Why do you believe in God? What prompts you to offer yourself to an omnipotent entity who is morally beyond your thinking and seeing?
Years ago, a friend of my mother, a newly baptized Christian, was subjected to the atheistic ranting of her young teenage daughter. The mother, emotionally committed to Christianity, was unable to respond to her daughter’s ranting satisfactorily. Stressed from her daughter’s questions, she called my Mother to get some much needed ammunition. Lightly minding my own business, I overheard the topic of their conversation, and was intrigued by the verbal tennis match going back and forth between my Mother, her friend, and the daughter. Between both women, they tried to coax the teenager into submission, using the Bible as a reference. However, the young girl, a typical teenager, was quite stubborn, and savvy enough to offer a few convincing retorts of her own.
“Explain to her the story of Creation.” I heard my Mother say. “Tell her to read the Book of John in the New Testament, she will understand once she has finished.” Then she said finally, “-She just has to believe.”
The problem with using the Bible as a reference is, if the person has already decided not to believe, what they read will be irrelevant. As Christians, we believe that the Holy Spirit guides and convicts us to a depth of understanding that far surpasses our intellectual understanding. So, if their conviction is already squarely positioned on the side of unbelief, many times reading the Bible will not convince them. Reading is for those of us who have already chosen to believe in the power of God.
By the time my Mother hung up the telephone, she was exasperated. “That was interesting.” I said; a little curious about the final outcome. “How did it end?” I asked. “Did she get it, or not?” “--No,” My Mother said, “She told her mother that she will not believe in something she cannot see; it doesn’t matter what she reads.”
My Mother seemed a little annoyed, feeling as if she had let her friend down by not being able to reach her daughter. I thought about the last statement the teenager said to her mother, “I will not believe in something I cannot see.” And considered the many times I have heard other people say the same thing. I said to my Mother, “Call her mother back, and tell her to ask her daughter if she can see air? Assuming she believes that air exists. Can she see air? But, more importantly, tell her daughter, even though she cannot see air, she will instinctively know when air is present in a room, and she certainly will know when it is not.” Her mother told her what I said, and I never heard that discussion again.
Intellectually, as humans, we are the smartest we have ever been in the history of the world. We can control sunlight to our advantage using solar energy. We have created technology far beyond our wildest collective imagination; and, we now understand that our solar system consists of a universe far beyond anything that we ever imagined. Yet, we are still having the same old debate about the existence of God. It is true; human beings have done many wicked things to other human beings in the name of God. But even more wicked things have been done to others under the guise of no belief in God.
The idea of an omnipotent God allows us to challenge ourselves to achieve a higher ideal. It forces us to examine our lives based on a standard far beyond our basic level of intellect and selfishness. As sincere Christians, we will ultimately delve into a deeper level of consciousness, propelling us into utilizing God’s ideal of what we should be; and, praise God, not what we are. L.
Study Reference: Micah 6:6-8, John 1:1-5, 3:16
From: "The Highest Ideal." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell