Are you wondering how to find God? Are you wondering how to know that there is a God, if He is real, and if He is, what exactly that means for you personally?
How Do We Know There is a God?
Philosophers have asked this question since the dawn of time. The most obvious evidence of something beyond us is the fact that we are here. We live in a world that operates within the progress of time. Something cannot come from nothing and Aristotle surmised that there must be a First Cause, an Unmoved Mover, 1 Aristotle. Physics. Book 8. https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/a/aristotle/physics/book8.html that put everything around us in motion to begin with. Albert Einstein believed in a Creator that displayed Himself in the “orderly harmony of the world. 2 Mandy Katz, Nadine Epstein. “Einstein and His God.” Moment Magazine. April-May 2007. Accessed August 2, 2016. http://www.momentmag.com/einstein-and-his-god/
“I believe in Spinoza’s God,” Einstein wired back, “Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.” ” The more we discover about our world, the more we recognize the impossibility that the fine tuning and exquisite planning of the universe happened just by chance.
A shepherd proclaimed this truth some 3,000 years ago writing:
The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the works of his hands. Psalm 19:2
We know there is something more, something beyond because . . . Yes . . . Not only is there a God, but He designed us to seek after Him, to have a knowing, regardless of who tells us to the contrary, that He is there. Solomon said, “God set eternity in the heart of man.” (Eccl 3:11)
Science has also found this to be true. A recent study stated that “a metaphysical outlook may be so deeply ingrained in human thought processes that it cannot be expunged. 3 Nury Vittachi. “Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and that’s not a joke.” Science 2.0, Published July 6th, 2014. Accessed August 2, 2016. http://www.science20.com/writerontheedge/blog/scientistsdiscoverthatatheistsmightnotexistandthatsnotajoke-139982 ”
We were made to to know God.
Knowing God is Natural
Different religions have differing ideas of who God is. Some believe that we are all god, that we are part of one divine essence. This is known as pantheism. 4 Pantheism. Meriam-Webster. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pantheism
“a doctrine that identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.” If this were true, why would we have this desire to seek out what we already have? Why would there be a sense that something is missing, that there is something more beyond us?
Some religions believe in many gods. This is known as polytheism. 5 Polytheism. Dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/browse/polytheism
“the doctrine of or belief in more than one god or in many gods.” Aristotle himself came from the polytheistic Greek culture; however, he looked outside of the common views of his day, he looked beyond and asked, “Is this true?” He reasoned that not only must there be a First Cause, but that First Cause must be of a separate substance or essence than what is created.
How to Find God
So if God is a being outside of ourselves and outside of nature, who is this one First Cause? How do we find Him?
The Bible gives a different account from other religions of who God is and what is plan and purpose for us. He created this world with us in mind, (Ephesians 1:4) to have a place to commune and spend time with us. We rejected that and placed our own way above His way. (Isaiah 53:6)
The first step in finding God is to turn back to Him. (Jeremiah 15:19, Matthew 3:2) That is what theologians call “repentance,” acknowledging that we are on the wrong path, turning away from our own way, and going God’s way.
But you may be saying, “I don’t even know where He is or what He wants. How can I possibly go His way.”
First Things: Seeking God
The first step to find God is to seek Him. If you are reading this, you have begun your walk to Him. You are asking the question, “How do I find God?”
Did you know that the Bible has the answer to your question?
During the time of the Babylonian captivity, God gave this word to the people of Israel through Jeremiah the prophet:
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD . . . Jeremiah 29:13-14.
This was a reiteration of the promise God gave to the Jewish people when He first led them out Israel. He promised that if they fell away from Him, that it was not the end . . . Repentance . . . A turning back to Him, was the answer:
“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek Him with all your heart and all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29.
Jesus repeated this promise to all who believe:
“Ask and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8.
Become a Friend of God
Jesus also told us the way to become a friend of God. It starts with repentance, choosing to go God’s way and walking in obedience to Him.
“You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15
He was repeating Jeremiah 33:3
‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
The Block to Finding God
This magnificent God who created the universe, who set the earth in its place and ordered the stars was able to do this because He is All Knowing, All Powerful, and He is this because He is All Perfect. There is no falseness, no error, and no darkness in Him,(1 John 1:5) because of this He cannot commune with what He is not.
Because all of us have done wrong, this creates a barrier to finding God.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2
It goes back to repentance, we have to acknowledge that our way is not right and turn to God.
