by Kathy Howard
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high. I cannot attain to it. Psalm 139:6 NASB
I’ll call her Tracy. She attended a women’s study group I led for spiritual seekers. Tracy felt her spiritual need and was determined to fill it with something. She studied with us on Tuesday nights and with a Christian cult’s study group on Wednesday nights. Tracy heard biblical truth on Tuesdays, and on Wednesdays she heard distortions and false teaching. Every Wednesday the cult worked to cast doubt on the truth she’d heard the night before. I prayed for her, and I presented the truth of the Gospel over and over. In the end, Tracy rejected the truth of Christ and joined the cult.
Tracy took the wrong path because she underestimated the power of God. Since she couldn’t understand the triune nature of God, she rejected the full divinity of Jesus. Whatever she couldn’t understand, she wouldn’t accept. So instead, she chose to follow a god she could get her mind around. Wrong belief based on incorrect or insufficient knowledge of Scripture can be eternally dangerous.
Jesus pointed out this truth to a group of Sadducees that tried to trip Him up with a complicated question about marriage relationships in heaven (Mark 12:18-23). Ironically, the Sadducees rejected the resurrection because they didn’t see it in the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses).
After Jesus patiently explained that God doesn’t need marriage in heaven, He showed them how the Pentateuch supports the resurrection (Mark 12:24-27). They had strayed from the path of God’s truth because they lacked sufficient knowledge of both Scripture and God’s power.
Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? Mark 12:24 ESV
They denied the resurrection because of their limited view of God. They didn’t believe Him powerful enough to raise the dead. Ironically, it would only be a matter of days until God gave them a tomb-busting demonstration. After suffering a brutal death on a Roman cross, Jesus would get up and walk out of His grave.
Like Tracy, the Sadducees’ eternal hope was restricted by their limited view of God. Their knowledge of God was restricted by their limited understanding of Scripture. At best, our own limited understanding will impede our spiritual growth and service. And at worst, a limited understanding of God may impact our eternity.
Why would we want to serve a “god” we can understand? That kind of god is no god at all. But, thankfully, our God is not hindered by our faulty understanding. He is not limited by our lack of knowledge. We serve a God who is all-powerful and transcendent. He spoke the heavens and earth into existence. He will accomplish what He determines to accomplish. He will fulfill every promise. Our hope in Him is sure and eternal.
I wouldn’t want to trust my eternal destiny to a god I could wrap up in a neat little box. Thankfully, God is so much bigger than our human minds can grasp. What about you? Is your view of God limited in any way?
About the author: A former “cultural Christian,” Kathy Howard now has a passion for God’s Word that’s contagious. With more than 30 years of experience, Kathy has taught in dozens of states, internationally, and in a wide range of venues including multi-church conferences and large online events. She has a Masters of Christian Education from the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary. Kathy is the author of 10 books, including the new “meaty” devotional Deep-Rooted: Growing through the Gospel of Mark. She writes for multiple online magazines and devotional sites. Kathy and her husband live in the Dallas/Ft Worth area near family. They have three married children, five grandchildren, and two accidental dogs. Kathy provides free discipleship resources and blogs regularly at www.KathyHoward.org. She also connects with women at Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Join the conversation: What is most challenging to you in your understanding of God?