I want to admit something to y’all. I know how to use technology. I can explain to you how to use a phone, computer, tv, YouTube, Pandora… but don’t ask me why it works. Cause I don’t know. I love shopping online. Amazon is great, but why is it that when I type on my keyboard and click a few buttons, a warehouse on the other side of the country gets an instant notification? How can my son grab my wife’s phone, click a button, and instantly we are looking at each other on FaceTime? My sister was on a mission’s trip to China a few years ago and while she was on the Great Wall of China she snapped a picture and sent it to me instantly. How does that work?
One word: MAGIC!
Obviously, it’s not really magic. But it does feel that way. The idea that words, pictures, music, and movies can travel across the world without wires it amazingly mindboggling. Plus, it happens in nanoseconds with millions of devices using it all at the same time. How does this happen without mistakes? It makes my head hurt.
Now, I wonder if God feels that way for you. Maybe God seems like magic. You come to church and hear people talk about how great he is and how He loves you and how He made you. People talk about their relationship with Him as if it’s a normal thing in the world. But you get caught up because you can’t see Him. I’ve struggled with this before.
Maybe it’s something different for you. Do you struggle with prayer? Maybe you think it’s weird because it’s like a one-sided conversation. You feel like you’re talking to yourself, right? You’ve heard stories of people saying that “God spoke to me” but you only get frustrated because you’ve never had that experience.
So, why do we believe in the internet even though we don’t see it? Because we see the evidence. The music plays. The videos stream. Texts and calls come to our phones. But with God, we don’t hear the music, we don’t see him on the screens. He does not show up in our caller ID. That’s why, I think, it’s harder to believe in God.
We all might have these types of questions, but most of the time, we just don’t think about it. That’s how I am with WiFi. As long as it works, I’ll be happy. I don’t need to know how it works, I just want it to work.
But when things don’t work out how we want, the questions start to matter more.
- you’re waiting on the results of your tryouts.
- your parents’ finances aren’t doing well and you’re not sure what’s going to happen.
- your girlfriend stops talking to you.
- your sister gets a diagnosis.
- a tornado hits your town.
- you may fail Chemistry.
In moments like that, there’s something in us that wants to know that the world around us isn’t random.
We want to know that it has a purpose. That it’s wired, and we’re wired, to work in a certain way. That somebody or something has our back.
If you have ever struggled with these types of questions or have had these doubts, I want you to know these two things.
- You are not alone. Almost everyone, even the “super Christians”, has those thoughts of doubt from time to time.
- God’s not mad. He isn’t threatened when you have doubts or questions. No lightning bolts are coming your way.
Let’s look at some of the passages of scripture that can be helpful as you think about God and what it looks like to have a relationship with Him. Let’s turn to Genesis 1 and look at what the Bible says about God’s relationship with people.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 (ESV)
The first words of the Bible say IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED…
So, it all begins with creation.
Continuing on in the 1st chapter, we see that God created the heavens, the earth, the water, the birds, the animals, and the plants. That’s a lot of stuff to create in the first few days.
And what did God say at the end of each day? He looked at what He had created and said “It is good.”
So, there are several different routes that we can start down after reading Genesis chapter 1. Was it seven actual days? How did God “create” something from nothing? Why did He create things in this order instead of all at once? We could spend several months studying these questions. What I want you to get these 31 verses is this:
God is making a point of letting us know that creation wasn’t by accident.
He intentionally wired the Earth to function. It’s not random and there is something more interesting still to come.
Let’s keep moving.
So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. | Genesis 1:27 (ESV)
This is my favorite part! Not only did God wire the universe to function in certain ways, but he also wired humanity. He created us with the intentionality to function and interact with the Earth, but He also created us differently than everything else. We are created in His own image. If God created us in His image, that means there are parts of Him hard-wired into us.
There are attributes and characteristics of God reflected in us.
Maybe you’ve never noticed it. Or maybe you have and you just don’t know what to call it, but we see evidence of this all the time.
Think about the last time you saw something amazing in nature. Maybe it was a trip to the beach. Maybe you went camping in the mountains. Maybe it was a sunset or a powerful thunderstorm. Whatever it was, you still remember it.
There is something about nature, especially the parts of it that only God could create, that moves us.
It makes us feel something. This happens to all of us. And when it does, it’s the image of God working in you. Just like He looked at each thing He created and saw that it was good, that part of Him in you looks at the most amazing things in nature and still tells you, “This is good.” That’s evidence of Him. And that evidence is something you can see.
And it’s not just nature. We can experience that feeling when we see a firefighter rescuing someone in danger when someone runs to the side of someone in trouble when a person comes to the aid of another person who needs help doing something. Things like kindness, forgiveness, and sacrificing oneself to care for others. Those are characteristics of God and the things we notice best in others.
You can see God when you look at the people around you.
The truth about my phone, computer, and every device I own is this: nothing is really wireless. There is a wire somewhere. Whether it’s on a modem, inside your phone or computer, it transmits a signal to something else that is wired the same way. It seems like magic, but there’s a wire somewhere.
And the same is true for God and us. When we don’t see Him or the evidence of the way He wired us and the world, it can seem unbelievable. It can seem crazy even.
But when we begin to see the evidence of His wiring, He becomes a little less invisible to us.
Awesome right! But what should we do with that?
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. | Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (ESV)
Moses is telling the people of Israel, the people who had been raised hearing the stories of creation, of Adam and Eve, of God’s imprint and image being on each and every person, that the most important thing for us to do is love this God.
Just love Him.
And that sounds crazy because we can’t see Him. But God said to do this because we were wired to.
The image of God in us makes it possible to love Him.
Look for evidence of God. And when you see it, acknowledge Him. Thank Him. Appreciate Him. That’s loving Him.
In the next couple of weeks, we’re going to talk about different ways to do this, but it starts with this: Look for God. Let the image of God in you look for the evidence of God everywhere.
You can see God everywhere you look.