throw some Tozer in your lap (2) – unmanageable

Left to ourselves we tend immediately to reduce God to manageable terms. We want to get Him where we can use Him, or at least know where He is when we need Him. We want a God we can in some measure control. We need the feeling of security that comes from knowing what God is like, and what He is like is of course a composite of all the religious pictures we have seen, all the best people we have known or heard about, and all the sublime ideas we have entertained. If all this sounds strange to modern ears, it is only because we have for a full half century taken God for granted. The glory of God has not been revealed to this generation of men. The God of contemporary Christianity is only slightly superior to the gods of Greece and Rome, if indeed He is not actually inferior to them in that He is weak and helpless while they at least had power. If what we conceive God to be He is not, how then shall we think of Him? If He is indeed incomprehensible, as the Creed declares Him to be, and unapproachable, as Paul says He is, how can we Christians satisfy our longing after Him? The hopeful words, “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace,” still stand after the passing of the centuries; but how shall we acquaint ourselves with One who eludes all the straining efforts of mind and heart? And how shall we be held accountable to know what cannot be known?

~ A. W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy (Chapter 2)

Manageable. We like things to be manageable. We want to be able to put it in a box, stick it in the closet, and check it off the list. DONE. We want to know or understand something so we research and study. We get the information we need and then we move on to other things. But we can’t deal with God that way. He doesn’t boil down to our manageable size. We can’t just stick Him in our pockets and use Him when, where, and how we’d like. He’s GOD. But we try. We collect the ideas we hear and like. We dream up what we would be like if we were God. We try to stick that in a box and carry it around, but that’s not God. The Most High God, Creator of Heaven and Earth is INCOMPREHENSIBLE and UNAPPROACHABLE. But yet, there is hope. He has revealed things about Himself to us in His Word and through His Presence, in Jesus. We can know ENOUGH, if we pay attention and learn.

This cloud is between the seeker and God so that he may never see God clearly by the light of understanding nor feel Him in the emotions. But by the mercy of God faith can break through into His Presence if the seeker but believe the Word and press on.

~ A. W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy (Chapter 2)

This cloud he talks about is the “cloud of unknowing.” We can’t ever see clearly all that is God, but we should not be discouraged. If we could fully know Him, as we are now, he would cease to be what He is – The Most High God. I don’t understand a lot of things about God. A LOT. A LOT. A LOT!!! And sometimes, I do not FEEL Him or His presence. BUT his mercy always is there and as I choose, through His grace, to continue on in faith and as I seek to know Him through the Word… He’s there, and knowable in all the ways He sees fit for me/us to know Him now.

Which reminds me, I’ve got some reading to do. I’m a little behind on my reading schedule but I’m excited to catch up because in those pages I will find my God, the One I live for… and I will be reminded of why I live for Him… and I will get to know Him better. I love getting to know Him better, even when it means getting to know the icky parts of myself better too.

He really is rather unmanageable and I really am pretty sinful/evil/foolish for ever wishing I could manage Him or put Him in my pocket and use Him as I’d like. I’m so grateful that He is infinitely bigger than anything even remotely “manageable” … even if sometimes the stupid parts of me wish the opposite were true.


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