This morning my students have their comprehensive end-of-course written exam and part of my instructions to them is if they have a question about a question to ask for clarification. That got me thinking about questions about God; about His authenticity; about His certainty; about His identity.
We do need to be careful not to question God, but we should bring our questions to God and His Holy Word. Whenever I am confused about a life issue, I turn to my Bible for the answer. I do so because the Bible promises that my confusion is not from God:
“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33)
There is some heretical teaching that says it is okay to come at God angry and to express that anger at God. This type of anger is motivated by emotion and a sense of having been wronged. Tim Jackson writing in Our Daily Bread puts it this way:
“Selfish anger is provoked when we believe we’ve been treated unjustly or unfairly. We want something, we don’t get it, we feel deprived, and now someone is going to pay for having treated us this way (James 4:1-4). The goal is revenge. When driven by vengeance, we demand that someone pay now for the injustice we’ve suffered. We impatiently demand immediate execution of justice according to our specifications, and refuse to allow time for God to work in the hearts of those who have offended us (James 1:19-20).”
If you approach the Throne of Grace believing you have a right to be there, beloved you are already in big trouble. The only reason you have a right to bring your petitions before God is because of the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ.
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Is it okay to question the authenticity of God? God gave us permission to test him about tithing:
“‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.’” (Malachi 3:10)
I have struggled with confidence in God’s Word; is it true Lord…is it really true? When facing uncertainty the night of His betrayal Jesus reassured His Disciples:
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
But Brother Dave there are so many beliefs about Jesus, Who He is, Who He was…how can we be sure of Jesus’ identity. Simple; we know by His own words. Do you not ask someone to tell you about themselves when you first meet them? Why is it we never question a person’s testimony and yet we always questions Jesus’?
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” (John 14:6)
In his seminal work Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis clears up Christ’s identity:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Beloved, there are answers to our questions about God; that is why He gave us His Word. Many of you have said that this is a ministry of mine. I’ve never looked at it as such; this is my quiet time with God. God knows how passionate I am about writing; it’s all I think about. He allows me to express this deep, down desire (see Ps. 37:4) through His revelation of His Word to me through this devotional.
That being said, I feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to offer up part of this devotional to explore questions about God from you. I do not want us going through this world not understanding what it is God would have us to do; how to live this Christian life. I love one explanation for the Bible’s usefulness. Some clever individual (probably a military person) described the Bible as an acronym:
Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
Let us begin a journey of discovery about all of God’s Word, not just what we want to hear and see. A.W. Tozer said it best and I leave you with his quote:
“The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.”
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Copyright © 2010 David Jeffers