Sunday morning, we sang one of my favorite Christian Contemporary songs, Reckless Love. It is a wonderful song with gripping lyrics highlighting the power of God’s love for us. The only thing that doesn’t fit right in my mind is the reference to God’s love being ‘reckless’.
The bottom line is that it is impossible for God to be reckless. Pinning God with a reckless tag denies his omnipotence and omniscience. For one to be reckless you must engage in actions you don’t have full control of. Because God has all knowledge and unlimited power, He can’t find Himself in any circumstance, he does not control or know the outcome in advance.
I’m not seeking to have the composer, or the songs performers, alter the lyrics. However, the word ‘relentless’ would be a more accurate representation of God’s Love. Poetically the word reckless fits better than relentless, I can’t see God being defined as reckless. Everything about God is so far beyond our comprehension to assign human attributes to him is demeaning to his power and might.
Despite this being the title of this devotional, it isn’t where we will focus in the next few minutes. I’m only calling it out to bring clarity to something that plagues the Christian community on many fronts and show how innocently misconceptions of who God is can creep into our culture, conversation, and music.
We will never completely understand the fullness of God until He gives us our new bodies and live with God in eternity. What we really want to focus on today is getting a better grip on who the Lord is and some of our misconceptions.
God is greater
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 (CSB)
We get in trouble when we define God by our own shortcomings. God spoke the universe into place from nothingness. There was a void, God said for it to be, and it was. No big bang as scientist theorize. Theories are nothing more than an attempt to explain phenomena.
We try to explain things based on our observation and experience. The problem we have with this method is that we can’t observe everything, and our experience is limited in comparison, when it is held up to the complexity of creation.
Modern theory can and will get you so far down the road to understanding, but it is utter foolishness to apply our theoretical models to God.
The Bible says, one day, we will know.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (CSB)
It’s only when we receive our heavenly bodies we will have the capacity and ability to comprehend things anywhere approaching the level God functions at. Until then we may only have a glimpse of God’s power, glory and majesty.
Therefore, when we assign human limitations and attributes to God, even well meaning, we paint a distortion of who God is. While that distortion may be relatively harmless, like referring to God’s love as being reckless, even the slightest misappropriation, alters our understanding of God and since we are handicapped by a finite understanding and vision of God, it harms our ability to fully appreciate His greatness. In doing this we make him more like us, in our minds.
We can’t understand the depth and power of his love. His compassion is beyond our ability to grasp. The value of His justice is beyond our ability to see. And yet, we are given fragments of truth and evidence of what is beyond that which we see.
Faith demand this. Faith demands that when we get to the end of our understanding of who Jesus is, when we can’t comprehend the glory of the Father, when we can’t fathom the ability of the Holy Spirit to change heart and circumstance in an instant, by faith we know that He can. By faith we know that the conception of Jesus was facilitated by the Spirit of God, not by the means of human understanding, but in a way which only God could. This resulted in the manifestation of the Son of the Father by a virgin.
This is something impossible for man to accomplish. Oh sure, we have come far enough in our medical knowledge through Invitro implantation imitate the effect, but that’s not what God did. Mary was a virgin when she gave birth. The life inside her was placed there by the will of God, so that His Son might take up the critical task of redeeming creation.
Imitation is a form of flattery. However, when it does not accurately accomplish what it seeks to imitate, the result is nothing more than a vague representation of the source. When we try to define God by our own terms, we obscure the wonder and glory of that which we cannot comprehend, because we make God like us.
God is not just like us
Yes, we are made in God’s image; the scripture tells us that. But our being isn‘t a match metric by metric, to the attributes of God. Besides being approximations of God, we have been further distorted by sin and corruption is in the world we live. These inhibit our ability to be all that God intended us to be, so it is only by our redemption through the Grace of His Son Jesus Christ that we can exceed what is within our reason and become that which we before His grace were not capable of.
The United States Army had a motto they used recently, “Be all that you can be.”
It was catchy and while I’m sure that their training and discipline accomplish amazing things in many lives, that result is not possible. The only way we can be ‘all that we can be’, is if we become the Children of God. Joining up with any branch of the military will not get it.
But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:12-13 (CSB)
God giving us more of His power. Here, enabling us to become His Children.
But just as children can’t possibly understand fully the capabilities of their parents and may often find mom or dad doing what to them appears to be the impossible; we are God’s Children. We can’t fathom what He is capable of.
We know a few things he can’t do; He can’t be untrue to His Word, He cannot be unjust.
We know a few things about God too; He is love; He is just; He is compassionate, and so much more.
We know nothing is impossible for God.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19:26 (CSB)
So, let’s not put limits on what God can or can’t do based on our own limitations. There is nothing too big or too small for Him to handle. Nothing is impossible for Him. His love is relentless, joy is unending, and His peace is abiding.
We only have this glimpse of His Glory. Let’s try not to distort it with our own limitations.
In His Grace,