“[Love] rejoices in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).
MOSES DESCRIBED GOD AS “A GOD OF TRUTH” (DEUTERONOMY 32:4). If we think we can seek Him and love Him without seeking and loving truth, we are tragically mistaken. We can’t have God except on the basis of the truth about Him. Some refuse the truth about God willfully, of course. Jesus said, “This is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light” (John 3:19). But fortunately, there are some who courageously “rejoice in the truth” — even when it requires painful adjustments in themselves.
When we are considering something that has been presented as being true about God, we sometimes act as if our preferences were the supreme tribunal before which all ideas must be brought for judgment. It is not uncommon nowadays to hear people say, “I could never believe in a God who __________ ‚” as if God could not possibly be anything other than what is congenial to our thinking. If a laboratory scientist took such a cavalier attitude toward physical reality, he’d be laughed out of his profession. If he said something like “I could never believe in a phenomenon as destructive as nuclear fission,” his foolishness would be obvious. The truth would still be true whether he approved of it or not. Why then, when the realities are spiritual, do we think we can predetermine what we’ll allow to be true and then judge God accordingly? Facts are hard things. They rarely shape themselves to fit our feelings. Whatever God is, that is what He is — and the sooner we lay aside our brash demands concerning what His nature “must” be, the sooner we can get on with real religion.
None can deny that false notions about God can be powerful, at least in a plodding kind of way. But as the Roman philosophers said: candor dat viribus alas. “Truth gives wings to strength.” When the vigor of our religious impulse is powered by truth about God, something happens that is very fine. We can soar high enough to begin tasting the freedom that Jesus spoke of: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
“All the problems of heaven and earth, though they were to confront us together and at once, would be nothing compared with the overwhelming problem of God: that He is; what He is like; and what we as moral beings must do about Him” (A. W. Tozer).