When it comes to God, one of the basic questions is – Where is God? Whether you are a Christian struggling in the miry swamps of life, an honest questioner trying to come to grips with one of the ultimate questions of our existence, or a skeptic asking in derision, the question is the same. We want to know where God is. Where is God when my life is falling apart? If there is a God where do I find Him? Where is God – He hasn’t shown up in over 2,000 years (and He’s not going to!)?
Finding God is not easy. He doesn’t always show up when we want Him to. He seems to keep His distance from us. Theologians talk about the hiddeness of God, which means that there is a sense in which God cannot be known. At least not in the places we look and not by our efforts.
That points us to a crucial reality: God can only be known as He reveals Himself. Without revelation we can never know God. As one theologian said humanity in and of itself cannot know God. Only God knows God. To be wrapped into God’s self-knowledge is, and must always be, an act of grace.
And that gives us a clue as to how we can find God, whether you are a desperate searcher, and honest seeker or a doubtful skeptic. God can only be known as He extends grace to us. And fortunately for us He has done just that.
The Apostle Paul talked about that grace when he wrote nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness (Acts 14:17). God has not left us without a way to know Him. Nature points us to the reality of God and in some limited ways we can know about God from what we can observe. But that’s not the same as knowing God. We need more. So God has revealed Himself to us in the person of Jesus.
Ultimately knowing God comes down to knowing Jesus. Jesus pointed us to this truth when He said he who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14:19). Again the Apostle Paul said it well when he wrote He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). That is, Jesus is the exact likeness, the perfect image of God. The writer of Hebrews called Jesus the express image of His (God’s) person. Jesus was (and is) the exact essence of God. The historical Jesus revealed in the pages of scripture unveils God to us. It is as we know Jesus that we know God.
Where we err is that we so often spend our time looking for God in the wrong places. We want earthquakes, fireworks and miracles – that’s how we can know that God has shown up. After all He is God and any god, by definition, does great, breathtaking things. But when we take that approach we demonstrate that we haven’t learned from history – that was the exact mistake that Elijah made (1 Kings 19). He was looking for God in all of the ways that man always looks for God, but God wasn’t there. We don’t get to tell God how He is to reveal Himself. We just get to go where He has already been and see what He has graced us to see. And that means finding Him in Jesus.
If you can’t find God start looking where He left His footprints. You’ll find Him there.
Stay in the Word