In my last post, I ended saying that the Bible introduces us to a God who makes no effort to answer questions that feel at times like they are driving us to the breaking point. Instead he gradually leads us to conclude that only when we have exhausted the limits of our own reason can we learn to trust the One who asks, “To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?” (Isa. 40:25).
This is not to say that belief in God depends on an escape from reason. Spiritual insight is not found by emptying our minds of questions. According to the Book of books, spiritual renewal follows the invitation, “Come now and let us reason together says the LORD” (Isa. 1:18). In the pages that follow, the prophet Isaiah goes on to quote a God who appeals to the minds and thoughts of his people. Over and over the God of the Bible asks his people to do their best thinking so as to trust him for answers that he alone understands.
Only after appealing to the highest reason and best judgment of his hearers does the prophet go on to ask, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:25-31).
When read in context, Isaiah’s invitation to acknowledge the imponderable nature and existence of God is not a call to empty our minds and embrace the irrational. Rather his challenge is to use our best thinking to put ourselves at the mercy and service of the One who has left his signature and fingerprints all over our world and lives.
Lesser gods do not give us reason to rest in the presence of questions we cannot answer. When we have mastered them, smaller gods, like good jobs or bank accounts, replace our desire to have with a fear of losing. Little gods, made in our own image, are all imposters and liars. They rob our strength without renewing it. This is the mindless legacy of the idols we carve for ourselves in the presence of our Creator (Isa. 40:18-25).
Before going any further, what are you thinking?
Don’t feel limited by the following. But here are some questions I’d like to hear some comments on:
What comes to mind when you think of using your mind and best judgment to trust One who is beyond our ability to understand?
Have you struggled with questions that have made you question your faith?