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How do we know there's a God? What is he like?

Why does God make it so hard to find him?

Postby Nic J » Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:22 pm

Why has God made it so difficult to believe in him? why is that? Is it really something God is doing ?
Nic J
 

Re: Why does God make it so hard to find him?

Postby jimwalton » Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:53 pm

This is a great question. I have been asked the question in other forms as well: Why is God so hard to see? If He were really interested in doing everything possible to have a relationship, why not appear, talk to people, and make himself more obvious? More people would believe in Him if He didn’t have to be inferred or assumed but instead was seeable, hearable, testable, and obvious.

Let me go back to the very beginning. Isn’t it astounding that some spiritual beings—who knew God by experience, could see him and hear him, knew his goodness, his greatness, and his power—could rebel against God and abandon their positions (Jude 1.6) in defiance against God? How is that possible? There weren’t even any filters (as far as we know) between them and God, and yet they turned against him. It’s obvious to me that even a direct experience with God doesn’t make it certain that one will follow him.

James 2.19 talks about demons who believe in God, sure enough, but don’t follow him. They know all about him, so we can assume, and yet they don’t follow God or “believe in him” in the sense of love and obey him.

We know that the children of Israel who were part of the Exodus got to see spectacular wonders of God’s miraculous doings, and yet many of them were rebellious and unfaithful. We also know that thousands of people got to see Jesus, hear him speak, and watch him do miracles, and yet they didn’t all turn to being disciples.

What gives? It seems obvious to me that a direct experience of God is not what turns to soul towards belief. Even exposure to him in heaven (as Satan has) in all his glory and power doesn’t do the trick. It’s weird, isn’t it? You’d think if God made himself more obvious more people would turn to him, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. What seems to be the truth is that people desire to follow God or they don’t, in their hearts and minds, and it has very little (if anything) to do with the evidence of God’s direct existence or being. It seems that if people have an inclination towards God, they are persuaded by the evidence, understand belief, and choose to love; if people do not have an inclination towards God, even if someone rises from the dead they won’t believe, and all the direct contact with God and irrefutable evidence is sloughed off as inadequate, worthless, and unconvincing. I’ve had a thousand of these conversations.

I don’t think God has made it difficult to believe in him. I think He’s there, hiding in plain sight (as C.S. Lewis said). Those who seek him will find him, and those who are of a different mind just don’t see it.

In other words, I’m not convinced at all that God appearing to us all, talking to us, and making himself known by strings of miracles verifiable by science would help. It might actually not be much of anything different than the way it is now: some would follow, some would fake it, and some would reject it.
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Re: Why does God make it so hard to find him?

Postby Nic J » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:25 pm

I know God is real. I have seen him work through prayer in my life. So what's the difference between believing in him and following him ? How can you believe in something and not follow? Maybe this is a super dumb question.

When you say inclination towards God what do you mean? What if you never get that Inclination towards; so you just go to hell then?

Those of a different mind .. what does that mean?

How would someone know if they are faking it ? would they know ?

sorry Super random questions. I am frustrated with myself and God.
Nic J
 

Re: Why does God make it so hard to find him?

Postby jimwalton » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:35 am

As least as far as this conversation is concerned, the difference between believing and following is that the first is just a mental acknowledgement, but the second is a commitment to the relationship. For instance, everyone believes that Donald Trump is the President, but only 50% of the country support him.

And what if you never get the inclination? The Bible indicates that it’s not God’s choice who has it and who doesn’t, but ours. Whoever seeks God sincerely will find him. Some may have to persevere longer, or have more doubts to overcome, but that’s OK. Those who seek will find. It’s a matter of the heart, but we all have a different relationship with God. For some it seems to come so easily, and for others it’s a constant battle. For some people God seems more natural, and for others there’s never anything “natural” about it. It’s OK. We were never all meant to be the same. Many times I have thought that the people who have it easy just don’t have the depth of relationship with God that those who had to battle for it have. There’s a depth and richness in the struggle.

By “those who are of a different mind” I was referring to those who are spiritually blind. I have conversed with so many people on my website, and no matter how clearly and simply I explain something, they just don’t see it. It’s like they’re not trying and don’t want to try: their mind is made up—don’t confuse them the facts and the evidence.

How would someone know they are faking it? Tough question. I could only guess that deep in their heart they know it’s not real to them.

Don’t worry about asking questions, and none of them are dumb, let alone super dumb. They’re good questions. Glad to talk with you.


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