I’ve always wondered if you visit what is now Israel and surrounding countryside, if you’ll find piles of stones scattered in odd spots. I don’t know about you, but whenever I read about the Israelites, it seems like every time God delivered them from something, He told them to build a memorial by piling up stones which I always found a bit odd.

I mean, how do you forget that God parted the Red Sea? How do you forget that He changed bitter waters into sweet or defeated an enemy? It’s always seemed strange to me that the Israelites seemed to have such short attention spans.

But I’m the same way. Chip Ingram’s latest book, The Real God: How He Longs for You to See Him, has been like those piles of memorial stones for me.

While the book is well-written and engaging, if you have been a believer for any length of time, nothing in it should be new.  After a few introductory chapters – mostly on how important it is to have a clear view of who God actually is and not how we imagine Him to be – the book hits seven main characteristics of God.

These characteristics include God’s goodness, sovereignty, holiness, wisdom, justice, love and faithfulness. These are not new concepts to me, and they aren’t even just head knowledge either.

I have personally experienced God’s goodness. I’ve witnessed His faithfulness firsthand when my brother died almost two years ago (you can read about it HERE). I’ve been blown away when I glimpse just how big and holy God is, and I remember being weepy for a week when I truly understood just how much God loved me – not the whole world but me.

Yet, my memory is short. Daily life intrudes and the amazing grows familiar. The loud voices of this world shout down the quiet truths. My heart knowledge drifts back to head knowledge.

I took my time reading Ingram’s book, devoting a week to each chapter on God’s character. I read through the verses in those chapters and wrote them out. I looked up original meanings and meditated on what God’s Word had to say about Him.

You see, this book was very timely for me. One of the things I want to really explore this year is what is truly means to be God’s daughter. So often, I think we, as believers, don’t step fully into the role God has for us. When we don’t do that, we miss out on so much

I know not everyone will want to spend that long on this book, but it was a huge blessing to me. The Real God brought me face to face again with just who God is. The book pressed His reality more deeply into my heart – my own little stone pile memorial in book form.

The thing is, before I can truly step into what it means to be God’s child, I have to know the Father. It makes all the difference! I think Ingram says it best.

“Nothing in all your life will impact your relationship with God , your relationship with people, your self-view, your decisions, and your purpose like the way you think of God.”  ~Chip Ingram


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