It has been said that there are some things we know, there are some things we know we do not know, and there are some things we do not know we do not know. In other words, there are realms of knowledge beyond our present understanding.
In recent Langstaff Letters, we have considered the subject of ‘Why Aren’t You Healed?’ and we have had to say we do not always know the answer as to why someone does not get healed. We have to admit that we do not know and continue to trust God anyway.
All of this opens up the subject of the mystery of God. Madeline L’Engle, the author of ‘Wrinkle in Time,’ has this to say, “If we are willing to live by Scripture, we must be willing to live by paradox and contradiction and surprise.” She goes on to say, “We live by revelation, as Christians, as artists, which means we must be careful never to get set into rigid molds. The minute we begin to think we know all the answers, we forget the questions.”
With all that in mind, let us look at some aspects of what the Bible reveals about the ‘Mysteries of God.’
Revelation is the key to knowing and understanding God. It is not primarily us searching and finding out for ourselves knowledge about the Almighty. Rather it is knowing that we only know God as He has revealed Himself to us, especially in His Word and supremely in and through His son Jesus Christ, as revealed in His Word.
The study of the Word is essential to gaining knowledge, but ultimately real knowledge comes out of an intimate relationship, in which we begin to know God in a personal way. We may not know everything about God, but this much we know, that we have all the knowledge that is required for salvation as spelled out in Scripture.
Whilst it is true God has taken the initiative to reveal Himself to us, it is also true that He still chooses to conceal certain things and matters. Deuteronomy 29 declares, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever that we may know all the words of the Law.”
In other words, God has some secrets and He chooses what He reveals to us. In all this, He is wanting us to live by faith and keep His Word. Now, this was given at the earliest times of the Old Testament and in subsequent generations, God chooses to reveal more and more. Amos 3:7 tells us, “Surely the Lord does nothing unless He reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets.” For example, God revealed secrets to Daniel in a night vision (Daniel 2:19, 22 & 27). Those visions are still being worked out today.
And in the New Testament, we have the words of Jesus to His disciples, ‘To you to know the mystery.’ I Corinthians 2:10 also states, ‘But God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things. Yes, the deep things of God.’
Nevertheless, we still do not know everything and we do not have all the answers to all the questions. Proverbs 25:2 tells us, ‘It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.’ So we must keep seeking.
Here is the paradox. God conceals; it is as if He plays hide and seek with us. And we, in turn, keep searching to find answers if at all possible. However, Paul reminds us in Romans 11:33 that, ‘His ways are past finding out.’
Bear all that in mind as you look at the question, ‘Why Aren’t You Healed?’ Bill Johnson of Redding California has a fascinating message entitled ‘The Value of Mystery.’ Bill Johnson, who has been used so much in healing and encouraging people to pray for healing, faces a paradox concerning his own son. Let me quote him.
“My oldest son, Eric, is 85 to 90% deaf in both ears. He has an amazing gift for life. He functions beautifully in the “hearing world” and has never had to learn sign language. His adjustments to life are miraculous, while his self-esteem is unaffected by this handicap. It is strong and Christ-centered.
“I was fasting and praying for his healing some years ago, and God spoke to me very clearly that He was going to heal him. It has happened in the atonement and will be seen in my lifetime. We don’t treat it as a someday off in the future God will heal Him kind of thing. We view it as a right now word. Yet he still can’t hear without the assistance of a hearing aid.
“It’s interesting that the healing of deafness is one of the most common miracles I see in my meetings and in our church. Even more interesting to note is that Eric has laid hands on many people who were deaf and God opened their ears. How could that happen without him being healed first? I don’t know. But I do know that mental offense, stumbling over this apparent contradiction in our minds, will shut down this anointing. That is something we are not willing to do. Eric and I will continue to live in the understanding we have and embrace the mystery we are required to live with, knowing that God is perfectly faithful and good beyond measure, all the time. He is worthy of our trust.”
He goes on to give a delightful illustration from his family life.
“When my children were small we hid Easter eggs for them to find. The measure of difficulty in the search was always determined by the age and capabilities of the child. We never went outside, dug a three-foot-deep hole and buried a chocolate egg hoping a two-year-old would find it. When my children were that young, we’d put the egg on a table, or on a chair. And as they got older we would make it more difficult, but never impossible. Parents delight in their child’s curiosity and love to see them enjoy the process of discovery. Children enjoy the pleasure of the search, and revel in the affirmation of their parent’s delight in their searching and discovery. ‘ . . . Seek and you shall find . . .’ This curiosity and delight in discovery are meant to be a part of what it is to ‘seek first the kingdom’ as well as to ‘receive the kingdom as a child.’
“‘It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.’ (Proverbs 25:2)
“People wonder why God doesn’t always speak in more open terms – audibly, with visible signs, etc. I don’t know how or why it works this way, but the Bible indicates that God receives more glory when He conceals, rather than making things obvious. It is more glorious for Him to hide, and have us seek. Not understanding is okay. Restricting our spiritual life to what we understand is not.” He adds later, “What we don’t understand is sometimes as important as what we do….To embrace revelation with one hand, and embrace mystery with the other forms a perfect cross.”
Why are you not healed? I do not always know why, but I will keep pressing on and pressing in and trusting God anyway. Let us keep searching for the fullness of the truth that is ours in Jesus Christ and the Word. God’s word is clear we are to seek first the Kingdom of God. We are called to be seekers. Let us keep seeking!