just see it; he's in control of it.

That's why Colossians 1:17 says, "And he [Jesus] is before all things, and in him all things hold together." We find out in Genesis 1 that God, our God, is a God who simply has to say the word, and it happens. He's atemporal. He's outside of time. He's not confined by it. He controls it, and we're safe in his hands. But not only that. "In the beginning, God…" It means our God is transcendent. You have to understand that when the Israelites would have heard these words, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…"

You need to know there were competing cosmologies of the day that had different accounts of creation. For example, in Egyptian cosmology, the nation they came out of, it's not that there was nothing, and then there was a big bang, and then there was something. In Egyptian cosmology, when you thought about preexistence, it was just a dark, infinite expanse of directionless waters or a chaotic ocean, and from that chaotic ocean was a god named Atum that came out, and then Atum just began to self-reproduce.

So, Atum had offspring, and from his offspring there was the sun and the sky and moisture. There were all of these different gods, and the gods themselves were aspects of creation. Then there was Babylonian cosmology. Babylonian cosmology started in the same way. It's not that there was nothing and then there was something. No, there was this primeval ocean. There was the goddess of salt water, Tiamat, and then there was the god of sweet water, and those two gods kind of got together and had a baby. These waters began to swirl together, and from those waters came gods.

The reason that's so important for you to realize is that the account of creation we read in Genesis 1 is a polemic. It is railing against those other cosmologies. It's to say, "You know what? Our God didn't emerge from creation, and our God is not equivalent with creation. Before there was any aspect of creation, there was our God. Our God created, but he stands distinct from creation. He is transcendent above it."

We just need to understand our God truly is transcendent. We tried to hit on this last Sunday when we talked about the fact that our God is holy, holy, holy. He is transcendent. He is so different. He is so other than we know him to be. I'll put it this way. In case you're wondering, just to kill curiosity, I drive a 2015 Hyundai Sonata, a pretty sweet ride at this point, besides the massive crack in the windshield that goes all the way across.

It is a sport sedan. I use the word sport very loosely in this situation, but I feel like it's a top-of-the-line 2015 Hyundai Sonata. So just go with me on this. Let's just assume that us collectively and us individually on our best days are a top-of-the-line 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Some of y'all are deeply offended right now, but, again, just go with me here. Just imagine on your best day…you pull together your best life…

On your best day, you're that 2015 top-of-the-line Hyundai Sonata. So, in our minds, what does that make God? Probably a Mercedes S-Class. Right? I mean, different level of luxury, different level of intricacy. No. God is not a Mercedes S-Class. He's an Airbus 380 private jet that was designed by a Saudi prince that has a parking space for a Rolls-Royce and a private concert hall in the sky and a prayer room that automatically turns toward Mecca no matter where it is in the sky.

When we talk about God being transcendent, we are talking about God being so other than we could ever truly understand him to be. What's interesting is if you try to go and Google that Airbus 380 jet, there are no pictures of it because it never made it to production. You can kind of, in a haze, think about what that could even be like, but there's no way to truly get your mind around that type of royalty.

God is the same way. When we talk about him being transcendent… He's the author of creation, yet he stands distinct from it. He is different than we are, yet that transcendent God condescended to us in the person of Jesus Christ. He entered his own creation. He took on flesh and became like us. He identified with us so he could be a sacrifice for us on the cross. He took all of our sin upon himself. He died, he was buried, and he rose from the dead so we could be made right with that holy and transcendent God.

I remember years ago I went as a volunteer leader to a Young Life camp during the summer. I remember standing with the area director. It was pool time, so there were literally hundreds of high school kids in the pool at the same time. Literally hundreds. It was chaos. I remember the area director looking at the leaders who were just standing or sitting around the pool watching the high school students, and then I remember him acknowledging those people and then acknowledging the leaders who were in the pool with students.

Here's what he said: "Do you see all of the leaders who are sitting around the pool just watching? Those are chaperones. The people in the pool are leaders. The people on the outside of the pool are there to just watch and see what people do that is wrong. The people in the pool are there to build relationship, because they care about the heart." See, God has not stood far off as a chaperone just watching for us to fail. He has moved in close. He has drawn near in relationship because he cares about the heart, and he has come to draw us back to him, yet he's transcendent.

"In the beginning, God…" The next word is created. "In the beginning, God created…" That's the Hebrew word bara'. In the Bible, that verb is only used of God's activity. When it's used, it never speaks of the material that is used to create. So, while this one verb cannot carry the weight of proving that God created ex nihilo (out of nothing), when you read the rest of Scripture, that's how God created. He created out of nothing.

