Thursday, November 1, 2012

Seeking the Unsearchable God - Part 2

For Part 1 - see the October 31, 2012 post: Seeking the Unsearchable God - Part 1 

“O, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God!  How inscrutable are His judgments, and untraceable His ways!  For who knew the mind of the Lord? Or, who became His adviser? Or who gives to Him first, and it will be repaid him?  Seeing that out of Him and through Him and for Him is all:  to Him be the glory for the eons!  Amen!”  (Romans 11:33-36 CLNT)

Who knows the mind of God and what He is thinking and planning?  What man can be His adviser and tell God what to do?

“Who gauges the spirit of YHWH and is informing Him as a man of His counsel?”  (Isaiah 40:13 CVOT)

Who truly knows the mind of YHWH?  Who can truly know all that He’s thinking, planning, or doing?  Who?  What human can possibly measure God’s spirit?  What human counsels God and tells Him what to do or not do or how He should do it?  The God of all, out of Whom all is, is not One that can be manipulated or told what to do.  God will do His best, His counsel, and His plans.  We can speak our minds with Him, we can share our longings and desires, we can ask and hope for Him to grant our dreams, but ultimately God does what God knows is best to do.  At times, what He does will align with what we hoped for.  But let us not for one moment convince ourselves that it is our petitions which move the hand of God or sway God here or there.  (I delve more deeply on the topic of prayer in a September 2011 post titled: Daily Truth -The Power of Prayer

As the Greeks sought after superior knowledge and education, many people today seek after the knowledge of God.  Their hope is that if they learn about God, they will understand and know Him better.  Not as many seek after experiencing God and actually getting to know Him.  What is the difference between knowing about God and knowing God?

To experience God is to get to know Him.  To believe in and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ is to get to know Him.  To abide in Him is to get to know Him.  To trust in Him is to get to know Him.  To rely on Him is to get to know Him.  To seek Him is to get to know Him.  To wait for Him is to get to know Him.  To need Him is to get to know Him.  To call out to Him and listen to Him is to get to know Him.  To read the Scriptures (the Bible) and trust and wait for Him to reveal what they mean is to get to know Him.  To listen to others share their experiences with Him is to get to know Him.  Knowing God is a journey of countless experiences.  It is a journey in which we actively engage our whole being and participate with Him.

When my husband and I went snorkeling at Napili Beach in Maui, we had the most exhilarating experience of swimming along with fish of different sizes and colors and with a majestic sea turtle.  The turtle was so close, I could have reached out and touched it.  I've seen pictures of beautiful fish and sea turtles and been told about them, but none of that remotely compares to actually swimming alongside them and having the experience for myself.  I was awestruck by the experience, and it will be a part of me as long as I live.

“With whom does He (God) take counsel?  And who is giving Him understanding, is teaching Him in judgment’s path, is teaching Him knowledge and is informing Him the way of understanding?”  (Isaiah 40:14, CVOT)

Does God seek or need man’s counsel to accomplish what is best?  Does any man grant God understanding in any matter whatsoever?  God is all-knowing.  While we should never hesitate to speak openly to God about what is happening or how we feel, we should never assume that we must tell Him those things because He must be educated. 

Can any man offer God better judgments regarding any number of situations that happen on this earth?  Can we teach God and give Him understanding He doesn’t already have?  What man has the ability, power, or position to instruct God?  Man is man and God is God.  Man is created and God is the Creator.  Whatever knowledge any human has comes from the Creator.  Whatever knowledge any human does not have has been withheld by the Creator.  There is absolutely no knowledge or understanding that a person has which can be imparted upon God and used to teach or counsel Him.

“For who knew the mind of the Lord?  Who will be deducing from Him?”  (1 Corinthians 2:16 CLNT)

What person can know any of the thoughts of God?  It is the one who is in Jesus Christ and has been given the faith of Jesus Christ.  While all is out of God, it is through Christ that we can know what is in the mind of God.

“For who knew the mind of the Lord?  Who will be deducing from Him?  Yet we have the mind of Christ.”  (1 Corinthians 2:16 CLNT)

The Apostle Paul told the Corinthian believers that he was called and commissioned to be “bringing the evangel (good news), not in wisdom of word, lest the cross of Christ may be made void.  For the word of the cross is stupidity, indeed, to those who are perishing, yet to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written, I shall be destroying the wisdom of the wise, and the understanding of the intelligent shall I be repudiating.  Where is the wise?  Where is the scribe?  Where is the discusser of this eon?  Does not God make stupid the wisdom of this world?  For since, in fact, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom knew not God, God delights, through the stupidity of the heralding, to save those who are believing, since, in fact, Jews signs are requesting, and Greeks wisdom are seeking, yet we are heralding Christ crucified, to Jews, indeed, a snare, yet to the nations stupidity, yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God, for the stupidity of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”  (1 Corinthians 1:17-25 CLNT) 

In view of His complete power and sovereignty, God shows the greatest wisdom of this world to be stupid.  It is not through human wisdom and intelligence that we will come to know God.  It is through the power of the cross and through Jesus Christ.  We might think that we will know God if we see signs and wonders or if we fill our minds with abounding book knowledge, but those are totally false ideas.  God reveals His power and wisdom through Christ.

Too often, I’ve observed people paying more attention to those who are heralding the good news of God and of Christ instead of actually focusing on God and Christ.  In our modern day, teachers, preachers, and churches have become quite creative with wise and clever words and entertaining demonstrations in an attempt to proclaim the truth and power of God more effectively.  After all, we have a society who loves to be entertained.  Unfortunately, there are times when that human creativity and cleverness takes the attention away from God and Christ and instead places it upon man.  Sometimes, all those wise and clever words and demonstrations leave people seeking more after man instead of after God, and therefore, nullify the cross of Christ.  The cross of Christ and the power and wisdom of God do not reside in this teacher or that teacher, or this church or that church, or this denomination or that denomination.  I’ve also observed teachers and leaders being worshiped and placed on high pedestals and heard a great deal of boasting about who knows more about God and who has the better scoop on God’s ways.

Yet the Apostle Paul clearly said, “For you are observing your calling, brethren, that there are not many wise according to the flesh; not many powerful, not many noble, but the stupidity of the world God chooses, that He may be disgracing the wise, and the weakness of the world God chooses, that He may be disgracing the strong, and the ignoble and the contemptible things of the world God chooses, and that which is not, that He should be discarding that which is, so that no flesh at all should be boasting in God’s sight.  Yet you, of Him, are in Christ Jesus, Who became to us wisdom from God, besides righteousness and holiness and deliverance, that, according as it is written, He who is boasting, in the Lord let him be boasting.”  (1 Corinthians 1:26-31, CLNT)

Let us only boast in God and in Christ!  The cross of Christ and the power and wisdom of God come from and out of God alone. He alone is God and worthy of worship and boasting.  Humans are His creation and His vessels.  Let us always seek Him first and foremost, keeping our eyes steadfast upon Him.  He will be faithful to direct our ways and fill us with His boundless love and perfect truth.

“…there is no other God except One.  For even if so be that there are those being termed gods, whether in heaven or on earth…nevertheless…there is one God, the Father, out of Whom all is, and we for Him, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom all is, and we through Him.”  (1 Corinthians 8:4-7, CLNT)

Related post:  "Seeking the Unsearchable God - Part 3"

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