Thursday, January 24, 2008

Unfathomable God

One of the most life impacting Bible studies I’ve ever done (Fall of 2002) was Believing God by Beth Moore ( In fact, as I have been reviewing some of my notes from that study in the last few months, I’ve almost wanted to re-do the whole study once again. God brought that study into my life at THE perfect time that I needed it, and through it He spoke great truths deep into my heart. In the introduction pages to the study Beth makes a remarkable statement:

God confronted me with the truth that though I had believed in Him for many years, I had hardly begun to believe Him. He made something clear to me that He has sent me forth to say to you: God is so much more than we have yet acknowledged and experienced. He is capable of tremendously more than we have witnessed. I have become utterly convinced that we see so little primarily because we believe Him for so little.

Yes! “God IS so much more than we have yet acknowledged and experienced and capable of tremendously more than we have witnessed.” We only see or understand so little of God “because we believe Him for so little”. We take God and put who WE think and believe He is in this “packaged box” with colorful ribbons and set up boundaries for Him according to our human wisdom (His foolishness). For the stupidity of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Corinthians 1:25)

We are certainly horribly guilty of believing God for so little. However, we are told in the Bible that “Great is YHWH, and praised exceedingly, and as to His greatness there is no fathoming.” (Psalm 145:3) As to God’s greatness, the psalmist says there is no possible human way of fully understanding it. I believe that we would be a lot closer to understanding the greatness of God by admitting that we cannot fully comprehend His grandeur and power rather than thinking we have.

In my notes for Week Two of the Believing God I wrote that Beth made the statement, “We can never fully grasp the enormity of our God. God is not a little something in our trying to learn a little something about God. The little we know and understand about God does not make Him a little and limited god; it only proves how little WE know and how BIG and BOUNDLESS He IS! He is not bound by ANY thing for He is the Creator of ALL things, and He did not create anything that would be more powerful than He is.

The bottom line is that there is much more to God than our finite minds can ever conceive. It doesn’t matter what PEOPLE say about God and who He is. What REALLY matters is what GOD HIMSELF says about who He is!

I would like to share a few more of the notes that I jotted down from some of the things Beth spoke in the teaching video of Week Two, “Believing God Is Who He Says He is”. These are worthwhile food for thought:

“All attempts to define God cannot help but minimize Him. If in our pursuit of greater knowledge, God seems to have gotten smaller, we have been deceived.”

“Faith that remains unchallenged ordinarily remains unchanged.”

“Sometimes we may realize that we have created God in man’s own image who is not God at all. Do not carve a God out of the image of man. He IS who HE says He is.”

“Whatever I know or believe or perceive God to be, He is MORE!”

“The God that some of us have been taught doesn’t have the power to deliver us.” [“Is My Hand too short to ransom? Or is there no vigor in Me to rescue?” (Isaiah 50:2)]

“We are directly affected by who we believe He is.”

“We will never have faith that exceeds the strength of the God we perceive.”

“Let the REAL GOD stand up.”

In Day 1 of the Believing God study guide for Week Two (pgs. 28-29), Beth Moore also makes the following statements:

“Believers who know what they want to believe and refuse to be challenged may have a stand of faith, but they may not have a walk of faith…

We want to keep moving with our God…

My faith has been altered in a number of ways. The general results have been twofold: I’ve loosened my hold on some things I might have liked to believe but can find very little applicable permission from the Word. I’ve also broadened my belief system in other areas in which I thought far too little of God and what He can do. No matter how familiar the doctrine was to me or how comfortable it felt, if it didn’t stand up against a well-established concept in the Word, I began placing a question mark beside it…

I’ve been shocked over the past 15 years to realize that a few things I was certain were well established in Scripture were huge doctrines of man built on single Scriptures. Yes, those Scriptures are still true, but they don’t necessarily warrant building entire dogmatic belief systems…

Our human tendency is to affirm and reaffirm spiritually and biblically what we already believe rather than to search and consider the whole counsel of the Word. Each of us tends to have a cut-and-paste theology…

Where I discover that my trained belief system lacks biblical support, I respectfully want to have enough courage to believe what God says over what people say…

All of us have had many teachers of theology, whether official or unofficial, formal or informal. Life experiences are teachers. Conversations overheard are teachers…Obviously, parents, schoolteachers, Bible and Sunday school teachers and preachers dramatically influence and shape each of our theologies. I’d like to suggest to you in love and without a hint of disrespect that some of our favorite teachers may have helped us package our faith in neat little boxes and even handed us the wrapping paper and bows as if we need not know another thing. Meanwhile, we may be helping others do the same. We think we’ve got God in those boxes, but we don’t. No matter how many Ph.D’s a professor has or how trustworthy our parents have been about every other subject or how beautifully, intelligently, or lovingly the box is decorated, God doesn’t fit…

If in our pursuit of greater theological knowledge God has gotten smaller, we’ve been deceived— unintentionally, but deceived all the same. I am utterly convinced that God is bigger than we will ever stretch our faith to conceive…

Anything attainable by human understanding is a mere shadow of the reality. Every time you grasp a new concept about God, try thinking, He’s this…and more…

Most of our belief systems are deeply rooted. Long-held but biblically unsupported implants will not budge without our willingness to allow God to uproot and replace them. I hope you will take heart in this assurance: any part of our belief systems the Holy Spirit desires to uproot will be replaced with something better and far more adventurous. Dear One, anything not of the Lord is always the lesser.”

