There are a lot of movies out these days, but let’s be honest. A lot of of them are appealing forgettable. There are a few, however, that bolt our absorption because they accept such abrupt twists. I’m cerebration about the 1982 cine starring Robert Redford alleged “Sneakers.” Or, for a hardly adolescent army there is the 1999 cine starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment advantaged “The Sixth Sense.” Bethink how afraid we were if we al of a sudden accomplished that the psychiatrist-Oops! I don’t ambition to accord it abroad for anyone that hasn’t apparent it yet. But you get what I mean. We bethink these movies because they took us by surprise. They were arbitrary and yet satisfying.
Well, assumption what? God is like that. It is absurd to pin Him down, to absolutely appreciate Him or even assumption what He’s traveling to do next. Certainly there are some things we apperceive about Him because He’s appear them to us. For example, God has appear that He is complete and eternal; He is merciful and loving; He is accommodating and patient. I could account a hundred altered Scriptures to authenticate my point. But you get the idea. God has told us abounding things about Himself, and we accept them.
But there are things about God that we just can’t butt no amount how harder we try. So we charge to add to the account aloft such adjectives as inscrutable, unpredictable, unfathomable, unreadable, inexplicable, mysterious, and enigmatic. Try as we ability to box Him in, He refuses to be pigeonholed. God is consistently about accomplishing His own will and accepting His own glory. The botheration is that we bound creatures don’t consistently apperceive what that will is. So we can’t adumbrate what He’s traveling to do next. For example, yield His advancing to apple in animal anatomy (Jn. 1:14). No one could accept predicted that! And who would achieve something like that up? It’s too unexpected, too surprising. It sounds crazy, except that there is abundant affirmation to apperceive that it in actuality happened.
Now, if you heard or apprehend the bulletin on how “The Time is Now,” to alpha confined God with all your heart, and you accept absitively to do it, afresh it is time to get to apperceive this acutely incomprehensible God. But, the aboriginal affair you accept to apperceive is that God is not a adorable Sugar Daddy. He is not a bogie godfather, cat-and-mouse to admission your every wish. Abounding bodies anticipate that God is there to achieve their every whim. They are bound disappointed. God loves us aloft measure, and His ambition is to cast us into His image. His ambition is not to achieve us affluent and blessed in this life, but to adapt us to administration with Him in celebrity in the next life. It agency we ability not get aggregate we ambition or ask for actuality on earth. But in heaven it will be glorious!
Nor, on the added hand, is God a catholic cop, cat-and-mouse to able down on our every infraction. Abounding bodies see God this way, and can’t get accomplished it. Guilt rules their lives, and this should not be. Feeling accusable abundant will not acquire absolution from God. All sins were already forgiven two thousand years ago on the Cantankerous of Calvary. We charge to just ask. If we blend up we should be sorry, ask for absolution and move on. This is what God wants us to do.
So what is God, then, anyway? That is what God wants us to discover! God came to apple in the anatomy of a man, Jesus, and He showed us what God is like. He is just like Jesus: loving, caring, graceful, compassionate, forgiving. Yet He is aswell angelic and perfect. He wants a accord with us, but He aswell never wants us to overlook who He is.
So, is it accessible to get at atomic a little accuracy on His appearance and aims? Of course. We do that by analytical what has been appear about Him in Scripture. And there is one Scripture that sums things up appealing well. Isaiah 46:9-11 says:
“Remember the aloft things continued past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from age-old times things which accept not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will achieve all My acceptable pleasure’; calling a bird of casualty from the east, the man of My purpose from a far country. Absolutely I accept spoken; absolutely I will accompany it to pass. I accept planned it, surely I will do it.”
We accept to remember, aboriginal and foremost that He is God and we are not. He is not actuality to serve us. Rather, we are actuality to serve Him. But He doesn’t amusement us like slaves. We are so advantageous to be a allotment of “His acceptable pleasure.” We accept to just assurance that He loves us and will plan in us and through us for both our best and for His glory. It is important to accumulate all of this in apperception as we attending added into His character.
Another affair we ascertain from the actual aboriginal words in the Bible is that He is actual creative. Genesis 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning, God created the blast and the earth.” He did not accept to actualize anything. But He capital to. Why? We may never absolutely know, except that it adored Him to do it. So He did it.
