Many people believe in a God who thinks just like they do. They believe in a God who likes the same things they like, disapproves of the same people they disapprove of, tolerates what they tolerate, and condemns what they condemn. How about you? Do you believe God thinks like you do? If so, then something’s probably wrong.
Isaiah 55:8-9 makes it clear, “‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.'” (NLT)
God is infinite; we have finite minds. Our minds have been corrupted by our sinful nature and shaped by our experiences in this broken, cursed world; God is completely holy.
Certainly, we’re commanded to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). 1 Corinthians 2 teaches that Christians have “the mind of Christ,” and are able to understand spiritual things. However, none of that means we’ll think exactly the way God does. Let’s face it, no two people think exactly the same way about everything. How ridiculous it would be for someone to believe that he, of all the billions of people who have lived, just happens to think like exactly like God does. And yet, it seems remarkably easy for us to come to that conclusion.
It is simpler to create a God that is the embodiment of our ideals rather than to seek after the God who challenges our beliefs. It’s easier to accept a God we can understand than to trust the God who is beyond our comprehension. It’s more comfortable to follow a God who adopts our morals, rather than submit to the God who defines morality on his terms. It’s safer to believe in God who caters to our wants and needs, rather than submitting to the God who asks us to share in his suffering.
This doesn’t mean that God isn’t knowable. He can be known because he has chosen to make himself known to us. Even though we can know him, we cannot completely comprehend him. Because he is infinite, there is always more of him to know, and more of his thoughts to discover.
So, if there are things about God you don’t understand; if God acts in ways that don’t seem to make sense; if God sometimes chooses not to act when it seems he should, that’s probably a good sign. It suggests you are seeking after the living God rather than building a safe idol in your own image.
It also means you’re in good company. The Bible has many examples of people seeking and following God even though they didn’t understand him. A good example is found in John 6. After Jesus delivered a particularly difficult message, many of his disciples abandoned him. When Jesus asked those who remained, “Are you also going to leave?”, Peter replied “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.” Even though they didn’t completely understand, they knew Jesus was their hope of eternal life. Even though Jesus wasn’t living up to their expectations, they trusted him. Ultimately, that’s what matters.