I can be a bit of an intellectual at times. I say that right now with neither pride nor disdain but I can tell you that I’ve felt the sway of both towards my need to intellectualize. I’m not saying being smart and seeking knowledge is not good. It is! In fact, we are here on a quest to gain knowledge, but if that quest is simply accumulation of knowledge it becomes hollow and unfulfilling.
Our quest for knowledge should lead to an ultimate truth. We must always resolve to be seekers of truth. It’s a dangerous dance when we get too much in our heads and in our own thinking. We can easily begin to believe more in the abilities of our minds and attempt to rationalize our way through the mysteries of God, determining for ourselves what could be so or not so.
Truth can only be found in God’s word. And even more, God tells us there are certain mysteries that can only be gained through divine revelation. Finding the truth, requires a great deal of faith. It requires a certain walk, a surrendered life. It requires a relationship with God where we abide in Him, and thus, He in us. What does it mean to abide in Him? I believe it means staying connected to Christ, reading and meditating on His word, walking with Him every moment of the day, praying, listening, waiting... It means being dependent on God, and knowing that apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). Abiding in Him doesn’t end, it means continually believing and trusting in God for everything. To abide is to endure, to await, to remain.
There was a time when I had fallen into the lure of the intellectual world, primarily on a quest for knowledge and truth. I was in college at the time and as you know it’s a time in our lives where we are bombarded with new information, new thoughts, perspectives, and philosophies. It’s a time where it can become pretty easy for us to think our ways outside of God’s truth. It’s a time where new idols can also quickly be erected. After I read about horoscopes, and metaphysics, and great philosophical books there was nothing there that was true, lasting. I never lost my faith – I believed in God. I wasn’t believing only God though and that was the problem. And I didn’t even know that I was doing it! That’s how deceiving it can be. What was really happening is that I was dabbling in creating my own religious philosophy. I took this from the Bible, and a little bit of this from our culture and then mixed in some this philosophy and then bam – you have a hot mess! But many of the “enlightened” of us are walking around doing this very thing right now. Please recognize this deception strategy of the devil! How can we say we believe God and then by our actions say we don’t think God got it all right? Do we really think we know better than God? There’s no need to fix the truth. God’s word is the final truth.
With God’s grace He led me beyond myself and back to the truth. The beauty of God is that no matter how off track you get, if you seek the truth with all your heart, God promises to deliver it to you (Jeremiah 29:13). He will show you the truth. But you have to surrender your mind and life to him. It’s a hard thing for a thinker, intellectual to surrender her mind to anything but it is necessary. You can’t be a part-time Christian any more than you can be a part-time man or woman. God’s truth is the only truth we can count on. We can search this world 200 times over and it will lead us to an empty place called nowhere unless we end the search at the foot of the cross.
I’ve learned that our God is so much more loving and gracious than we can ever fathom. He loves us like a mother and father, yet even greater still is the love Christ has for us. Our finite minds can never understand that love; however, we can experience His love when we let go of our grip and allow God to show us the way. The truth is there. It exists as it always has – waiting for us to discover it. Let go of your need to fit God into your world and instead jump into His. And know, loved one, that the truth will set you free! Let's begin to act like we know who's the smartest of all.
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