Posted by: Brad Stanford | November 14, 2011

The Reality Of God

Perhaps your trouble with God is that He’s just not real to you.

You’re not alone. We are creatures of sense, nonsense, and evidence. There is a deep instinctual need to not be fooled, a survival mechanism turned into a trophy. In cave man days, being fooled by your environment could mean death. For modern man, it demonstrates that you are smarter than everyone else, and not one of the herd (you know – “those people”).

This is why when we see people praising God in the scriptures, they are reciting all that He has done for them. This is the evidence. It is the reminder that sense is quite often discussed as nonsense for testing purposes. Words have power, and declaring what God has done for you to this point goes a long way towards changing your thinking.

Ultimately, though, God is made real through demonstration. People demonstrating to you, you demonstrating to others. Revelations come to those who are in situations that require demonstrations. So if you’re wanting to hear God, then you need to put yourself in a place where to obey Him is risky. God is not insurance, he is assurance. There is a great difference.

Once when my wife and I were deciding whether or not to have another child, I remember telling God, “Show me the money, and I’ll show you the kid.” His answer was clear: “Show me the kid, and I’ll show you the money.” He has been consistent in this lesson, that provision for obedience comes after the first step made in faith.

Same for seeing the reality of God. Saying to yourself, “If He was more real, it would be easier to obey,” is the same thing as me, the kid and the money. The answer is that as you obey, He reveals more and more of Himself to you. He becomes more and more real.

You don’t need to hear God to give your stuff to the poor. You don’t need to hear His voice to know to stay connected to a local church body. You don’t need special orders just for you to clean a neighbor’s house, or to help widows and orphans. There are so many standing orders from God. All of them are invitations to find Him. He seems to be hidden to you, right? That’s because He’ standing where He wants to meet with you, and it’s not in your current location. You need to be about finding Him. It is an exercise in being sensitive to people’s needs. Where there is need, God will be there, and His voice will be clear.

This is why it says in Matthew 6 to seek first the kingdom, and all your worldly needs will be met as well.

If you want God to be real to you, go where He is so you can see Him. He is somewhere close by, waiting for you. If you want Him, He’s available. But on His terms, not yours.

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Responses

  1. On His terms, not yours.
    For His glory, not yours.
    For His sake, not yours.

    It’s always easier to mix those up, as much in the first case as in the rest of them. We want a sign, but even when God gives it to us, it ultimately isn’t FOR us. To paraphrase the CCM hit, it’s all–ALL–about Jesus.


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