The Word of the Immeasurable God
The fact that God is able to do far more abundantly beyond anything that we can ask or think (Eph 3:20) and the fact that there are secret things that belong only to Him (Deut 29:29) both highlight the importance of what God has actually revealed in His word. The vast, unfathomable nature of God’s knowledge and power is simply unknown to us, but this same One whose power is so great is also the One who has revealed to us what He wants us to know. Ours is not to speculate beyond that or try to delineate exactly how God does everything He does.
The reason we believe God works as He does is because that’s what He says about Himself in the word He reveals. Teaching that God works in and through His people is not speculative (Phil 2:12-13). He promises that He works on our behalf, and by faith we need to take Him at His word. He tells us that His power toward those who believe is immeasurable (Eph 1:19). Teaching this is necessary because it puts into perspective our need to be humble under the “mighty hand of God” (1 Pet 5:6). We need not understand it all in order to trust that God knows what He is doing. Given that God’s power is immeasurable (Eph 1:19), His understanding is infinite (Psa 147:5), His knowledge is unfathomable, His judgments are unsearchable, and His ways are inscrutable (Rom 11:33), the truth is that we will not understand it all. How could we? We would have to be God in order to do that.
Yet God works for us, and He revealed His mind in words so that we can know His will for us and be reconciled in fellowship with Him. The word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psa 119:105), and we would not know anything of God’s will for us were it not for this revelation. We could know that there is a powerful God (Rom 1:19-20; Psa 19:1-6), but we could not know His will. The revealed word of God is, therefore, critical for us to know and follow.
This need for God’s revelation is further highlighted in a statement made by Isaiah. In telling the people that they need to seek the Lord while He may be found, Isaiah says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa 55:8-9). We do not think like God does. If we did not have His word, but instead tried to speculate as to what God’s will is for us to do, we would certainly get it wrong. How could we get it right without Him telling us? His ways are higher, greater, and beyond our thoughts. They are, as one translation says, “past finding out” (Rom 11:33, NKJV).
The word of God, then, is precious to us. It is not just ink on a page, but it is the mind and message of God brought into our language so that we can know Him and draw near to Him. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (Jas 4:8). To think that this God, so far beyond our ability to fully understand, is also the God who wants to draw near to us is, itself, beyond amazing. Yet we cannot do it without His word; otherwise we are speculating about what we cannot possibly know without His revelation. We will never know His mind without that revelation.
The word of God is so powerful and works in those who believe because it is the ultimate product of the God who works: “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers” (1 Thess 2:13; cf. Heb 4:12-13). It is so powerful because it a piece of the mind of the One who holds the universe in the palm of His hand. It is the word of the immeasurable God.
We ought never to downplay the importance and the relevance of Scripture, for “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matt 4:4). James writes, “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (Jas 1:21). God designed His word, His message, to make us “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 3:15). Consequently, the authority and power of the message coming from the mind of the One whose knowledge and wisdom are unfathomable should never be rejected, dismissed, ignored, or smoothed over. The word of God is vital because it comes from the One who could not otherwise be known through man’s wisdom.