The Right Line of Questioning (TCM)
You know, there a moments within the Christian life that make you question God. Sometimes these questions are good, helping us draw closer to Him in spirit and in truth, and some are damaging. In an effort to delineate the differences between the two, I am hoping to quickly outline how open God is to questions of a kind, and how absolutely closed He is to questions of another.
When we ask questions of God, we must be sure that those questions are asked earnestly within relationship. God is not in the business of proving himself every time He gives us a directive to follow in our lives. Gideon may have used the sheep skin dew trick to be sure a certain leading was from God, but we only have one recorded incident in which he did this, not others. I highly doubt that Gideon saved that piece of sheep skin and used it every time he felt God call him to deal with certain issues. This being said, for being the unquestioned master creator, and ruler of the universe, he is remarkably patient with our questioning. We are not owed any answers, but God appears inclined to give them to us while at the same time being sure that the heart of the question is proper. Abraham is one who said, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Gen. 18:25). A strong statement coming from a human regarding the goodness of God. But because God knew Abraham’s heart, he allowed the line of questioning, knowing that Abraham was not intending such words to be a challenge to God, but were a proclamation of who God actually is. For this reason He answers Abraham and allows Abraham to intercede for Sodom. In this questioning, Abraham is seeking real answers in relationship. He is not giving God ultimatums but is merely exclaiming the goodness and justice of God in an inquisitive way.
With this then we come to how we should not ask questions. Many will come to God, filled with contempt, bitterness, and anger and shake their fist at the heavens demanding answers from a being capable of snuffing them out in the flash of a light bulb. Doing such a thing is foolhardy and dangerous. Job came close to this when questioning the intention behind his suffering and questioning the justice of God in the process. While he did not curse God, the questions that lay within his heart still appeared to have been enough to warrant some very strong responses from God. None of which, funny enough, actually answer Job’s question regarding the purpose of his suffering. The Pharisees asked Jesus questions constantly, but they did so not in the search for truth, but in attempting to trip him up so that they could capitalize on his mistake and turn the people against him. They questioned God with a proud heart and for doing such Jesus referred to them as a brood of vipers and white washed tombs.
It is interesting to note how different God reacts to certain lines of questioning and not to others. It appears that in order to get true answers a person will need to approach the throne with humility. Attempting to approach the throne with pride on your heart is a sure-fire way to incur God’s wrath and that is something we should want to avoid at all times. A book that helped me in understanding the necessity of asking questions was David Dark’s “The Sacredness of Questioning Everything.” Within that book Dark actually goes way too far, but the read is still valuable in that it helps a person understand how open God is to questions from his creation. Sure, he will be paying attention to the intention of your heart, and if you are questioning God’s character from pride and judgment, you will likely incur a measure of wrath. But when you approach God with questions relationally you are going to get answers, they may not be answers that you like, but they will be answers all the same. I pray that in reading this, that you check your heart and intentions and be sure that whatever questions you asked are done from a place of earnest love, and humility. God is willing to answer our questions, but we must be sure to remember, that He is God and that we are not. He owes us no answers, which is one of the things that makes a relationship with him so wonderful. He extends to us more grace than we could ever possibly imagine, and I for one will be sure that when I approach Him I do it with a heart bent toward loving God in relationship. Peace and blessings, and as always thank you for reading.