There has been a lot of talk over the last several years about whether God exists and, if He does, whether He is relevant to our lives. Last year, Rob Bell compared God to an Oldsmobile—useful in its time but out of date in today’s society. I think what is actually irrelevant to culture is our version of God, not God Himself.
The moment we reduce God to an equation or explainable phenomenon, what we understand and imagine is no longer God. That’s not to say that we cannot have any knowledge of God, but we cannot understand Him, not really. His ways are unsearchable. Who can know the mind of God? (Job 36:26) But we have tried. In an age of exploration and science, we have attempted to explain away the unexplainable. Let me give you a few examples of what I’m talking about.
• God is eternal—never ending and never beginning, always existing (Deut. 33:27, Exod. 3:14). Wrap your brain around that.
• God’s justice is perfect, yet He is incomprehensibly loving (Deut. 32:4, Job 34:12, John 3:16, Exod. 34:6, 1 Kings 8:23).
• God has chosen before the foundations of the world who has been and will be saved, and yet it seems to us that we have chosen Him (Eph. 1:4, Psalm 105:6, Isa. 41:8-9, Matt. 22:14, Acts 1:2, Rom. 11:5)
• He is one God and yet three persons (Matt. 28:19).
• He is perfectly holy and yet amazingly patient with sinners (Rev. 4:8, Rom. 2:4, Rom. 9:22)
Can anyone really explain these things? To our finite minds, these seem like contradictions. I have tried to explain how they are in perfect harmony before, but I can never reason it perfectly. I have often come to conclusions about God and then had them blown to pieces by scripture and experience. I don’t think many of the attributes of God are meant to be explained fully. We are not like God. He is outside our realm of comprehension, and that is the way the world should be.
I believe one of the failings of Christians in recent years is that we have not taught unexplainable things like those I mentioned because we did not understand them. We told our children not to bring them up because it may cause arguments. Instead of standing in awe of what we could not comprehend, we belittled God and made Him fit in our box of convenience. As a result, people now see the God we serve as weak and unimportant to daily life. For many, maybe he is.
As Christians, do we rely on the strength of our God every minute? Are we constantly aware of His presence and will? Do we believe that He is not only capable but actually handling and orchestrating every moment of our lives? Do we trust our most secret and difficult things to Him? What about our most mundane? If we believe that our God is as big and amazing as He says He is, won’t the gigantic struggles of this life fade to tiny blips on the radar of eternity?
I can’t say that I have mastered a high view of God. On the contrary, such a thing would be impossible. Our view of God should be ever expanding, because He is infinite. But I can say for certain that as my knowledge of God increases, so does my trust in Him. And as my trust increases, so does my hope and joy. I don’t have to understand and comprehend everything I learn. I do have to stand in awe. Because He is amazingly big. As Steven Curtis Chapman put it, “God is God, and I am not, so I’ll never understand it all, for only God is God.”