“When we speak of knowing God, it must be understood with reference to man’s limited powers of comprehension. God, as He really is, is far beyond man’s imagination, let alone understanding. God has revealed only so much of Himself as our minds can conceive and the weakness of our nature can bear.” – John Milton.
If you attended church as a child, you probably had Sunday school-type classes in a room that had maps of Paul’s missionary journeys on the wall and an illustration of Jesus looking meek and mild. There was no dust or dirt on His clothes. His hair was perfect. He held a lamb on His shoulder with a shepherd’s crook in His hand. But this stylized portrait of Jesus is nothing like the real thing.
Most Christians paint in their minds a highly selective picture of Christ, one that usually makes Him a placid, stoic, passive presence; little more than a silent and smiling spectator who was perpetually kind. We like this tame, well-mannered, benign Jesus. But trying to capture an image of God in our minds simply cannot be done. Job 36:26 tells us that: “Look, God is greater than we can understand….” It is essential to understand that we are not talking about abstract or speculative thought concerning God, but about coming alive to God through Jesus Christ and surrendering ourselves to Him. We must also understand that knowing God is not an optional part of the Christian life; it is the Christian life.
Trying to understand God means we are learning more about Him, which is the most satisfying, uplifting, edifying, expanding, and glorious task we can ever undertake. Psalm 100:3 says, “Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Nothing is more important than learning all we can about God. The more we learn, the more we’re awestruck with the majesty of His being. But this is not limited to intellectual or theological pursuit. It is deeply personal. Fearing God and growing in the knowledge of Him means we’re coming to know Him more deeply in a personal and intimate way.
The good news is we are made to know God, to know about Him and know Him personally, as a Father, as a Friend, and as our Creator and Savior. Our lives are incomplete without Him. The most important thing in life is not what we do, where we go, who we’re with, how high we rise, how long we live, or how influential we become. The most important thing in life is Him.
God, you are greater than we imagine or illustrate. You are greater that we can fathom. We stand in awe of who You are. You are unsearchable, Your ways inscrutable, the depths of Your riches, wisdom, and knowledge unimaginable. We can’t even begin to comprehend Your greatness, Your glory, Your might, Your majesty, Your justice, Your wrath, Your mercy, Your love. None of those can be captured even with the wildest imagination.
- Why is it important to lean on God and not on your own understanding?
- What can we do this week to grow in our knowledge of God?