How do we know that God is real if we can’t see him?

Published 6:55 pm Thursday, August 22, 2019


Living on Purpose

I’ve been asked many times through the years, how do we know God is real when we cannot see him, touch him, or hear him? I admit this is a logical question and there are several things we need to consider in the conversation.

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I know what God can do, but I’ve never walked up to him and shook his hand, or had a cup of coffee with him. I can sense the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit speak within my spirit and I listen to other people relay what they believe God is saying, but I have not heard God speak from the clouds, or a burning bush like he did in the Old Testament.

However, just because I have not had experiences like many others have had, this does not in any way diminish my enthusiasm to believe he is who the Bible says he is. Those who are blind and cannot see the moon and the stars, still believe they are there. The Christian life contains unexplainable occurrences and occasional super-natural phenomenon, including angel visitations and mind-boggling miracles, but in general, following God is to be lived by faith.

Yes, this is much more difficult, but also much more rewarding. The Bible declares that God surrounds us whether we can see him or not and desires that we attempt to develop our spiritual awareness through keeping our mind focused on him.

There is a story in the Bible about a man who placed a high priority on being able to see Jesus before he could believe. Christ had just been publicly crucified and after three days, it was being told that his tomb was empty and that he had risen from the dead. Thomas, who was one of Jesus’ disciples, was overwhelmed from all that had happened and declared that he would not believe unless he could see his nail-scarred hands and be able to literally touch him.

Soon after this, it just so happened that Jesus miraculously appeared to him one evening and reached out his hands and said, “Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed; however, blessed are those who have not seen and yet still have believed” John 20:29.

Everything related to God is not presented in clear sight on purpose, including the understanding of scripture. The idea is the Lord draws and leads us, then it’s our responsibility to believe in him with all of our hearts. He is not withholding from us to frustrate us, but our determination to know him is directly associated with how much we love and trust him. To the masses, this may seem like a foolish game of hide and seek with an invisible man.

However, to those who know God, this intimate relationship is the meaning of life. Our experiences — even the difficult times — are meant to teach us how to understand God and are a critical part of us becoming what he wants us to be. II Corinthians 4:18 says, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

When it comes to wisdom and understanding, there has never been a more important message to the world than to discover and experience the presence of God. The beautiful symbolism in the Tabernacle of Moses invites us to enjoy a spiritual reality that is as tangible as anything we could ever know.

Today, this secret dwelling place with God is not a certain geographic location, but rather a state of being where we can communicate, worship and freely rejoice in the glories of his love. Meditating and focusing within the peace and security of knowing that Jesus died and rose from the dead to save us, is a truth more valuable than anything in this world. We cannot make people know God, we can only encourage them to look around and notice his work. C.S. Lewis is quoted as saying, “I believe in God as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” Nothing can separate us from the privilege to walk with God except our refusal to believe he is real.

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