Do we really want to know the God of the universe?
That was the question rattling around in my head recently. Do we--scratch that-- do I want to truly know the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Do I want to know Him more?
I love the wording of this Scripture in the God's Word Translation:
"I want your loyalty, not your sacrifices. I want you to know me, not to give me burnt offerings."
See, for years I thought I knew God. I thought I knew His character, His ways. I would tell people what God was like and how He acted in certain situations or felt about certain sins. I didn't think I was being presumptive. I was quoting things I had been taught in church. I was pointing out Scriptures as they had been shown to me...usually out of context.
Only in the last couple of years have I begun to find out how much I didn't know. It started when I re-read the Sermon on the Mount. I really started meditating on that passage of Scripture and, dare I say it, I found a Jesus I didn't recognize. Moving from that passage I re-read the 4 Gospels and found a Jesus I never knew before. One who showed grace to the sinner and had his harshest words for the "religious" leaders of the day.
I moved back into the Old Testament, and even there, I found a God of grace, of mercy. I always thought of God's character as displayed in the OT as being a bit more "harsh and judgmental." Instead I found a God of compassion, long suffering and grace. He still judged sin but He was constantly wooing His people towards repentance.
I realized I had always viewed God the way I wanted Him to be, merciful to me and harsh on the other "sinners" around me. I wanted Him to move the way I felt He should and to heal those I felt needed it. I thought I should have the answers when people doubted God and that I should defend Him a all costs.
Man, I have been so wrong.
My prayers of late have been to just know Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I am only just now seeing that I don`t have to have all the answers, that God`s ways are truly higher than mine.
Which, I think, is really a key point. God is bigger than I think. That scares me, which goes back to my first question. Do I really want to know the God of the universe, the One who moves His way and heals His way? Do I want God to be God, or my interpretation of Him?
The more I know, the more I realize I don`t know. In fact, I know enough to know I don`t know what I think I know. What I do know is I have a Savior who does.