Hebrews 11:3 puts it this way: "By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." God spoke, and it appeared. That just reminds us that our God is uniquely creative. He is the only one who has created something out of nothing. Everyone else in creation has created something out of something. God is the only one who is truly original, because he's the only one in all of history whose only inspiration has been himself.

Everyone else has been able to look around and find inspiration from something else, yet God's only inspiration was himself. He's uniquely creative, and praise God for his creativity. I mean, just think about God's goodness displayed in creation. Think about the fact that we have something called color. I do this with my kids. I'm like, "What if God just made everything brown? Like, everything…all of the trees, all the grass." You're like, "You're describing Texas right now."

Just imagine if everything in all of creation… All of our food was brown or gray or blue. You just pick one color. What if everything was only one color? What would that be like? Or what about this? Imagine all of the different kinds of laughs just represented in this room. God is the one who thought up laughter. I wonder what God's laugh is like. Have you ever thought about that? He has to have the best laugh in the world. He created laughter, and he gave everyone a unique laugh, because he has the best sense of humor.

God created us with five senses so we can taste things like creamy jalapeno ranch from Chuy's or Blue Bell Two Step. (Some of y'all with long COVID are like, "Too soon, man." You still can't taste. Sorry about that.) I think about temperature change, like the fact that when it dips below 70 and hits 68 or 69, everyone pulls out their Solo Stoves and puts on their Patagonia fleece vest. It's like, "Ooh! It's so cold." It's really not, but it's mental, and we're just grateful for that change so it doesn't feel like standing in front of a blow torch for that one day.

Or just the fact that there are 440 different species of just sharks. Sharks alone are so captivating we can watch them for an entire week in July. All of that is an overflow of God's unique creativity. You need to know that your life has been planned and mapped out by this God. Your life is an overflow of his unique creativity. So, why would you ever insist on doing things your own way? I believe our lives only become mediocre when we insist on doing things apart from God, because God is incapable of a mediocre existence.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Heaven and earth is a reference to the totality of the universe. Someone deserves credit for the universe. That credit goes to God. How amazing that that same God, the one who created the universe, is the one you're talking to when you pray. That's the one who is speaking to you when you open up the Bible. That's the one who is here to meet with us every Sunday morning. Is that the God you're connecting with? If not, you have the wrong God.

Verse 2. We're just moving at lightning speed through the book of Genesis, chapter 1. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Verse 2: "The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep." Here's what you need to understand. Verse 1 in Genesis is a summary statement of the rest of the chapter. It's a summary statement, so don't take verse 1 and verse 2 in chronological order. Verse 1 is a summary statement, and then verse 2 kind of backs us up into verse 1.

Where Moses starts us is with just the precondition state. We struggle that we don't get some of the answers we want from verse 2, but where Moses starts… It's interesting where the account of creation starts because it really coincides with the other ancient cosmologies of the day. As I told you, the Babylonian cosmology, the Egyptian cosmology… Where did they start? They started with the chaotic waters.

So, what do we see? We see that creation… It says it is formless (that's the Hebrew word tôû) and it's void (that's the Hebrew word bôû). So, creation was tôû bôû. You can just go to lunch and be like, "Tôû bôû." Yeah. We get it. Formless and void. The fact that it was formless just means there was no structure or order to it. It was chaotic. It was void. Meaning, it was empty. It was unproductive. It was uninhabited. One commentator described it as wild and waste.

The earth is a place not producing life. It says darkness was over the deep. Darkness just means that God's light, his life-giving presence, had not activated in the space yet. Darkness was over the deep. The earth was a dark abyss. This is a reference to the cosmic waters of chaos. So, the pre-creation state is a dark, watery wasteland. There's no order, no life.

That is very similar to how the other cosmologies began. But what's the difference? It says, "And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." The waters is synonymous with the deep. When darkness is over the deep, it's wild and waste, yet when the Spirit is hovering over the waters… The picture there of hovering… It's like fluttering. It is an eagle moving over the waters. That word in the Hebrew implies movement. So, as God's Spirit begins to move, this wild and waste land now has potential and possibility.

So what does it tell us about our God? It tells us that our God is near, because in the midst of the wild and waste, we see the Spirit of God hovering over the waters. The Spirit of God is not the waters, but he is close to them, and his presence brings possibility and potential, which is amazing, because that same Spirit is the Spirit that has brought you to life if you're a believer in Jesus Christ.

The reason you know God is because the Spirit of God hovered over your heart and began to convict you, and he allowed you to see the truth of God. He awakened you to the beauty of the gospel, and now the wild and waste of your soul has been brought to life and order because of that same Spirit.

