The Mysteriousness of God


mysteriousI love formulas. You know, 1 + 1 = 2; A + B = C; x – y = z. Formulas are predictable. You just plug in the right terms and voila, there is the answer!

We, in the church world, have often tried to approach God through our formulas. For example, if I do A + B, God will do C. Hey, sometimes it works! But what I find as I know God more is that He loves mystery. Yes, He does have principles in His Word that are immutable, unchangeable, sure, and firm. In fact, it is not his principles that I am speaking of. It’s His ways. And they are mysterious.
When someone tries to sell you a gospel of formulas, you need to beware. Formulas can be our attempt to control God.  He is untamable and mysterious. Our individual journeys with Him are just that, individual. Yes, we can learn about God’s ways. We can learn His truths. We can learn His precepts. But applying them and living daily as believers in covenant with God through Christ, filled with His Spirit, involves mystery. He daily invites us into the mystery. He is doing something uniquely individual in each of us.
From the beginning of time, as God’s Spirit hovered, moving in creation, the mysteriousness of God has invited us in.
The mysteries of God are not meant to make Him unreachable. They are not designed to confuse us. They are designed to draw us into Him. To lead us to seek Him out. To intrigue us.
When you find yourself facing life and faced with questions, feel invited! You are being invited deeper into the mysteries of God. Living in His mysteries is living in the richest, most beautiful depths of Him.
To define our God as one who can easily be explained by a formula is to limit Him to the parameters of our humanity. His ways are truly beyond our natural knowledge. In this life, we can only glimpse into His amazing  ways.
To define our God in ways that box Him in is an attempt to make Him safe. And as John Eldredge so wonderfully says, God is anything but safe. Oh, He is altogether good, but life with Him is not to be thought of as a safe formula bound trip. It is an amazing adventure!
I find this is true when we think of how God brings healing to us. Yes, there are principles God Himself has instituted for us. But then those principles are subject to the mysterious ways of God. Again, this is not meant to make God sound confusing (although can we admit that His ways are confusing to us at times as we try to make Him fit our formulas).
I think the mysteriousness of God’s ways is, in part, necessary for our humility. When I bow at His feet in awe at how He has worked something bad for my good, I acknowledge His mysteriousness and my humanity.
When my life fell apart at its seams, I had no way to know that God was redesigning me, doing deep corrective surgery, and bringing an opportunity for the deepest healing I’d ever known. Now that is mysterious!
As layer upon layer of my life progressively shattered, I came face to face with my own deep brokenness. God offered me a gift. Would I, in one hand, hold the pain and grief, acknowledging my own humanness, and at the same time, in the other hand, hold the truth about Him? That He is all-knowing, ever present, promising never to leave me or forsake me? Could both things be true?
Would I acknowledge that God, in His mysteriousness, was at work in my life during what appeared to be utter disaster? Oh, it took me a while. Honestly, for a while I questioned the reality of God. Had everything I had based my life on been an illusion? And God allowed me to wrestle with Him. In fact, He invited me to.
Faith can look into mystery, darkness, complexity, ambiguity, and doubt, and come out on the other side, stronger still.
Eve, in the Garden, wanted to know all the mysteries of God. She thought in a formula. (The tree is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) + (I eat its fruit) = I will be like God.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, pondered, waiting, willing to not know. Was that hard? Oh yes, her heart was torn apart, yet she one day saw the wonder of the coming of the Spirit and the birthing of the church. One day she bowed at Jesus’ feet in heaven as the mystery became clear.
As we walk through this life, there will be unexplainable, painful events and seasons for all of us. There will be things we cannot fix. There will be no formula that works. And it will be during those times, that we are afforded the greatest opportunities to know Him.
We will find that our healing is not sequenced but is in the context of mystery. Then we can truly say that there is no one like our God, who brings good out of bad, life out of death, miracles out of disasters, and hope out of darkness.
Will you look into the mysteries of your life and acknowledge that God, and God alone, is able to transform your life? Doing so will mean giving up control, and your formulas, and your well-intentioned best-laid plans, and will make it possible for you to join God on the great adventure He has destined for you!


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Categories : brokenness, God


  1. Hi Mikki!

    You know, it would seem that the “formulas” we use to categorize God and His ways , while they appear to offer a sense of simplicity and security to our attempts at better understanding His complexity, tends to only distort our comprehension of Him, as He is rarely (if not ever) as we supposed. In essence, throughout our endeavors to explain and better grasp that which is incomprehensible, we only invite more confusion and uncertainty into our already disheveled lives!

    Like you, David had a way of taking matters like this and making them altogether practical:

    “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131:1-2 (NKJV)

    You know, a preacher once told me that there is a lot is to be said about the benefits of being able to just stretch out and rest on the name of Jesus!

    As always, the words you share with are like water to my soul.

    Daniel J

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