Everyday Discipleship Every Day: It Will Happen

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” (Isaiah 55:8, NLT)

It happens to us all at some point in the discipleship relationship when we’re asked to explain the unexplainable. The temptation is simply to say, “Some things just take faith. They are beyond our understanding, and we grasp them as truth by faith without fully understanding them.” That is the truth and is the answer we will start with and end with, but we still need to try to answer the question. The reason we need to try to answer the question is to help the young disciple to grasp as much as possible, explore any misunderstandings, and for both of us to dig deep into the mysteries of God. The whole discussion will either deepen our faith or frustrate us, or both.

If our disciple is a serious intellectual who has struggled from the beginning of their faith journey to even accept salvation because they needed to understand it before they could accept it, then you’re going to be in for a lot of these discussions.

Consider the concepts of the Trinity, God’s eternal nature, Jesus being fully God and fully man, sin nature becoming part of all mankind, predestination versus free will, or any other of a myriad of theological questions that require an answer bigger than the human brain can understand.

As believers living by faith, we often enjoy discussing these concepts. We enjoy wrestling with Truth. However, we’ve humbly come to the realization that faith is always involved when it comes to our relationship with God.

To assume we can grasp God is to invite pride and entitlement into our hearts. Most of us find it comforting to recognize our limitations. Most of us find it easier to follow a God who is bigger than we are and knows more than we do. If we could completely understand and grasp all things about God, wouldn’t it be like finding the little man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz? God should be bigger, smarter, wiser, more mysterious, and awe-inspiring than our human experience can fully understand. And yet, we strive to understand as much as we can. We build arguments and theological statements to try to fit it all in nice little boxes and categories, but we must come to the end of ourselves and our capacity for knowledge and step into the realm of faith whenever we are grappling with the vastness of God.

As we are discipling others, this is what we want to communicate. It is okay to wrestle with ideas and understanding, but we ultimately rest contented in our faith. We can enjoy the adventure of digging deep into God’s word and seeking to understand God more, but we must accept our limitations as human beings and find the comfort that affords each of us in our walk with God.

We must help one another embrace the mysteries and depths of Truth with a growing and humble faith.

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