Once we have done that, God has made a way for us.
Isaiah, speaking God’s words to a people who, like us, had gone their own way, said to take heart:
But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine! Isaiah 43:1 NASB
Redeemed means to:
1) compensate for the faults or bad aspects of something
2) gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment 6 Redeem. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/redeem
The imperfect cannot compensate for wrongs, we can’t make it up. Our works only make more of a mess. It is like trying to clean a window with a dirty rag. All it does is muck it up more. That is exactly how our efforts to make ourselves right are described in Scripture, as “filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:10-20)
The only one who is in the position to make us right, to redeem us, is one who is perfect.
The Great Exchange
How much does God want to be in fellowship with you? How much does he want the barrier between you and him to be broken?
So much that He purposed to come and remove it Himself.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB
I love this translation of the verse because it so clearly echoes Isaiah 43:10-11. A little earlier in this chapter, God told Israel He would redeem them. Then He explicitly spells out in verses 10 and 11 that He himself will be the redemption . . . Their Savior.
“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
My servant whom I have chosen,
So that you may know and believe Me
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
And there will be none after Me.
11 “I, even I, am the Lord,
And there is no savior besides Me.
His servant, Christ, also God (I am He) came make atonement for us, to redeem us. He is the only Savior. As Jesus said:
“I am the way, the truth, the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Jesus is the Only Way
If you want to find God, to be in fellowship and communion with Him, you must accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. This has been the plan from the beginning, having faith in the salvation of God. (Job 19:25, Genesis 15:6, Galatians 3:6, Romans 4:22)
God is Ready to Hear You
God is ready to hear you, at this very moment. He is ready to be found by you. This wondering and searching is God’s call to your heart. He is calling you to your place in His family. He is waiting for you to come and start your new life in Christ.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in. Revelation 3:20
Five Steps: How to Find God.
Are you ready?
He has given us the way to have peace with God
Step 1: Admit you have done wrong and can’t make it right on your own
God’s plan is not a self-help program. His plan is Jesus Christ as Savior and Redeemer.
Step 2: Be willing to turn from those wrong ways and walk in God’s way
Being in fellowship with God, becoming a friend of God, means walking in His way and His path . . . wanting His will for your life. It is about a new beginning, being transformed. (Romans 12:2) You have to be willing to toss out the “filthy rags” and let the Holy Spirit work in your life.
Step 3: Believe in Jesus as Lord God and that his death on the cross and resurrection paid the only way to have fellowship with God.
Believe that Jesus, God who came as man, came to make a way for you to be right with God on the cross. Not many ways. One way. You don’t have to understand every aspect of it or be a theologian, you just have to believe in Jesus. That he loves you and he made a way for you.
If you are worried that you may not know enough to totally believe or have complete faith, take an example from the father who came to Jesus for deliverance for his son. Jesus asked him if he believed that he could help his son. The man answered, “I do believe, help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24) If that is where you are, ask Jesus to help your unbelief. Open the door and he will come in. (Revelation 3:20)
Step 4: Confess Jesus as Lord of your life.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
Step 5: Pray:
I’m tired of my old ways and I want a new life in you. I recognize that I’ve done wrong that can only be made right in you, Please forgive me and become the Lord of my life. Thank you for loving me, I believe that you died on the cross and rose from the dead. I give my all to you, mind body, and spirit. Teach me your ways, help me to follow you. Fill me with your Holy Spirit.
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|↑1||Aristotle. Physics. Book 8. https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/a/aristotle/physics/book8.html|
|↑2|| Mandy Katz, Nadine Epstein. “Einstein and His God.” Moment Magazine. April-May 2007. Accessed August 2, 2016. http://www.momentmag.com/einstein-and-his-god/
“I believe in Spinoza’s God,” Einstein wired back, “Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.”
|↑3||Nury Vittachi. “Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and that’s not a joke.” Science 2.0, Published July 6th, 2014. Accessed August 2, 2016. http://www.science20.com/writerontheedge/blog/scientistsdiscoverthatatheistsmightnotexistandthatsnotajoke-139982|
|↑4|| Pantheism. Meriam-Webster. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pantheism|
“a doctrine that identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.”
|↑5|| Polytheism. Dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/browse/polytheism|
“the doctrine of or belief in more than one god or in many gods.”
|↑6||Redeem. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/redeem|