I once thought I understood God—who he is and what he does. After several years of undergraduate and graduate level study in the theological disciplines, I thought I had God figured out. Unaware that I was constructing a box far too small to hold God (no box is big enough)—I developed my own ideas of what God could and/or would do, or not do. In other words, I made up a god in my own image and replaced the real One with a poor limited imitation.
Oh, I knew a great many facts and figures that related to God—I just didn’t know God very well. I had met him early in my life and he had forgiven me of sin and given me eternal life. But, the problem was relational—He knew me—but I only knew about him. Facts and figures, theologies that make excuses for God, and countless other pursuits that should lead us to God, but often leave us lost in the high grass—filled my life. It was by all accounts a very dry, frustrating time. I was seeking wisdom…just not searching for God.One sacred rabbit trail after another finally led me down a dead-end passage way into a crisis of faith—a God-wall erected to eliminate my ability to flee. It worked…God got my attention. I realized I was dry and dead on the inside—full of knowledge, but possessing little wisdom. I was in effect an unbelieving believer.
I knew all the arguments and could quote them from memory as to why God no longer acted in our day like he had in the distant past. They were well-thought out theologies, just honed in the fires of unbelief instead of faith. They were human attempts to explain “why,” when the “why” rested on the threshold of a faithless church rather than a faithful God.
A crisis by nature forces you to choose. The definition of idiocy is doing the same thing and expecting something new to happen. I may be a lot of things, but I choose not to be an idiot. I cried out to God. I confessed my pharisaical and religious tendency to try and explain an otherwise unexplainable God. I repented—that is, I returned to the God of my childhood—the God who had saved me with supernatural power through grace, and became like a little child again. My only request was, “God, I hunger to know you!
Today, almost fifteen years later, God has yet to disappoint me. The God of the Bible, the One who brings life out of death has not changed one iota. He is still just as powerful today, as he was in the days of Moses or Elijah. He is still doing the things today that he did in the early days of the church. His power is limitless. The difference is I have accepted the plain truth of the Scriptures—God is God and I’m not—I don’t have to know why, when, or how anyhow. Instead I choose to believe the impossible because the God I am in relationship with does not have that word in his vocabulary. With God all things are possible.
Are you an unbelieving believer? Do you have a nice, neat theological system that can explain everything about God? Do you worship a god who lives in a little box of your own construction? If so, then the god you are chasing does not exist and the sooner you recognize that, the better off you will be. Go ahead mash the gas as hard as you like, but you will crash into that God-wall at some point. Perhaps then…like me you will become a believing believer.