The possibilities for a great relationship with God described in the Bible is so much greater than what most of the world is experiencing. The Bible talks about knowing God better than your natural parents. It tells us that the moment we receive Jesus as our leader and sin-forgiver that He actually comes to live inside us and we become part of Him (think Vine and Branches, John 15:5). Yet, for even sincere Jesus followers, having a great, empowering, guiding relationship with God is hard. Why that is and what to do about it is what we’ll cover in this next series of articles.
Reason #1: God is invisible
If you are like me you have heard as long as you have been a Jesus follower that Christianity is a relationship with God, not a religion, or rules. The Bible clearly teaches that (John 17:3 for example). While there are definitely similarities in having a great relationship with God and having great relationships with people; there are some obvious differences, like we cannot see God with our physical eyes.
It takes a lot more work to communicate effectively with someone when you cannot see their face or their body language. Experts tell us that communication is actually more non-verbal than verbal. So the fact that we cannot see Him makes it hard. We read the Bible (getting His thoughts), but we do not always get the tone of His voice or the expression on His face when He’s communicating those words. I still sometimes read my wife or friends meaning incorrectly, even when I see them, let alone when I am reading something they wrote.
We do not physically see God, yet there are numerous Scriptures that talk about the power of “seeing” Him. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8). 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us that we are transformed from one level of glory to the next by “beholding” or seeing God. So what do we do about not physically seeing God but still being told that seeing God transforms us?
How to See the Invisible God
There are some ways that we can see God, but it is by tapping into another way of seeing. It goes something like this:
- Creation lets us see various aspects of God. Romans 1 tells us that the universe God made reveals to us parts of His nature. So when you see the brilliance of the sun, the beauty of the stars, the falling rain, the way plants grow, etc. you are seeing aspects of God. Nature is not God, but God has put some of Himself in it when He spoke it into existence.
You also see aspects of God in people. Again, none of us is God but we all carry certain traits and abilities from God Himself. When I interact with another person, if I have the right perspective, I can see Jesus in them. (2 Corinthians 5). I can see God’s love, wisdom, sense of humor, peace, enthusiasm, etc. in members of His body.
Both the created world and created people let me see aspects of God with my physical eyes. This helps ground me in a known dimension of reality so I can learn to engage the spiritual dimension better.
Next time we’ll talk about the capacity God gives us when we are “born again by the Spirit” and how that enables us to see much more of God.
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