I started liking mystery stories from a young age. I read many of the Nancy Drew books (okay, I am showing my age now!), and even read my brother’s Hardy Boy books. Shows like Colombo would intrigue me. In more recent years, I watched the Sherlock Holmes series with my family. I was drawn into the adventure of trying to solve the mystery with Sherlock and his sidekick, Dr. Watson. In a good mystery adventure, we are captivated right to the very end of the story trying to solve the mystery.
It seems to be built into our nature to try to figure out the mysteries of life. This is what drives scientists, astronomers, and archeologists to spend a lifetime studying the mysteries of our world. This is the same reason that the men and women in the church of Colossae were bringing mysticism into their faith. Oxford dictionary defines mysticism as: “a belief that union with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect, may be attained through contemplation and self-surrender.”
The church was in danger of splitting up over the many rules and new ideas members of the church were adding to the teachings of Christ and the apostles. They were seeking “new truth” through meditation in which they opened their minds to receive messages from “angels.” However, we learn from Scripture that the role of angels is not to teach us new doctrines but to be God’s assistants in ministering to us. “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14). Seeking to hear messages from angels opens our minds to hearing false teaching from fallen angels, demons. “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3).
When Christ came to us two thousand years ago, He came to solve the mystery of God. Paul’s mission was to reveal to us the mystery of God. “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-3). Do you see this wonderful revelation? In Christ, we can find the truth about God and His purpose and plan for humanity. The mystery is solved. As we dig deep into studying the teachings of Christ through the gospels and the writings of the apostles whose “professor and mentor” was Jesus Christ, we can learn all that God feels is important and relevant to live an abundant and God-honoring life (see John 10:10).
Though we can learn from the Word about who God is, how He desires to relate to us, and how He desires we relate to one another, the Holy Spirit enables us to experience God in new and deeper ways. In this sense, we should never put God in a box and say we have Him all figured out. It is impossible for our limited minds to completely understand our awesome God. For example, Jesus teaches us that God is love. But we will spend a lifetime experiencing God’s love in new and more intimate ways. The Word says that God is powerful as revealed when Christ rose from the dead and had victory over death. But a lifetime of seeking God’s strength through our struggles will amaze us and allow us to experience His incomprehensible power. We are taught that God is sovereign over all things, but it is very hard to understand this when we see suffering all around us. At these times, we must acknowledge that God is wise, compassionate, and powerful, but we cannot completely understand why certain things happen.
We will have to learn to cling to the truth that Christ is the answer to the mystery of God but live with the tension that some things ─ especially the why questions ─ will remain a mystery until we see God face to face in eternity. Resist the temptation to try to figure God out, but rather, revel in the joy that our Creator is indescribable, incomparable, and uncontainable. There is comfort and hope knowing that our God is so much greater than we are. Mystery solved, Christ is our be-all and end-all!