I watched a great sermon on YouTube yesterday by Francis Chan, The Cost of Discipleship. I’d highly recommend it! He spoke about knowing who this God is we serve. Do we know Him? Or do we just latch onto one part of Him and leave it at that? Isn’t that what the world does? They only want God to be love, and not even real love. The world’s definition has more to do with God’s leniency- He should let me do what I want and never cause me pain. Isn’t that more the definition of indifference?
It’s true that no person will ever fully know God, even spending eternity with Him. But we can make it a point to know Him better, can’t we? If I have a million piece puzzle and I have 2 pieces, it’s impossible to know anything about the picture. But if I keep gathering pieces, won’t I have a better idea when I have 20 then 200 then 2000? Of course. Or if I moved to another country, although I may never speak as fluently as a native, wouldn’t I still do my best with that goal in mind?
As we get to know God better and understand Him more day by day, His complexities become clearer. I can get how God can be love and still have annihilated all but a few with a flood in Noah’s day. I can get how He tells us murder is a sin and yet in Numbers this morning, I read how He let 250 people get swallowed up into a crack in the earth for rebelling against Moses and Aaron.
All these puzzle pieces fit together to perfectly show this God who is love and holiness and justice and many other noble characteristics all at once. He is holy, extremely holy. He is very serious about our obedience or lack of it. He loves us more than we will ever understand AND He is perfectly just. He will be sure that every unjust thing is brought to justice. He knows what’s best for us and that can include times of suffering and pain. We try to hide our wounds but He lovingly tends to them, digging out debris, changing the bandages, even grafting skin and giving us transfusions when needed. We yell, stop it! Leave me alone! You are so mean! We don’t know Him very well.
Knowing God better helps me face life more realistically right now. When I want to do things my way, I can’t just focus on how kind and loving God is and not how holy and righteous He is too. That’s making up my own “god”. Or if I’m angry with someone, I can’t just focus then on God’s justice and holiness and forget His compassion and mercy.
In the end, we just need to realize how we view God and who He really is, is constantly changing and hopefully improving. He will point it out if we’re listening and He will help us know Him better. He is unchanging after all. I hope I can know Him a bit better today, place one more puzzle piece into the picture.
I try to remember on days I feel I really don’t understand God very well, that it’s God that initiated us being able to know Him at all. It’s God that is revealing Himself to us and softening our hearts to even hear Him. It’s God that has come up with our amazing world and everyone in it. And best of all, it’s God that figured out a way to save us from the eternity of wrath we all deserved. He is for us. He loves you and me more that we will ever know. Seeking to know Him better and love Him more should be our top priority in this life. He makes all the difference.