“The only way to recoup our spiritual losses is to go back to the cause of them and make such corrections as the truth warrants.”
I read those words for the first time a few months ago. Found in the preface of A.W. Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy—I was captured from the get-go.
If you would have told me two years ago I would be guzzling down Tozer and a three-inch-thick theology book at midnight on a Wednesday, I would have been really confused and maybe a little annoyed. I used to think theology, the study of God, was for people who traded in relationship with God for knowledge of Him. Puffed up, arrogant, argumentative… nah. I’ll keep it simple with, “Love God and love people.”
The problem is the longer I live the more I understand that while loving God and loving people is simple, it’s not easy. Maybe because it’s kind of like… marriage.
We can all agree there are two essential ingredients to a lasting marriage: 1) keeping Christ at the center and 2) love. Lots of love. Simple, right?
Simple only if our definition of love and our view of Christ are accurate.
If those two things are off, it’s going to affect, well, everything. The truth is real love involves a willingness to forsake your ideas of what love should be and who you think your spouse is supposed to be, and if I never take the time to get to know Stone, his likes, dislikes, passions, and desires, our relationship will eventually suffer.
In the same way, it’s inevitable that our journey with God will eventually require us to trade our ideas about Him for the truth of who He says He is. And so I would say studying theology is, in part, a sort of laying down of the pieces in exchange for the whole… and this laying down has led me to a greater awe, wonder, and love for this Jesus who so mercifully transformed my life a few years ago. That, my friend, is the best part.
So, how does this relate to you, to me, practically?
I want to propose that while some difficulties we experience are the result of being human and therefore inherently flawed, some difficulties/cycles/unhealthy thought processes are the direct result of our inaccurate beliefs and ideas about God.
“What comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” A.W. Tozer
Our beliefs about God matter. They’re worth the questions, digging, and wrestling because love is worth the questions, digging, and wrestling.
I want to encourage you to submit your beliefs and yourself to something, Someone greater than yourself. Get in the Word, join a Bible study, or research different introductory books on theology if you feel like this struck home! My prayer is that for some of you, a light turns on, a flame is ignited, a hunger is born… for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. May you be willing to forsake small ideas for the Truth Himself if He leads you on a similar journey.