Trusting an Invisible God?|
Q. I have a problem with the concept of placing my faith in a God I cannot see or touch. I don't trust anyone on earth to take care of me. So why should I trust this something or someone from another world that I can't see or touch?
Thank you for asking this question because the subject of "trust" and "faith" is something that affects many people - it has for thousands of years. By nature we are creatures who want tangible evidence for just about everything. It is part of our "idolatrous" nature and comes from a sinful consequence of our original behavior.
Remember that originally man did have fellowship with God. The Lord was so tangible to Adam that he probably walked in the garden daily with Him (Genesis 3:8).
One of the consequences of disobeying God was that Adam lost this early fellowship with the Lord. "The Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden" (Gen. 3:23).
Later on the Israelites in the Wilderness had this problem with an invisible God, too. They didn't want to trust something invisible. When Moses left them to go up to the mountain to speak with God for a period of time, they melted gold and made a calf to worship. It was an "idol." They, too, wanted something tangible they could see and touch.
"Come, make us a god who will go before us - as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him" (Exodus 32:1).
Tangible isn't Real
Regardless of these illustrations, each day we all place our "faith" and "trust" in things around us that may or may not be visible. For example, we trust the chair to hold us even though we know it is really a swirling mass of electrons. We trust that the sun comes up and that we can breathe air without risking a boiling death or suffocation.
Digital Simulation Universe
In fact, most of us know from our science classes there is more "space" than "substance" in everything around us - including what makes up you or me. The science of Physics informs us that nothing is "solid." The very nature of our "reality" is questionable.
Physicists inform us that our universe is really an elaborate "digital simulation!" In fact, there is more "evidence" that invisible things are "real" than for the existence of "solid" matter in our universe. The tangible isn't actually "real."
Language of Creation
The Word of God explains "By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen has been made from things that are not visible" (Hebrews 11:3, HCSB).
Scientists now understand that there is a "language" to creation. Our DNA consists of a pre-understood alphabet of things. The same is true for everything we see around us. Our universe was formed from the "word of God" - a science alphabet combined in unique ways to form matter, energy, and biological creatures.
Not Trusting but Trustworthy
God never asks us to trust other people. I accept that this world is not my "home" and that no one person can fulfill all my needs. We live in a broken, shattered world that is subject to awful things. This is what we would expect if Satan really is the "ruler of this world" as the bible says (John 14:30,&1 John 5:19).
Even Jesus knew the hearts of men and was careful about not placing His trust in us. In John 2:24-25 it is reported that even though people believed in Him and observed his miracles, He was "not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He himself knew what was in man."
God becomes our Parent&Spouse
So instead of worrying about trusting others we are to learn to allow God to be our father and mother and husband.
In fact, the Bible states that God is our father and mother when we have neither.
"When my father and my
mother forsake me,
Then the LORD will take care
(Psalm 27:10, NKJV).
Isaiah 54:5 even tells us that God is our husband when we have been widowed.
So rather than trusting other people, the New Testament is filled with admonitions for all of us to learn to be "trustworthy." Sincere Christians spend a lifetime developing good character so that we may develop "fruits of the Spirit" including things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (see Galatians 5:22).
Ultimate Love Reaching Us in Human Form
But, more than anything else remember that God is so loving that He DID become something very tangible for us to relate to.
- He chose to become a flesh and blood "embryo" and develop into a human being to walk and talk among us.
- God became a man who "lives as a creature among His own creatures" (C.S. Lewis 1994, 44).
- God entered space/time on planet earth for us to see, hear and touch Him.
- He even died for us while we were yet sinners! In our "in-your-face/stand up for your rights" world this is incomprehensible to us!
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8, NASB).
Placing Faith in Unseen Things
We are told that "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).
Although we have strong reasons for having hope within us (1 Peter 3:15), nevertheless we place our faith in something we can't see or touch - the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is what it means to have "faith."
Yet, it is faith based on the historicity of a God who spoke to us through the person of Jesus Christ - a man like one of us.
That is how we can place our trust in an invisible God.
Lewis, C.S. 1996 ed. The problem of pain. New York: Touchsone.
Missler, Chuck and Mark Eastman. 2001. The creator series. (MP3 or CD-ROM). Coeur d'Alene, ID: Koinonia House. www.khouse.org.
Ross, Hugh. 1999. Beyond the cosmos. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.
Author Valorie Mays Emilio holds an MA in History from UCLA focusing upon Christian origins, and a V.O.M. Certificate in Persecuted Church Ministries from Oklahoma Wesleyan University.