The Knowledge of the Holy: God Incomprehensible

Knowledge of the Holy

[Editor’s Note: This is a 23-Day Series exploring different aspects of God’s nature and personality, using Tozer’s “The Knowledge of the Holy” as a discussion starter. You can read the introduction of the series here.]

How can men understand God? More specifically, how can a man who is finite fully understand an infinite God? How can the thimble sized container of man’s understanding hope to contain the ocean of God’s being? Ultimately, we can’t.  This is the question with which we have to wrestle with Tozer in this chapter. The struggle is so real, that Tozer points to how men of the Bible continually said God was like something, because they had nothing else they could compare Him to. Human words were to weak to capture what God was really in Himself. We can at best understand what God is like. Tozer finally concedes that we cannot answer what God is in His totality. But we can understand what God has made clear to us about Himself and it’s in this sense we can know God.

Tozer takes the sum of the Bible’s message about knowing God and presents it to us: God is infinite. He will always be greater than your ability to understand Him. If He ever wasn’t, He would cease to be God.  But God wants to be known and because of that, He stoops down and shows us what we can handle. So the man who is smug in his knowledge of God is deceived. But the man who humbly confesses what God has clearly shown while simultaneously acknowledging he is only an infant in his understanding, has received wisdom.

This, I think, is what turns off so many unbelievers. They’ve found Christians entirely too comfortable with a God they barely know.  They’ve found followers of Jesus who aren’t in awe of who He is and what He’s done.  I’ve met some believers who in their pursuit of the knowledge of God, act as if they have become a god themselves. But believers should be in awe of God. They should realize they stand gazing into the things which “many prophets and righteous people longed to see…but they didn’t see it,” (Matthew 13:17). We have access, not just to understand part of God through His word, but an invitation to have a relationship with Him through His Spirit. We cannot live dull to these promises.

At the same time, to the unbelievers who think God can never be known, Tozer says that God has stooped down to reveal Himself to humanity. Not all of him, not most of him, but enough of Him. Enough so that we can understand what we need to have a relationship, enough to enjoy Him, enough to be transformed.  The fact that God is too big for us to understand is Good News. We don’t worship someone so weak that we can totally understand Him. It shouldn’t promote hopelessness about the divine, rather, it should produce a seeking heart that longs to know what it can.

And this is the journey we are on. We don’t seek to be built up in the pride of knowledge, but to stare wonderingly at the great truths God has communicated to us about Himself. And in so doing, draw close to His heart.

That’s my take for the day. What’s yours? Leave a comment so we can journey together!

The Knowledge of the Holy Series

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About traviskolder

Travis Kolder is a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father of five, an organic church planter, and a writer. He lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he serves as part of the Cedar Rapids House Church Network.

25 responses to “The Knowledge of the Holy: God Incomprehensible”

  1. David says :

    The fear of the Lord (placing God high and lifted up where he belongs in our lives) brings wisdom, knowledge and understanding. When we stop bringing God down to our level, He is then able to reveal Himself more clearly to us who He truly is.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. The Knowledge of the Holy: A Divine Attribute: Something True About God | Pursuing Glory - April 3, 2015
  2. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Holy Trinity | Pursuing Glory - April 6, 2015
  3. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Self Existence of God | Pursuing Glory - April 7, 2015
  4. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Self Suffieciency of God | Pursuing Glory - April 8, 2015
  5. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Self Sufficiency of God | Pursuing Glory - April 8, 2015
  6. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Eternity of God | Pursuing Glory - April 9, 2015
  7. The Knowledge of the Holy: God’s Infinitude | Pursuing Glory - April 10, 2015
  8. The Knowledge of the Holy: God’s Immutability | Pursuing Glory - April 13, 2015
  9. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Divine Omniscience | Pursuing Glory - April 14, 2015
  10. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Wisdom of God | Pursuing Glory - April 15, 2015
  11. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Omnipotence of God | Pursuing Glory - April 16, 2015
  12. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Divine Transcendence | Pursuing Glory - April 17, 2015
  13. The Knowledge of the Holy: God’s Omnipresence | Pursuing Glory - April 20, 2015
  14. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Faithfulness of God | Pursuing Glory - April 21, 2015
  15. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Goodness of God | Pursuing Glory - April 22, 2015
  16. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Justice of God | Pursuing Glory - April 23, 2015
  17. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Mercy of God | Pursuing Glory - April 24, 2015
  18. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Grace of God | Pursuing Glory - April 27, 2015
  19. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Love of God | Pursuing Glory - April 28, 2015
  20. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Holiness of God | Pursuing Glory - April 29, 2015
  21. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Sovereignty of God | Pursuing Glory - April 30, 2015
  22. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Open Secret | Pursuing Glory - May 1, 2015
  23. Coming April 1: A Journey In The Knowledge of the Holy | Pursuing Glory - May 5, 2015
  24. The Knowledge of the Holy: Why We Must Think Rightly About God | Pursuing Glory - March 2, 2016

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