Many of us actually enjoy figuring new things out. When we face something new and unfamiliar, we jump in and try to work out its intricacies in the attempt to master it. Then, once we have solved or understood something we once thought was so complex, we pat ourselves on the back and probably chalk it up to our smarts.
But what happens when we face something that we can't fully grasp? Here lies the challenge for all figure-outers, problem-solvers, and mystery-uncoverers. At one point, we realize that even things that are spelled out are not all that they are made out to be.
This is the heart of the matter— a person's rejection of God stems from a mistrust of something they cannot fathom. For those who chose to believe, we have also accepted that mystery is part of our faith in the One True God. It is not something we can fully grasp or formulate in a few days. It is not something we can put in a box. Sadly, this truth causes people to turn away from God. Instead, they make and pursue man-made idols, worthless figures that will only lead them farther from the truth. In Psalm 16:4, the Psalmist says, “troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods.”
Embracing the Mystery of God
But the Lord is the only true God. He is the living God and the everlasting King!
The whole earth trembles at his anger. The nations cannot stand up to his wrath. –Jeremiah 10:10
The thing about idols is that they are formed by imperfect human hands. To exchange the power of God for something superficial won't amount to much. However, many people still choose these idols—celestial, natural, human, or material ideas—because they can't seem to fashion the True God according to their terms. Those who resort to idols have seen the mysterious aspect of God as a stumbling block. Instead of submitting to Him, they settle for less because they like overseeing their own lives yet project it onto another "authority" figure. In Psalm 115:8 it says that “those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them.” Therefore, those who put their trust in idols become limited, lifeless, and powerless.
In the Old Testament, “the Living One” was a title used to set God apart from all idols. Our God exists, and everything else that exists does so through Him. He is the living Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. In the New Testament, we see Jesus, risen from the dead and alive, proving again for all to see that He is God’s Son, the Only True God, the Living One. In Revelation 1:18, Jesus says:
“I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.”
Those of us who believe and submit to God, we subject ourselves to the authority of the Maker of Heaven and Earth whose wisdom no one can fathom. Instead of trying to conform Him into a limited idea, what we instead experience is His revelation. We allow the Almighty to reveal Himself to us, in His majesty and power.
Three things about the mystery of our faith in God
Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith:
Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit.
He was seen by angels and announced to the nations.
He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16
Accepting the mystery can make us realize three things: The first is that mysteries are designed to make an impression that leads us to worship. Sometimes, it's human pride that hinders us from the greatest discovery of all—a rich and satisfying life in Jesus (see John 10:10) . But when we stand in the Presence of God and realize who He is and what He has done for us, we are struck in awe. When we accept that there is One whose ways are higher than ours, it leads us to give Him the worship that He deserves.
The second thing about the mystery of our faith is that it is designed to humble us. Trusting in our intelligence can also stop us from continuing our pursuit of God. Our Lord knows that there is a limitation to human reason. No matter how much knowledge we try to gain for ourselves, it will always come up short against His infinite wisdom. This is meant for us to depend on God and to allow Him to guide us and cover us as we journey in this life.
Lastly, the mystery is designed to engage us in a deeper search. As we go through the highs and lows, may it stir up a desire for us to approach God. In His greatness, the Living One still answers us when we call (see Psalm 17:6). And when we approach Him, He is willing to show us great and mighty things (see Jeremiah 33:3). Isn’t this amazing?
When you get stuck trying to figure something out, humble yourself and thank God that He is the mystery of His message. Take this as an opportunity to worship Him, to acknowledge His power over our lives. And as you go about your work, continue to trust His guidance and provision.