Within the past four days God has brought a theme to the surface through a book I completed reading on Saturday, a passage of Scripture our Sunday school class read and discussed on Sunday, and a leadership podcast I listen to every Tuesday. What does a book, Sunday school, and a podcast have in common you might ask?
For the past month I have been working through the book Holiness By Grace: Delighting in the Joy That Is Our Strength by Bryan Chapell. I say working because the book has brought a lot of things to my attention that needs addressing in my own life. As I was completing the book, it was closing with the idea of coming to God’s Word to seek the questions God wants us to ask instead of coming to His Word seeking answers to our questions.
I had to stop and acknowledge that I do not believe I have ever come to God’s Word in my 35 years as a believer asking God what questions He wants me to ask. However, I can’t count the number of times I have come to His Word seeking answers to my questions.
Chapell makes the point that while God always hears our questions, there is a higher purpose He has when we begin seeking to ask His questions.
Thus while Scripture provides answers to the questions of our deepest needs, it does not answer all the questions that may arise in our minds. In fact, true humility before God causes us to acknowledge that Scripture does not merely provide answers to some questions we may have; it also provides the very questions we should ask.
Not all the questions that come to mind are those most critical to the heart that seeks God. While God does not forbid our consideration of any questions, he designs his Word to lead our thoughts in paths of discovery that are most beneficial to our spiritual health. As water flows in a furrow to make a garden grow, so our thoughts are to flow in the courses laid by Scripture. Only in those lines does the Spirit produce in us the fruit that will most nourish our souls. Scripture asks and answers questions according to God’s priorities and design. Thus, while all we need for life and godliness will be addressed in the Bible, some matters will remain hidden from our perception because God has deigned neither to ask nor to answer such questions in his Word (cf. Rom. 11:33; 2 Pet. 1:3).
Is it as easy for you as it is for me to come to God’s Word with questions needing answers than it is to go to God’s Word seeking His questions?
I know I do it all the time which is why the above statement was such an eye-opener for me. This is also why when I found myself in Sunday school class less than 24 hours later reading the following passage; I had to acknowledge God was trying to get my attention.
One day as He was teaching the people in the temple complex and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the scribes, with the elders, came up and said to Him: “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Who is it who gave You this authority?”
He answered them, “I will also ask you a question. Tell Me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?”
They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, because they are convinced that John was a prophet.”
So they answered that they did not know its origin. And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” Luke 20:1-8
Wow. I couldn’t believe it. Here was a perfect example of individuals asking their personal questions instead of the question God wanted them to ask. While Jesus let the chief priests, scribes, and elders ask Him questions, Jesus’ response reveals the real question He was seeking them to ask.
Jesus knew that if they would honestly consider and ask the question, He was asking, then their heart would be revealed, and they would, in turn, have the answer to all the other questions they were asking. But for them to acknowledge that would have taken great humility and an acknowledgment of their wrongful ways of legalism and pursuit of power.
To tie up this lesson on the importance of asking the right questions, God used the leadership podcast I listen weekly to show His sovereignty over all areas of a believers life. What was this mornings’ podcast discussing you might ask?
Yes, I had to smile and chuckle as the podcast considered the value of asking questions and discussed the three most important questions every leader must ask. While the podcast centered around leadership and the importance of a leader having enough humility to ask questions in a right manner, the premise is still the same.
Do I come to a meeting, my family, or God’s Word seeking for my questions to be answered, or do I seek out the questions that need to be asked?
While it is easy to see this in other’s lives, it is harder to implement in one’s own. As I continue to ponder this idea of coming to God’s Word seeking to know the questions He wants me to ask, I encourage you to do the same.
Take some time this week to consider seeking after the questions God desires for you to ask.
Scripture confirms they are there waiting for you.