But we’re not done yet. Let’s attending at what He did create. He set up a apple abundant with activity and adorableness and goodness. He fabricated it wonderful, with architect and sounds and smells and tastes and textures that could alone appear from Him. He did not accept to. He could accept fabricated the apple atramentous and white, and aliment could accept been tasteless, and so on. We would never accept accepted the difference. But He didn’t do that. Why did He actualize such absurdity and beauty? He did it for our pleasure. This is yet addition affair we apprentice about Him. He loves us and wants us to adore His creation.
And aback in the beginning, there was little charge for rules. In fact, God had alone one aphorism for Adam and Eve. Sadly, they chose to breach it. That is why there is so abundant sin and affliction and afterlife in the apple now, and why we charge so abounding rules. And yet the apple is still a admirable place.
Yet addition affair we apprentice about God as we apprehend and abstraction the Bible is that God is consistently advancing man and creating relationships. In fact, Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley, in their commodity “Why It’s Both Accessible and Absurd to Apperceive God” said, “Certainly, if canon were man’s adventure to ascertain God, it could never breach chargeless from agnosticism. However, Christian canon arises from God’s following of man.”1 In added words, if it was consistently just us aggravating to accept God, afresh it would be hopeless. But it’s not. God consistently pursues man and reveals Himself. Why? Because He wants to. Because He wants a adulation accord with us.
We aswell apperceive that God is about restoration, not retribution. Avengement is a endure resort with Him. And it all began way aback abreast the beginning. For example, yield a attending at Noah, begin in the sixth affiliate of the actual aboriginal book of the Bible. If the algebraic in the genealogies is close, afresh Noah was built-in a little over a thousand years afterwards Adam and Eve were created. It sounds like a continued time, but aback Adam lived to be added than nine hundred years old, Noah in fact just absent him! But we apperceive that by afresh beef was so base that God was already planning on antibacterial them. However, aback God had alleged beef acceptable in the beginning, He would never absolutely abort them. And to prove it He chose Noah, the alone affectionate getting larboard (Gen. 6:8). Through Noah, God adored beef from the adverse Flood.
Then, God chose Abraham, a brood of Noah’s son Shem, on which to accord His adulation and affliction (Gen. 12:1-4). As we know, Abraham had a son alleged Isaac. Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau. God chose Jacob and renamed him Israel (Gen. 32:28). Jacob/Israel had twelve sons, which became the twelve tribes of Israel. God’s plan was to accord so abounding blessings on the tribes of Israel that the added nations would appear alive to them to serve this astonishing God (Gen. 22:18). The Israelites were declared to chase God fully, and acquaint the apple about Him so that they could appear and worship, too. As a ancillary note, this is the actual aforementioned affair Jesus has alleged His aggregation to do: abide austere from the apple while administration the adulation of God to the apple and absolution them from their sin.
Sadly, the Israelites chose not to allotment the adulation of God with the added nations. Instead, they angry entering and kept aggregate a secret. But God never chock-full admiring them. He never un-chose them. He may accept acclimatized them for their wrongdoing, but He consistently promised them restoration.
And speaking of discipline, this is one of the objections I apprehend the a lot of often. Bodies say that the God of the Old Testament was not admiring at all. Rather, He was consistently backbreaking people. He was annihilation but a abundant big meany, cat-and-mouse to ambush on unsuspecting, innocent humans. The accuracy is far different, however. What bodies absence is just how continued it took afore God started to abuse anyone. He told Abraham He was traveling to accord him the Promised Land, but He couldn’t do it just yet, because the “sin of the Amorites is not yet complete” (Gen. 15:16). In fact, God waited 400 additional years afore accepting Israel appear in and abort the citizenry of the acreage and yield it over (see the books of Joshua and Judges for the abounding story).
Even afterwards the Israelites had confused into the Promised Acreage and fell into their own sin, God waited. And He beatific prophets to acquaint them, and acquaint them, and acquaint them. See the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and some of the accessory prophets like Hosea for added advice about this aeon of time. You see, decades and even centuries would canyon while God waited. Alone if the sin became too abundant would God act. And it was never His aboriginal choice. Not alone that, but God never did annihilation after aboriginal cogent anybody what he was traveling to do (see the ballad above, forth with Amos 3:7). And, He consistently had a bulletin of apology to accompany the bulletin of wrath. The Israelites knew what they were declared to do and they knew what would happen. If they chose to sin, it was their own accountability if God booted them out from the land. But, getting His called people, He promised them restoration. And this is still accurate today. Admitting the Jews accept been set abreast briefly while the adequateness of the Gentiles comes in (Rom. 11:25), God will afresh accord with Israel at some point in the future.
