In The God You Can Know Dan Dehann sets out to help you get to know the Father as intimately as you know Jesus. Chapts 1-4 are foundational to that goal with a careful description of God’s perfections (attributes). It is from this foundation that the rest of the book is built with special emphasis on responding to God’s holiness with a heart of worship. DeHann writes on p. 66: “How can we be so insensitive to God? How can we sing in church as though we were bored with it all? How can we have such shallow gratitude?”
Indeed! As a Christ-follower does my worship reflect the depth of God’s holiness and magnitude of his love and faithfulness given to me? Or does it have more to do with my comfort, my schedule, and my preferences? In chpt 7 DeHann describes worship as including three elements: humility, (bowing down) sacrifice (casting down your crowns), and worship (telling Jesus his worth).
The last two chapters focus on balancing the Christian life. This is the heart of the book. I was confronted by the directness of DeHann’s comments: “Many individuals today are highly qualified to be utterly useless.” (p. 137) “We have worn ourselves out serving the one who said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (p.138) “The Christian life is not all that complicated. Let’s find the balance and then get on with it.” (p. 138).
Chpts 10-11 provide an outline to the book of Philippians that many will find quite helpful:
Philippians 1 – Jesus must be our possession – v 6 – he who began a good work in you
Philippians 2 – Jesus must be our pattern – vv 3-7 – being like Jesus in his humility
Philippians 3 – Jesus must be our purpose – v 7 – count as loss; v 12– forgetting what is behind
Philippians 4 – Jesus must be our power – v 13 – I can do all things through Christ
On the final page DeHann asks a series of questions which I will keep in front of me throughout my life:
What is the balance to your life? Is Christ your possession? Are you confident? Is Christ your pattern? Are you seeing selfishness rooted out from you? Is Christ your purpose? Are you becoming intimate with him? Is Christ your power? Are you finding peace, contentment, and joy in living for him? Great questions to keep my life on track.
The God You Can Know is a book that takes longer to read than its 158 pages would seem to indicate. But in the end I believe that DeHann accomplishes his goal of helping the reader get to know God as intimately as you can know Jesus.