Counting the Cost

“The loss of transcendence has left in its wake the flotsam of distrustful, cynical Christians, angry at a capricious God, and the jetsam of smug bibliolatrists who claim to know precisely what God is thinking and exactly what he plans to do.”  (Ruthless Trust, page 81)

Have you ever been be driven to your knees in breathless awe of God’s transcendence?  Not sure I ever have.  I know that I have heard many sermons and Sunday School lessons on God’s justice, the growth of the early church, the Great Commission, the stories in the Old Testament . . . you get the idea!  But my memories of sermons or Sunday School lessons which focused on the fact that God is so beyond me as to be undefinable and uncontainable?!  I have very few (if any) which leads me to believe that perhaps there has not been as much attention paid to this issue as there should have been.

According to, capricious is defined as “subject to, led by, or indicative of caprice or whim; erratic”.  I think I can safely say that God is not capricious.  He does not manipulate our lives to suit his whims.  We are not merely here to provide some measure of amusement for him.  His actions are certainly not erratic.  We may not always understand why things happen the way they do, but that doesn’t mean that God is erratic.  The simple fact is God does not owe us an answer for why he allows certain things to happen in our lives.  He may occasionally allow us to see his purpose but he is not obligated to do so.

As for those who try to claim that they have a good handle on what God expects of us, that is arrogance at best and a blatant flouting of scripture at it’s worst.  In Isaiah 55:8-9 we read, ” ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.  ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ ” If God’s thoughts and ways are higher than man’s, why on earth would ANYONE assume that they can explain God?!

So how do we avoid the arrogance of assuming we fully understand God or the frustration that comes from believing him to be erratic?  We seek a better understanding of His word.  We dwell on verses like the one mentioned above and allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the “bigness” of God.  It’s time to allow ourselves to dwell on exactly what scripture tells us of God’s character and what the gift of Calvary really entails and then allow all of that to drive us to our knees. 

I’ve been asking God to blow my mind with a better understanding of just how far beyond me he really is.  I want to be blown away by how very poor my understanding of him is and will be this side of glory.  He is my Abba and I am so grateful for the intimacy that term implies.  But he is also Yahweh and I want to function in an awareness of just what the name means, just how beyond me he is.  It’s not that I seek to think that I am too far beneath God to matter; instead, I seek to understand how far above me he is and be grateful that he still seeks to have a relationship with me!

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