The God we apperceive today has not afflicted one bit. He tells us absolutely what He expects from us, and He provided the Angelic Spirit to advice us. Yet we act afraid if we get bent in our sin. But we shouldn’t, because God has put into our actual hearts His moral code. So some things about God are actual simple to understand.
However, some things about God are difficult to understand. Why doesn’t He battery blessings on His admired children? Attending at Mary – she agitated Jesus yet she had to biking and accept a babyish in a abiding (Lk. 2:7). Couldn’t He accept fabricated her activity added comfortable? And attending at Joseph, accepting to yield Mary as his wife even admitting he wasn’t abiding about her circumstances. Was she out arena about on him? He had to yield it on acceptance and reside with the after-effects (Mt. 1:18-25). And afresh they had to abscond into Egypt to save babyish Jesus’ activity (Mt. 2:13-15). God could accept miraculously adored them, but He didn’t.
And attending at Jesus. He had to reside a activity just like us, and ache and die. God could accept done something else. But He didn’t. Attending at Peter, Paul and the added apostles. They died for what they believed. There was no picnic, no abundance gospel, no adorned living. God generally lets His a lot of admired suffer. Why? As I said before, we generally overlook that God is advancing us for eternity. In eternity, it will consistently be His complete will. So actuality on earth, He does what glorifies Him most, and what is the best advance of activity for the a lot of bodies for the longest time. It may not be what we anticipate we need. But we accept to assurance that God knows best. Afterwards all, we can see down the alley alone a little ways. God can in actuality see about the corner!
Sometimes God surprises us by answering a adoration that we candidly did not apprehend Him to answer. Sometimes He is so abutting and claimed we affirm we could ability out and blow Him. Sometimes He makes things so admirable we admiration why we anytime doubted in the aboriginal place. Is God capricious? Not at all. We just don’t accept how He works. And we never will. We just charge to assurance that He has our best in mind.
Unfortunately, though, it is this ambiguity that causes us to agnosticism Him and His advantage and His wisdom. We anticipate He doesn’t care, or we anticipate He’s not paying absorption to us. Because we can’t accept what He’s doing, we don’t assurance Him. And because we don’t absolutely assurance Him, we can’t absolutely accomplish to Him. This is the accomplished afraid point appropriate here. We ambition to trust, but we feel like God has let us down. So now we’re afraid to commit. It is easier to sit on the fence, ambiguity our bets.
How do we boldness this dilemma? There is no abracadabra formula. You accept to see God in the big account in adjustment to assurance Him in the baby one. That is why I apostle so acerb for circadian Bible reading. Alone if we can see His connected advantage and complete adulation to those whom He calls His own can we let go of our agnosticism and alpha to assurance that, no amount what happens, this is absolutely God’s best for us at this time.
You see, if God chooses a bodies for Himself, He never un-chooses them. It is forever. He bestows His adulation and benevolence after admeasurement on those He loves. It may not consistently appear beyond to us that way. But we accept to accept that one of God’s attributes is love. He artlessly cannot not adulation His children. It is allotment of who He is. He came down to apple two thousand years ago and was built-in of a woman… for you and me. He, I’m talking about Jesus now, who was God in the flesh, who died on the cantankerous two thousand years ago, already alive every sin we would anytime commit, died for us anyway.
I am reminded of a Hallmark greeting agenda I saw once. It said, “You’re the acknowledgment to my prayers. You’re not absolutely what I prayed for, but apparently, you’re the answer.” We may not accept aggregate He does, but that’s all right. We just charge to apperceive that God loves us added than we could anytime comprehend. And He has our best in mind. He will accord with us in this activity until we are perfected. It may be painful, but it will be account it.
So here’s the thing. Because our own claimed belief are not finished, we should alpha from actuality and achieve the catastrophe way bigger than it ability accept been. As James R. Sherman said in his 1982 book advantaged Rejection, “You can’t go aback and achieve a new start, but you can alpha appropriate now and achieve a cast new ending.”2
It’s time to get to apperceive the God we are allotment to adulation and serve. He is a abundant God, a caring God, a admiring God. And He wants to complete us actuality so that we can adore aeon with Him in complete bliss, chargeless from sin, and pain, and tears and doubt. Will we alpha gluttonous Him?
1. Beeke, Joel R., Smalley, Paul M. “Why It’s Both Accessible and Absurd to Apperceive God.” 2019, Crossway.org, www.crossway.org/articles/Why-Its-both-possible-and-impossible-to-know-God.com.
2. Sherman, James R. Rejection. Pathway Books, 1982, Golden Valley, MN.