Babies gather details about their mother in order to recognize her presence apart from others. The process could be compared to the actions of men as they collect impressions of what they believe to be true about God.
An ignorant baby cries, “There is no mother.”
A tolerant baby coos, “There are many mothers. I can be nourished in the arms of any of them.”
A strong willed baby claims, “I don’t need mother.”
In spite of these infantile assumptions, there exists truth about “mother.”
God intends for His creation to find Him.
There are many good examples in the Bible of men seeking after God and finding Him.
One of my favorite passages about God’s intention of goodness toward us and His desire to be found by us is described in Jeremiah, chapter 29. Start with verse 11.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
God’s message continues.
“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, “declares the LORD, “and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.”
The process of seeking truth about God is not simple. It requires wholehearted effort.
The Bible at first glance is sometimes confusing. It should be. It’ks a book that reveals the nature of God. Clearly, since God is not a man and man is not God, then the parts about men are easier to relate to. Bible readers, after all, are categorically human.
I enjoy discovering Bible truths accompanied by the blunt simple insight of my children. This morning I was rewarded with the refreshing perspective of my 15-year-old when I told her about the story of the two prophets I’d encountered in 1 Kings 13.
After I relayed the story, that that at first glance seemed terribly unfair to one of the prophets, my daughter responded, “That makes no sense! Why would God do that?”
Focusing on the revelations of the Bible with questions and responding with answers like “I don’t understand,” are perfectly fine actions.
That’s the point. That’s where we should begin.
If we always “know God” and never have confusion about Him, then it is possible we really only know what WE have conjured up about Him.
Because I am human, every day God’s deity confuses me.
Every day I need God’s help to understand who He is.
Every day I would benefit by opening His word and discovering more about Him.
Knowing God requires God’s help to know Him.
A baby-with a baby’s mind-can’t understand any accurate thing about it’s mother without mother’s help.
For example, when the milk comes pouring down and seemingly drowns the baby, mother reassures the baby by her actions that “drowning” was not the intent.
When the lights go off and mother seems to disappear, then soon mother reappears, and the baby eventually discovers she never really went away altogether in the first place.
Also, if someone else looks and sounds like the baby’s mother, but they are not, then baby hesitates. Why? Because the baby is learning that she really only has one true mother.
When I am honestly seeking God, then questions are my beginning point.
I ask, “Who are you God?”
Then I seek.
“Is this really you, God?”
Then I knock on that door—God’s door.
Either the door opens and I find Him and lay claim to His actions and commands that will save my life, or I find I am standing at a stranger’s door.
Here’s what I must consider.
If I know God and I am certain about what He is saying TO ME, then I shouldn’t substitute anything else.
If I don’t know for certain that the voice I am hearing is from God, then I shouldn’t fall for anything else.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:27-28
Throughout the Bible’s content, it becomes evident that I can know God’s shepherd-like “voice.”
It also becomes evident that my thriving survival depends on what I “hear” and “do” in relation to that “voice.”
For men, there is only one source of truly good spiritual nourishment and reliable protection.
That supply is God.
Read 1st Kings 13
For me, the strange story sums up two things about how following a false voice posing as God can lead to men’s death.
The account starts with a prophet who DID know GOD. He also KNEW WHAT GOD WANTED. The result of the prophet’s actions emphasizes the statement, “Know, and follow ONLY the one true God.”
The story also holds a warning, “Don’t follow a false leader/god. Don’t become a false spiritual leader/god for others.” A spiritual leader, who speaks or presumes falsely about the voice of God, can powerfully cause others to stumble, even another spiritual leader.
Don’t spiritually victimize others or become a spiritual victim.
Just like a baby learns to know his mother, learn to know all you can about God for yourself!