Arrogantly demanding proof for God vs humbly seeking him

Submitted by The Inner Room on Sat, 02/21/2015 - 15:26

Recently I found myself in a very interesting conversation with a former Jehovah's Witness. He had left the church after a period of doubting and questioning, which resulted in his family and all his former friends shunning him. He had had to begin an entirely new life, and had swung to the opposite end of the pendulum faith-wise. Feeling betrayed by having given unquestioning faith to the organization that let him down, he had become extremely cynical and skeptical, trusting only in science. He seemed to be searching for God, or have some desire for God, but he told me that to believe in God, he would need definitive physical proof of God, something he couldn't deny or explain away.

I told him many things. Among them was that if you're determined not to believe, you can see all the physical proof you want and still reject it. Many people saw Jesus' miracles, including raising Lazarus from the dead, and refused to believe. In fact, it only made them more determined to kill him. If you don't want to believe, you can always find an alternate explanation: something, in fact, that this fellow did. I told him my story of faith, which includes some supernatural occurences. He was intrigued, but replied that they could be purely psychological. I told him that I was not normally at the gathering where I met him, and hadn't gone for months, but that day had a strong feeling that I was supposed to go and meet a particular person, and that perhaps it was him. “But it could be a coincidence,” he replied.

There's a big difference between arrogant demands that God prove himself to you, or you will not believe, and the kind of faith that approaches God humbly, with open hands, asking him to reveal himself to you however he wants to. It's ok to not be sure. It's ok to not know who God is, or even if he exists. It's ok to tell him that. God loves to reveal himself to those who genuinely seek him, and in fact, has promised to do so: “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) I am firmly convinced that anyone who is genuinely seeking God and comes before him with humility, will be rewarded.

God says so again in so many words:

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

People demand proof so that they will believe. God says, on the other hand, that to find him you must have a little bit of faith to begin with. Faith that he exists, and that you'll find him if you look for him. If you don't feel you have even that, the fact that you are seeking God and genuinely want to know who he is and how to know him, is proof that you do.

However, the arrogant who demand that God perform like a trick pony so that they will believe in him, and that he act according to their standards of proof, will never see God. God is God. He's not a piece of material in a test tube. He's God. We're not. We come before him humbly, or not at all. We seek him on his terms, or we never find him. But if we want him, we can be sure that he wants us even more; and if we seek him, it's because he's already seeking us.

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