A.W. Tozer phrased it this way: "The most important thing about you is what comes to mind when you think of God." From the time I began taking God seriously He has given a consuming desire to think of Him as He is, not as I imagine Him to be. His precious Word is the prime tool for learning Him, given that we might worship Him rightly, refusing the maudlin superstitions, the emotional inventions men have concocted as to who He is. One passage always comes to mind at this juncture: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts, " (Isaiah 55:10, 11).
Since this is so, there must be daily diligence to renew the mind by refusing conformity to the world system. As I persevere, my life is gradually transformed, and my concepts of God come closer to reality.
Is all this so important? Immeasurably... for, (a.) how we see Him is how we serve Him; (b.) How we see Him is how we'll speak of Him to others, and to ourselves. Yes, some of the most important things we say are self-sermons, rehearsing the truth for encouragement & exhortation.
And (c.) how we see Him is how we'll speak to Him. Thinking of Him as He truly is makes a monumental difference in our prayer lives.
Proverbs tells us that, as a man thinks, so he is (23:7). Not as he thinks he is, nor as others think he is, but as he thinks, that is who he truly is. The challenge, then, is to take every thought "captive to the obedience of Christ," (II Cor. 10:5). A lifetime task, to be sure, but one worthy of the God we are to take seriously.