At that time of my life, I had no idea what a foundation this study and its truths were creating for where God would take me next in my faith and what the results of that journey would be. Inspired by the things Beth said, I prayed a prayer asking/begging God to continuously stretch my faith; to help me break out of any boxes of misplaced ideas or beliefs that I had about who He truly is; I admitted my finiteness and asked to be consecrated for Him alone. I couldn’t have imagined (or wanted to) some of the difficult things that He would have to take me through and the challenges to my faith that I would have to endure so that He would be able to answer those prayers; but today, I am, as I’ve said before, more than grateful for it all and more than blessed to have faced it all. He has definitely answered my prayer and continuous to do so even today.

God said and promised to the Israelites, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the LORD...” (Jeremiah 29:11-14) I have experienced the living God live out this promise also to me in incredible ways. I have passionately sought Him, and He has been gracious enough to reveal more of Himself to me. Through the awesome power of His Spirit teaching and speaking to me, I now know Him to be a much bigger God than I ever knew Him to be before. I realized that I had been guilty of believing Him for so little; and I’m sure in many ways I probably still do. However, He is not through working with me, and I am by NO means through fervently seeking Him. Everyday is a new day to live the life He has given me, enjoy the blessings He graciously pours out, and excitedly anticipate seeing Him and knowing Him a little more clearly and intimately.

From the eon, they have not heard; They have not given ear; Eye has not seen any Elohim except You, He Who is doing deeds for him who is tarrying for Him. (Isaiah 64:4) According as it is written, that which the eye did not perceive, and the ear did not hear, and to which the heart of man did not ascend—whatever God makes ready for those who are loving Him. Yet to us God reveals them through His spirit, for the spirit is searching all, even the depths of God. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

I couldn’t have ever imagined God would have brought me to the place I am today in character and in faith, but He has. I praise and thank Him for all He’s done! I cannot imagine where God will take me from here and what further changes He has in store in my character or in my faith; but, I will praise Him now ahead of time for that too! His ways are perfect, and I have full assurance and confidence in HIS ways.

My point with this whole blog is this: God is more than amazing, more than magnificent, and more than grand (our spoken words are too small to describe Him). He is unfathomable! He is much greater than our little minds can comprehend. His power is boundless and also beyond the scope of our understanding. His ultimate and fulfilled plans beyond anything our minds can fully grasp. Let us not do Him the disservice of believing or teaching Him to be a “little god in a pretty little packaged box with neat little bows on top”. While we cannot fully know God and His ways during our life in this earthly world, we can be confident that God takes great pleasure in us seeking Him out day by day, and our search will not be in vain. He will reveal more of Himself, bit by bit; as much as He knows we can handle at a time. Seek Him with boldness and with faith and believe Him when He speaks!

HE says of Himself,

Behold I am YHWH, Elohim of all flesh. Is anything too marvelous for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)

There is no one apart from Me; I am YHWH, and there is no other. Former of light and Creator of darkness, Maker of good and Creator of evil, I, YHWH, make all these things. Drip down from above heavens, and let the skies distil righteousness; Let the earth open up, Let salvation bud, and let righteousness sprout together with it; I, YHWH, I create it. Would anyone contend with his Former? Earthenware of the ground with its artificer? Shall the clay say to its potter, What are you making? Or your contrivance say, It has no hands? Would anyone say to a father, What are you begetting? Or to a woman, With what are you in travail? Thus says YHWH, the Holy One of Israel, and its Former, Of the things arriving, ask Me; yet concerning My children and concerning the deeds of My hands, shall you instruct Me? I Myself made the earth and created humanity on it; I, My hands stretched out the heavens, and all their hosts have I instructed. (Isaiah 45:6-12)

There is no other Elohim apart form Me, a righteous El and Savior; there is none except Me. Turn toward Me and be saved, all the limits of the earth, for I am El, and there is no other. By Myself have I sworn; from my mouth has gone forth righteousness, a word, and it shall not turn back; for to Me shall bow every knee, and every tongue shall swear fealty. Only in YHWH, one will say to Me, are righteousness and strength. Unto Him shall each one come, and all who were heated against Him shall be ashamed. In YHWH shall they be justified, and shall all the seed of Israel boast. (Isaiah 45:21-25)

For I am El, and there is no other! Elohim! And no other like Me! Telling from the beginning, the hereafter, and from aforetime what has not yet been done, saying, All My counsel shall be confirmed, and all My desire shall I do; Calling from the sunrise, a bird of prey; From a land afar; a man of My counsel, Indeed I have spoken; Indeed I shall bring it to pass! I have formed the plan; Indeed I shall do it! Hearken to Me, sturdy of heart, who are far from righteousness: I bring near My righteousness; It shall not be far off, and My salvation shall not delay. (Isaiah 46:9-13)

“Is My Hand too short to ransom? Or is there no vigor in Me to rescue?” (Isaiah 50:2)

Isaiah said of Him,

For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? (Isaiah 14:27)

Job said of Him,

“I know that You are able in all things, and no plan of Yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)

The Psalmist said of Him,

The LORD foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. (Psalm 33:10)

Solomon said of Him,

The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

Many plans are in a man's heart, but the counsel of the LORD will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)

Jesus said of Him,

Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

With God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Paul said of Him,

One Who is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will.” (Ephesians 1:11)

"That you, having been rooted and grounded in love, should be strong to grasp, together with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and depth and height--to know the love of Christ as well which transcends knowledge--that you may be completed for the entire complement of God. Now to Him Who is able to do superexcessively above all that we are requesting or apprehending, according to the power that is operating in us, to Him be glory in the ecclesia and in Christ Jesus for all the generations of the eon of the eons! Amen!" (Ephesians 3:18-21)

For it is God Who is operating in you to will as well as to work for the sake of His delight.” (Philippians 2:13)

In His arms, for His glory, and in His strength…

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