[Copied and edited from my Morning Manna daily email devotional, 2000 – 2005]
GOD FOR DUMMIES – Can you believe if you don’t understand?
Friday, November 3, 2000
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isa. 55:9 (KJV)
I don’t understand everything I know about God. I know that He is Trinity: three Persons, one God. I know that. I do not understand it. I know that He is sovereign and that He cannot be tempted with sin, neither will He tempt others with sin – yet sin exists. I know that. I don’t completely understand it. I know that He is eternal. He is without beginning or end. He transcends time, yet has elected to work within its framework. I know this. I do not understand it.
Sometimes God does things – or at least allows things – that I don’t understand. He does things that surprise me. Then, he doesn’t do something I thought He would – and that surprises me, too.
I guess what I am confessing is this: I am more ignorant of the ways of God today than I was twenty years ago. There was a time when, as a young preacher fresh out of bible college, I had God all figured out. I had studied systematic theology. I had mastered Christology, soteriology, eschatology, and a number of other -ologies. With the help of my professors and fellow students, I had constructed a very nice, God-sized box (I thought) – and I placed Him in it.
I tucked my box under my arm and set out to set the world straight concerning God.
Through the years, however, God has continually jumped out of my box. He refuses to be so easily defined. He will not be so conveniently understood. He says things that I have to accept by faith. He does things that I have to deal with and trust Him. He works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. After a period of discomfort, after a little time of disillusion, I have finally become comfortable with the fact that I can know God without completely understanding Him. I have realized that if I could understand Him, if I could dissect him like a biology teacher does a frog and fully explain Him, He would have to be so much less than He is.
I do not know everything there is to know about God. Moreover, I don’t understand everything I do know about Him. But I know enough to trust Him. I have gotten acquainted with Him on a personal level. I have experienced His love in my life, His presence in my heart. I know whom I have believed and, like Paul, I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto him (which is EVERYTHING I hold dear) until the day of my glorification. Then, I will know even as I am known. I will understand. I will comprehend.
I know Jesus. I know God’s love. I understand His gift. I appreciate His transcendence. I can read and understand His Word. And that’s enough…for now.
A Prayer for Today: “Heavenly Father, I want to know You better than I do. I want to learn everything I can about you. I want to understand You to the extent that I am able. Beyond that, I will trust You. I will accept You. I will obey You. Help me, Father to increase my knowledge and to strengthen my faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”