God and I don’t always agree. But He is always right. There are plenty of factors that can contribute to our perspective of God and the supernatural world. For many people, it’s Stranger Things, Halloween Horror Nights, Bill Maher, or even politics. In fact, just about anything can affect our view of the unseen world because the things that we see with our eyes are made by the things we cannot see with our eyes. That truth and fact is first declared to us in Hebrews 11:3, before it’s ever mentioned in a particle physics class.
Consequently, there are places and truths in and from the biblical God that mess with my theology. There is an all-out war for what occupies our minds, because what we think about becomes our priority, and our priority becomes our investment. Whether or not those investments are healthy, these are the external fruits of our internal roots. I would contend that our view of who God is, is the single most influential factor that can impact the way an individual lives their life. The goal, although, is to match my view of God, with God’s view of Himself.
Ever thought you knew somebody because of what other people said about them – only to find out that it was extremely skewed? How about somebody you just met telling you, “I’ve heard so much about you”, all the while you’re wondering what that means.
Even Jesus faced this with his own friends and closest followers. He asked them who did others say He was, and people started throwing shots in the dark. Some confused Jesus with another family member, others said He was a lonely preacher, while others just labeled Him a usual prophet. In His humanity, I could imagine the thought coming across His mind, “Seriously?” Then Jesus proceeds to ask, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter, one of the more vocal followers, speaks up and says, “You are the manifested humanity of the abundantly real God.” What a bomb. Jesus praises Peter for his accurate response, then a few moments later, lovingly slams Peter for thinking that he knew more than he knew.
I believe this can also happen to us more often than we think, where God’s revelation messes with our theology. I like to see it this way, there is a Jesus that I don’t know yet. Yet, the one I know doesn’t contradict with the deeper understanding I have yet to attain. It is a journey to know who God is.
I believe in God’s grace, mercy, compassion, righteousness, love, holiness, and a ton of other characteristics. I would even say I know them and of them – but not in totality. Why is this? Because of my human frame. Ask your electric company to connect the plant to your house without the use of any transformers and tell me what happens. Transformers are what allow electrical energy to get to our homes without burning them up like a piece of paper. I love the way the grace of God works in people’s lives but I truly don’t know the infinite ways it TOTALLY works throughout the many aspects of a person’s life. The reality of our limited understanding should make us in awe of Him and His grandeur, yet inspire us all the more to know who He is in His accessibility.
I remember meeting a large-framed man at the gym, who looks like a bodybuilding samurai version of Steve Aoki, and beginning to talk about God. His name is so fitting: Samson. He started asking me why Jesus didn’t show up to him, to which I responded along these lines, “Why don’t you ask Him to?” I’m telling you, I’ve never seen an intimidating man like him at a loss for words.
He said, “Well, I don’t know about that.” Evidently, he hadn’t tried. I said, “Are you concerned He’ll actually show up?”
“I don’t know,” he quizzically responded.
I have found myself in that same kind of place, where God’s act of revealing Himself to me in a new way, required my vulnerability. I believe God delights in messing up my theology, or “God-opinion”, because He likes to keep things fresh. Somebody once said, “opinions are like noses, everybody’s got one.” And someone else said, “and they smell, too.”
Everyone is a theologian, with an opinion of what God is like. I’d rather get to know God for who He says He is. If I’ve got to change my theology to find out that His grace empowers me more than I think it does, then let it be unto me. If I’ve got to change my theology to recognize that He’s more holy than I think He is, then let it be so.
I want to know Him, don’t you?