“People fashion their God after their own understanding. They make their God first and worship him afterwards.”
Oscar Wilde, Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist, Critic 1854-1900
The kind of thinking expressed here by Wilde discloses the feeble understanding of one never having seen the God who has revealed Himself in scripture, in the person of His Son Jesus and through the Holy Spirit. For within the pages of God’s Word we find a God who is unimaginable; in His numinous power, in His grace, in His mercy, in His love and in His unending, white-hot, relentless pursuit of us – no person could have ever imagined Him! He is too wonderful!
2 Peter 1:16 says, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
1 Corinthians 2:9 tells us that no human mind has conceived even the wonderful things God has prepared for us.
Romans 11:34 asks the rhetorical question, “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” (cf. Isaiah 40:13.)
But even if Oscar Wilde knew what God had said about Himself (which I’m certain he did) it wouldn’t have changed a thing unless Wilde had actually "encountered" Him. Matt Redman wrote well, “Worship starts with seeing You (God).”
It’s what Peter was saying when he said “we were eyewitnesses.”
It’s what Isaiah was saying when he said, “I saw Him high and lifted up.”
It’s what Job was saying when he said, “My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You!”
It’s what Paul said of his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Gal. 1:11-12).
And what Thomas said after he had seen the risen Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”
No true worship experience will ever happen without actually seeing in our humbled hearts, the one true living God. Let us look to His written word that we may be awestruck before the living God who exposes our hearts under the burning light of His perfect holiness and loves us still.
The more we see of God, the more we are moved to respond in love, praise, adoration and worship. He is inscrutable; He is beyond our tracing out, He is more than we could possibly “fashion” or understand. May He enable us to understand what we are capable of understanding so that we can turn it into praise!