Beyond belief. What might that mean? Does it imply that we move beyond rationality into a blind faith based on nothing but sheer will power? Or does it mean we already have what we have longed for and no longer need to look forward to it?
None of those are what I have in mind. What is coming to my attention is a subtle way in which Satan can sometimes sidetrack those of us who sincerely long to know truth more clearly. That is certainly a noble desire and one that I wish everyone would share. But our pursuit for truth can evolve into an obsession that becomes more self-focused than God focused, the original Source from which all truth must come. Let me explain a little.
There have been many who after coming to believe that Scripture is God's depository of truth for this world, pour themselves into intense study of the Word of God to discover truth for themselves. Again, that is not necessarily a bad thing. We are instructed to study the Scriptures to come to a knowledge of the truth. That is important if we want to come into alignment with truth and uncover error. But at the same time there is a danger that can be very easy to slip into without realizing it.
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. (John 5:39-40)
Do you see the danger that Jesus points out here? Satan is a far greater expert on Scripture than we will ever be on this earth. If knowledge about the truth could save someone, then Satan should be a shoe-in for the kingdom. Satan was formerly Lucifer assigned by God with the role of relaying the deep things of God to all the rest of the created beings throughout the entire universe. When it comes to knowledge of truth, no one could begin to compare with his ability to have an accurate knowledge of God.
It is this very fact that can turn into our greatest danger for those pursuing a knowledge of truth by immersing themselves in the Word of God. Again, I am not in any way suggesting that we should turn away from intense study of God's revelations in His Word. What I am observing however, is that it can be all too easy to be seduced into placing more confidence in what we learn in the Word of God than we put directly in God Himself. According to Jesus that is a very real problem of which we need to remain constantly aware and to avoid. Religious experts in Jesus' day had become consumed with an intimate knowledge of the text of Scripture, yet all of that knowledge and expertise failed to connect them with the very Source of life that had inspired those Scriptures when He showed up in person.
I believe that unless we are individually willing to see this danger in our own experience that we will be highly vulnerable to its deleterious effects in our own life. We may uncover exciting and profound truths in the Bible that may have been hidden for centuries, masked over by false religion or simply unnoticed. We may rightly revel in the glory of what we believe we have found. And what we discover may indeed have a great deal of validity and importance and may require examination and embracing by many around us who may be resistant to accepting it. But there is a danger that we can subtly place more faith in the facts that we have come to believe than in God Himself. This can be true even if what we are discovering are truths about God Himself. Is that possible? Does it even make sense? If it does not then possibly we are already in the trap of what I have just described and need to ask God to convict our hearts to expose this dangerous condition to our conscious awareness.