“Cutting to the Chase” Meditations 3: He exists!
Heb 11:6 “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists.”
The start of the Christian Faith is just that, faith! Faith is believing and responding to what God says and the Bible is full of what He says but it is terribly easy just to read the words of the book but fail to grab the reality that this comes from One who is really here. This may sound staggeringly obvious but I am convinced that so many ‘believers’ don’t – believe, that is!
We have all this Bible information, information that has been conveyed to us many times in Sunday sermons or picked up in mid-week Bible Studies, but as for the reality that when we come together as the people of God, we so often fall into the trap of laying on a pre-packaged performance instead of encountering the living God and letting Him move, speak etc. It’s as much true for me as it is you, because there is one big stumbling block to believing in God – we can’t see Him!
Paul said Jesus is “the image of the invisible God.” (Col 1:20) To the Romans he explained that, “since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.” (Rom 1:20) i.e. one of the key ways we can ‘see’ Him is in the Creation, that reveals some of His qualities or characteristics. To Timothy he described Him as, “the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God.” (1 Tim 1:17). The writer to the Hebrews spoke of Moses encounters with God as follows: “he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” (Heb 11:27)
It is such an obvious thing that we forget it most of the time. This ‘God’ cannot be seen because He is ‘Spirit’ and we’ll look at that tomorrow. I wrote yesterday about church leaders who just perform a ritual called ‘the time of prayer’, who get more caught up in the things they ought to pray about – the sick people in the congregation, the needs of Israel, the sin of the world and all the terrible things happening in the world – rather than focusing on the PERSON they are addressing. But, as I said above, it’s as true for me as it is for you, we all do it. It is so easy when you can’t ‘see’ God.
And it happens so often, I suspect, when we are praying on our own. When you have a friend or family member in the room and you are talking to them, you face them, you look at them for their responses to see that they are listening and understanding what you are saying. You also don’t use formulas to talk to the people in the room with you, we just speak naturally and informally. We can’t do that with God, except in so far as we can seek to tune our spirit to sense His presence and then perhaps catch what He might be saying to us. Perhaps worth thinking about?