Does God Want Us To Understand Him?

How to plant seeds of wonder

Jonathan Martin

28 November 2017

As a kid, I loved magic tricks.

Who am I kidding? I still love a good magic trick. I’m the kind of guy who wants to make sure to catch the magic show anytime we visit a theme park. I know that this confession of enjoying magic tricks doesn’t necessarily make me “cool” — but I feel that I’m long past cool status at this point in my life.

When I was in middle school, a television show was released that featured a masked magician. This whole point of the show was for this mystery man to reveal all the secrets behind some of the world’s most impressive magic tricks. It was a show that I simply had to see — and I did!

I thoroughly enjoyed the show and learning the “how tos” of some of the most entertaining tricks — but after the show was over, I noticed that the wonder and awe of magic shows was gone for a bit. That is until I go old and forgot all that I had learned from the T.V. show!

Understanding how the trick worked took away wonder at the trick.

I figure that’s how it goes for most earthy things. Understanding takes away the wonder. I think that is because mystery is a key ingredient to wonder.

Fortunately, the things of God work in exactly the opposite way. The more we understand Him and His ways, the more we’ll want to meditate on and sit in the wonder of His works.

Help me understand the meaning of your precepts

so that I can meditate on your wonders.

Psalm 119:27

With God, the more we understand, the more wonder grows in our hearts. That’s one of the reason’s why God’s Word is beautiful — because it grows wonder within us. God’s Word helps us know and understand who God is and what He’s been unto from the foundations of the world.

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“Half the wonder in the world is born of ignorance, but holy wonder is the child of understanding.”

Spurgeon

There are many times when we need to trust God and walk in faith even when we don’t understand. But that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want us to understand — sometimes it means that we simply aren’t able to understand right now. At this point in his 4-year old life, Judah is barely able to grasp that one plus one equals two. It would serve him well to simply trust me when I tell him that three times five equals fifteen. He’s not anywhere near a place in his growth to begin understand that reality.

God loves the kind of faith that trusts Him when we don’t understand. But that doesn’t mean that He doesn’t desire for us to understand Him. We have all kinds of evidence to the contrary. God has given us His Word so that we can better understand Him. He has given us Jesus so that we can see and understand Him. And then 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 tells us that we’ve even been given His Spirit so that we can know the depths of God.

God wants us to know and understand Him! And part of the reason He want us to know Him is because He knows that understanding Him more and more will grow a wonder and an awe within us. The kind of wonder and awe that we simply won’t be able to keep to ourselves. The kind of wonder and awe that glorifies Him.

“Blind obedience has but small beauty; God would have us follow him with our eyes open. To obey the letter of the Word is all that the ignorant can hope for; if we wish to keep God’s precepts in their Spirit we must come to an understanding of them.”

Spurgeon

Are you ever frustrated because you don’t understand God? Or maybe you don’t understand why God would allow certain things to happen?

Not understanding God can be a reason for why we pull away from God — but I just want to challenge you to lean in. God wants us to understand Him. He wants us to see just how good, and wonderful, righteous, and holy He really is. He wants us to stand in awe and wonder at all the things He does.

Let’s be like David. Let’s God to simply help us understand — and then let’s press into the resources He’s given to us: the resources of prayer and the Word trusting that, in time, we will find ourselves full of wonders to meditate on.

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