Solomon said the whole duty of man was to fear God and keep his commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Paul wrote that to know Jesus was the most important thing in his life (Philippians 3:8). We also know that God does not create confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33) and that his word is truth (John 17:17). So why is it so hard to live the righteous life?
I would suggest that we struggle so because we have not yet fully surrendered to Christ. We’ve given him the nod but have yet to bow the knee.
The Problem With Our Reality
We may tend to discount some Bible teachings because they do not fit in with our view of how things are. For example, some people do not believe in eternal condemnation because it seems so harsh. Some go so far as to reject God because they cannot accept the idea of anything or anyone outside of our natural realm. Ideas about God and from God are ignored because they do not fit neatly within what we know or think we know.
Our struggle is to appreciate and accept the shallowness of our own knowledge. Job cries to God seeking some reason for his suffering. Do you realize that God never gave him an answer? He never told Job why he suffered. Instead, God put his own divine knowledge on display and told Job to answer questions God alone could answer. In Job’s humility he could only say “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (Job 42:3).
Perhaps the greatest error we make is to assume that all things can be known. They cannot. Some things belong only to God (Deuteronomy 29:29).
Isaiah may have said it best when he wrote, “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8). Truly, our reality is limited.
The Problem With Our Wisdom
It is also probable that we struggle to know God because we allow our own human wisdom to replace the divine wisdom that comes from God. The Bible no longer reflects what God says but what we think it should say. We then develop our own way of living and worshipping and presume God will be pleased.
When reasoning with the brethren in Corinth Paul contrasted the difference between God’s wisdom and that of man. His example is the cross of Christ which seems foolish to the world but precious to believers. We must not view life as the worldly do. Our perspective is anchored in God’s wisdom. We accept that “…the foolishness of God is wiser than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25) and live accordingly.
Leaving the wisdom of the earthly and trusting in the wisdom of the divine is crucial to a faithful life. Only then can we say with Paul, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways” (Romans 11:33)!
When our thoughts are worldly our actions will be worldly. When we think like those around us we will live like them. The Christian replaces his own wisdom with that of the Creator and draws closer to him daily.
To bow the knee to Christ means to surrender all and that includes my own intellect and wisdom. It is no longer what I think or what I believe but what God plainly reveals to us. No human thought approaches the wisdom of God. In moments when we do not fully understand and when confusion reigns, we stand upon our faith that is in Jesus Christ.
Trust his wisdom and despise your own.
Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at bryantevans.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.
Image: Stanely Howe via commons.wikipedia.org. Image copyright CC BY-SA 2.0.