Why can’t we understand God completely?
Jesus Christ is God's only provision for our sin. Through Him we can know and experience God's love and plan for our lives. He Died in Our Place “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Two of the greatest pleasures our world pursues—money and food—and the Bible satisfies us more than both. The apostle Paul wrote, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim.
It would be a great travesty if we were able to understand God completely.
Life is more than confusing. With all its twists and turns and movements without knowing where we are headed, it is no surprise that at times we wish we could fully understand what God is doing in our lives. If only we could know what he is up to, we reason, then we would be able to trust his love for us.
To Understand God Completely Would Be to Disprove His Sovereignty
This desire to understand God completely turns sinful, however, when we begin to believe that we should be able to understand God completely. It’s not wrong to cry out for direction, to wish that the fog would clear and the right path would be more obvious. But to imagine that God is so small a ruler that his thoughts and ways could be grasped and understood by our finite and sinful minds reveals our lack of a high view of God.
The more God grows us, instead of finding it frustrating that we cannot comprehend what God is always up to, this fact will actually become a great comfort. To be a servant to a God who could be completely comprehended would be frightening because it would prove God is not the great Sovereign we hoped he was.
Unimat electrical manual manual. Not Fully Comprehending God Should Cause Us to Trust Him More
Ironically, if we could understand the mind and ways of God, this would not bring about trust, it would prove that God does not deserve to be trusted with our issues anymore than we deserve to be trusted with them. If we could understand God completely, we would be equal with him, which would mean God’s ability would be equal to our ability in bringing about solutions and salvation.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so are God’s ways and thoughts higher than our ways and thoughts. When I am in need of a brain surgeon, I want his knowledge of my brain to surpass mine. The fact that he is better trained, better equipped, and so much smarter than me that I don’t even really understand what he is going to do to help me – this should bring peace because it proves he has the ability to do what others cannot do for me and what I cannot do for myself.
If we are all being honest, every one of us has issues, questions, and dilemmas in life we simply cannot understand or see a solution to. Therefore, it should be a great relief to know that God is so much greater, so much better at bringing solutions, we cannot even comprehend what he is going to do.
We Can Know God In a Way That Does Not Contradict Human Comprehension But Does Surpasses It
If I understood nothing about God, this would be a problem. But if I could understand everything about him, this would also be an issue. Humans can understand much about God, however, our lack of total understanding adds to the evidence that God really is God and we really are created beings in service to him.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:14-21)
Paul finds the motivation to pray such a prayer because he knows God is greater than his understanding. Through the Holy Spirit, we can comprehend the love of God even though this type of knowing surpasses human knowledge. Comfort and peace come not through comprehending everything about God, but through believing his truth even though it surpasses the limits of our human mental capacity.
It should be a relief, not a concern, to know that there are things about God I just can’t comprehend completely. I don’t understand how he has no beginning or end. I don’t understand how he is sovereign and yet I am free to make choices. I don’t understand how his love is so great, he can forgive the worst of sins again and again, far past any reasonable amount of love would allow. I don’t understand how in six days God created everything I see with just his spoken word. I don’t understand how God is three and one.
Through the power of the Spirit, we can know deep truths about God that do not contradict human comprehension but do indeed surpass it.
So when we fail again, when we run into a problem where there doesn’t seem to be a solution, when our theology surpasses our human limitations, or when days seem too dark to go on, we must remember: God is greater than our understanding, therefore he is trustworthy even when we can’t understand the way out.
Understanding God completely and knowing God deeply are two different things. God is greater than our understanding, and this should be a cause of great trust and joy in him.
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However, over time, the Lord helped me to change…and He helped me understand an important key to truly enjoying life. It all begins with what the apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:10…something I believe we should all pray regularly…
[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him…understanding the wonders of His person more strongly and more clearly]… (AMPC).
You see, when we get to know God—really know Him—it fills us with hope and confidence because we realize He’s greater than any situation we will ever encounter. Understanding God’s character and incredible love for us allows us to relax and trust Him in every area of our lives.
Knowing God’s Names
I’ve found that we can learn so much about the Lord by examining His many names found in the Bible. Each one reveals a unique aspect of His character along with a very specific promise for our lives.
The Bible says He is Jehovah Jireh, which means “Your Provider.” He’s Jehovah Rapha, “Your Healer,” and Jehovah Shalom, “Your Peace.”
The Lord is also referred to as Jehovah Nissi, “The Lord Our Banner.” This means He is our “victory”- we can expect God to help us win our battles over sin, addictive habits, pain from the past, and anything else that stands in the way of His great plan for our lives.
Knowing God’s Strength
Satan wants us to think about all the things we can’t do. He wants us to compare ourselves to others and focus on our weaknesses. However, when the Lord looks at us, He sees our potential! He wants us to focus on how much we can do; He wants us to lean on His strength and ability to do the great things He has planned for us.
The story of Gideon in the Book of Judges is the perfect example…
At this point in history, the Israelites were being oppressed by the Midianites, who were destroying their land and stealing their cattle. The Israelites had lost their freedom and were crying out to God for protection against their enemies.
One day, as Gideon was working in his father’s winepress and trying to hide from the enemy, the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of [fearless] courage..Go in this your might and you shall save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?
“Gideon said to Him, Oh Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Behold, my clan is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.
“The Lord said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall smite the Midianites…” (Judges 6:12,14-16 AMPC).
In Gideon’s mind, he was the last person qualified to lead Israel’s army to a victory. However, after more encouragement from the Lord, Gideon finally agreed.
As Israel’s army of 32,000 men were preparing to go into battle, the Lord had Gideon send all but 300 of them home. God wanted them to totally depend on Him.
The Lord was about to teach Gideon (and us) an amazing lesson: No matter what we have or don’t have, God can make up the difference when we place our trust in Him.
That day, Gideon and his 300 soldiers overcame the entire Midianite army—a force of more than 135,000 men!
Knowing God’s Faithfulness
I think most of us in some way can relate to Gideon. I remember back in the 1980s when I was still holding small conferences in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Each week, we relied on a certain number of attendees to help cover the costs of the building and other expenses.
Well, one particular week, we had a snowstorm and attendance was down. Even while I was teaching, I was worrying about the bills, wondering how it would all work out. Then the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “Joyce, it doesn’t matter how many people are here. Whether attendance is high or low, I can save you either way.”
That day someone gave an unusually large donation, more than covering what we lacked due to low attendance. Like Gideon, I learned the lesson that God can save us whether we have “many” or “a few.”
Maybe you’re like Gideon. Maybe the Lord is asking you to step out in an area that seems impossible, or you’re facing an issue that seems way too big to handle.
Whatever it may be, I want you to know that you’re in a great place for a miracle. The God of all the universe—Jehovah Nissi, “The Lord Our Banner”—is on your side, and He never loses a battle!
I encourage you to get to know God more and more. Read and study His Word. Talk to the Lord like He’s your best friend and ask Him to reveal His love and character to you in a greater way.
Because when you get to know Him—really know Him—it releases new hope and confidence in the One who can change every single area of your life.