“Can you solve the mysteries of God? Can you discover everything about the Almighty? Such knowledge is higher than the heavens—and who are you? It is deeper than the underworld what do you know? It is broader than the earth and wider than the sea.” ~Job 11:7-9
When considering the idea of God, many mysteries surround who He is and why He has made particularly curious decisions (at least in our minds). As someone raised as a Christian, there are an innumerable amount of questions I have come to that are often left unanswered. For instance, the Garden Scenario, the laws of the universe, and the real reason for life, just to name a few. More specifically (and personally), it is the process of how people are saved that has been the center of my thought process for almost 10 years.
The cooperation between God’s sovereignty and man’s will is something evident throughout the entirety of the Scriptures. God clearly exercises His authority throughout history, and in the salvation of men’s souls. However, humankind also plays a key role and is responsible for the decisions they make. It is a divine conundrum how this relationship functions practically in the world and within eternity. How can God be totally sovereign and man be totally responsible (have free will), without one being subservient to the other, at the same time? With this question in mind, different doctrinal and theological camps throughout Church history have made their determinations. Personally, I have concluded that making such dogmatic conclusions as a means of answering divine mystery is the recipe for error.
Today, there are divine mysteries operating that are incomprehensible to our finite minds (i.e. the doctrine of the Trinity) – even within our own lives. We do not have the answer to the “Why” and the “How” of this world, as we would want to in many cases. As the Apostle Paul states, “We see in a mirror dimly (1 Cor. 13:12),” and as a result, we cannot understand certain realities about God during our time here on earth. This is something we must embrace in order to keep our sanity. With that in mind, we should refrain from creating absolutes in regards to divine mystery.
Our human nature almost makes this impossible. It is that nature which causes us to remain unsettled with the unknown variables that continue to float around the vast universe. Consequently, we make unfounded resolutions on almost a daily basis, especially about God (within the context of Christian doctrine). When God decides to preserve information central to the establishment of definite conclusions, which leaves us without the answers, we tend to make them anyway. And we stick to them. This attitude is contrary to faith.
It is Faith that enables us, and assures us, that we do not need to know all the answers to life’s questions. Faith causes us to lay down our demand for answers, and allows us to simply trust. Faith makes certain that the elect (those who love God) will have everything work together for the good (Rom. 8:28), and they need not worry. It is true faith that affirms that we are on a “need-to-know” basis. It is a lack of trust, a deficiency in faith, which would cause someone to be embittered by Life’s ever-increasing quandaries.
We should consider that if the Master is in the boat there is no need to rage about the surrounding storms. In reality, joy should overwhelm us when grasping that the God we serve is beyond our finite imaginations. Only false gods are controlled and understood with finality. Yahweh is beyond our imaginations, our limitations, and our expectations! This, of course, is the problem.
Again, our human nature causes us to be unsettled with unanswered questions. Taking it a step further, our sinful nature causes us to be frustrated with a God we can’t control. Those who live in disobedience worship gods they can create and manipulate, while Christ-ians serve a God that they must crucify themselves to daily. This is a matter of submission. It is an issue of heart-circumcision. It is something that forces us to ask the most difficult question, which rips us to our root, “Who – is – Lord?” We war with this question daily through our lives. Jesus, our Master and our standard, exemplifies perfection, and the life that is required of us all. It is a life of complete self-denial, even unto death. Are we living this type of life? We prove our Faith through our Obedience (works), and we achieve Obedience through Submission (self-denial). The Apostle John confirms the necessity to conform to likeness of Christ, stating, “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did (1 John 2:6, NLT).”
Understanding, then, the infinity of God, how beautiful is the blessed incarnation! How wonderful, the cross! This glorious and mysterious God revealed Himself to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, and gave us hope! It is a hope that we could never achieve without Him. We were lost, unable to seek Him or know Him, and yet in our darkness, He sought us. What an amazing thing God has done!
When we submit ourselves to God and trust Him, we can say the, “I don’t knows,” about God with supreme confidence. When we do this, we confess that we believe and trust the eternal, transcendent, and mysterious Creator of the universe who revealed Himself through Jesus Christ. Let us understand, then, why without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). Without faith, it all falls apart.
We should remember that it is God who makes us stand firm, and it also our faith (1 Cor. 1:21, 24), to believe and glorify this God of mystery who came down to save us. Knowing this, let us, then, have confidence in our God and proclaim our faith for mystery.
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
‘For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?’
‘Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?’
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”