It also tells us that our God is Lord. He is ruling, and he is reigning over all creation. We saw that the land and the deep abyss… It was formless and void. So what does God do? He speaks, and what's the result? In days 1-3 of creation (which we will see later), he forms, and then in days 4-6, he fills. It all comes simply through him speaking. This is different from the ancient cosmologies of the day, because the most popular one at the time would have been the Babylonian cosmology.

In Babylonian cosmology, there was this epic battle between Tiamat, the saltwater goddess, and Marduk, who was this warrior god that rose up to war against Tiamat. Tiamat, the saltwater goddess, becomes this dragon, and this dragon, in ancient cosmology, assembles this army. So what Marduk does… This warrior god rises up and draws the sea dragon to him.

He brings Tiamat in close, so close that Tiamat opens her mouth to swallow Marduk. Just as Tiamat opens her mouth, Marduk summons winds from the corners of the earth and blows the wind down Tiamat's throat. It opens up her esophagus, and then Marduk shoots an arrow down her throat into her heart. Then Marduk takes Tiamat, rips her body in two, and with her body creates the heavens above and the land beneath.

That's how the heavens and the earth were created in Babylonian cosmology: through an epic battle. In Genesis, chapter 1, God has no rival. He speaks, and all of creation submits to the word of his mouth, because he's the one who rules. He's the one who reigns. Our God is Lord. This is our God. Let's just leave here with a bigger view of God. Our God is eternal. He's self-sufficient. He's atemporal. He's transcendent. He's uniquely creative. He's near. He's Lord. Is that the God you are responding to or not?

So, what do we do with Genesis 1:1-2? How do we respond? Well, I want to encourage you to answer two questions this morning in response to what we've just read. The first question is…Have you been created by God or has God been created by you? Which God are you responding to? Are you responding to a God who has created you or are you responding to a God you yourself have created?

I'm telling you, if you wake up tomorrow and have little to no desire to meet with God, if meeting with God just feels like duty and discipline, you are responding to a God who has been created by you. The God we want to respond to is the same God who spoke into Job's life. What did God say to Job? He said, "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?" Do you know what the right response to that question is? "Nowhere." Where were you? Where was I? We were nowhere.

John the Baptist's words feel really fitting in this moment. "He must increase; I must decrease." Tomorrow when you wake up, he must increase. You have to put new oxygen into the balloon of your view of God. He must increase in your life. We must decrease. There is only one God, and we are not him. He doesn't exist for us; we exist for him.

So, here's what I want to encourage you to do: respond to that question. Before you leave today, worship him for who the Scriptures declare he is instead of who you have decided he is. Then when you get home or go to lunch, share with a friend or a family member one way that your view of God was inflated today, and then every day this week, fight for the biggest view of God possible. Put new oxygen into your view of God every single day. Worship him, and then respond to him throughout the day.

The second question I want you to answer is…Is God Lord of your life? Is he Lord? We read, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Psalm 24:1 says, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…" God is sovereign. He is King. He's a God who just speaks and the impossible happens. Does his word have that type of authority in your life that when he speaks you respond? That's the place he deserves.

God will never just settle for being your Savior when he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Kings reign. Is he reigning in your life? My encouragement to you is before you leave, surrender to him. Before you leave, just open up your hands to him and say, "You get to rule. You get to reign. I exist for you. You don't exist for me."

I'll just close by saying this. Some of you hear this, and you came in this morning without a real relationship with God. I'm so glad you're here, but for you, maybe where it starts is realizing that your soul is chaotic, just like the deep waters before the Spirit of God began to work and move. Your soul is chaotic, yet God has moved in near to us, and he brings peace and order to the chaos of our lives.

Maybe your life is chaotic because you have been looking everywhere for satisfaction. You've tried work. You've tried success. You've tried money. You've tried romantic love. You've tried sex. You've tried all of these different things, looking for life, looking for satisfaction. You're on this chaotic search for meaning and satisfaction, yet Jesus Christ is moving and near to you this morning, and he wants to bring order to your chaos. He is introducing himself to you this morning, saying, "I want to be your Savior, and I want to be your King."

Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, says, "There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man, which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ." If that's you, before you leave today, would you do business with him? Would you surrender to him? Your view of God will determine your response to him. May we be people this week who fight for the biggest view possible because "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Let's pray together.

Lord Jesus, I pray that you would just have your way in this place today, that we would be men and women who recognize exactly who you are, that you are the Lord of all creation, that you are the one who spoke, and everything appeared. God, just as you rule over creation, just as creation has responded to your authoritative voice, may we open up our lives and allow you to speak in right now, and as you speak, may we respond because you're worthy of our lives.

God, would you adjust our view of you? Wherever we're believing lies, may we see the truth, and may we respond because you're worthy, and may our worship be more authentic because we worship you out of a heart that has seen you for who you truly are. We need you. We love you. In Jesus' name, amen.