Well, in one more step toward transparency (in front of a faceless audience), it's confession time. I guess I’ve come to a place in my life where I realize God is a lot bigger than we make him, and I'm actually kind of snobby about it. I rest my laurels; on this realization that God is bigger than the box most people put Him in. I’m arrogant in that knowledge. I can sit back and say, you're full of it – God's not like that; I may not have all the answers, but at least I know yours are wrong.
And I've acted like knowledge of that is enough. I haven't done anything to try to get to know Him better. I haven't tried to figure out who He is. I'm content to know that He's not the God who hates gays, that He's not the God who wants to sponsor our wars, not the God who laid out a bunch of very specific rules but has disguised them just well enough that we can be arrogant and correct people. Not the God who can be defined by command, example, and necessary inference. Not the God that we can come to through a formula or set of easy steps.
And I think I've just now realized that to know that is not enough.
I think this has hindered my study of His word. In fact, just the word "study" bothers me. Not that there's anything wrong with that; it has it's place but shouldn't be the only means we come to know God. God is not a God to be dissected, to be put in a box and studied. I think we do a disservice when we forsake Bible reading for Bible study. We've made getting to know God an academic exercise. This has sat at the edge of my mind and eaten away at me for quite awhile now. There must be more to searching for God than that.
Don Miller suggests in Searching for God Know’s What that the only thing that truly changes a person is God’s truth, that is, His Word and His working in our lives through the Holy Spirit.
But by “His Word”, I don't think that just means the “study” of His Word – “study” of course meaning the dissection of the text into a list of do's and don'ts, pithy sayings, steps, and patterns. Getting to know God has to be so much more than the intellectual exercise which I have been guilty of. Sure the Word of God is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (Paul said that). But the Word of God is also transforming. It revives us (David), it gives us life (Jesus), hope, and comfort (Paul). We've let this modern, western world infiltrate our thinking. Logic has become the new god.
But I’m getting off topic. My point here is that I need to move forward. I need to move beyond this thought that I can only know God through academic study. It’s not enough to know what He isn’t. I need to understand Who He is. Through prayer, through more of the reading of His Word. Only through spending time with Him this way will I be able to do that.