Question of the Week: How do we have a relationship with God if we can’t see or hear Him?
This kind of objection had more teeth before the age of the internet. Before we regularly interacted with people in very personal and meaningful ways despite never having physically seen or heard from each other in person, the idea of the “Hiddenness of God” was a stumbling block to some people. The problem with leveling this kind of objection today is that we are all too familiar with exactly how a relationship with Him is possible this way. There are benefits and hindrances to having the kind of relationship with God that doesn’t exclusively depend on sight and hearing. All of which are acknowledged in scripture.
whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory
1 Peter 1:18 (NKJV)
Benefit: The Relationship is Based on His Character
The foundation of all meaningful relationships begin with trust. Trust is something properly determined by proven character over time. God has established this through the promises He’s made and kept. The more He has demonstrated Himself worthy of our trust in history, the more reasons we have to trust His character as a whole. Over and over again in scripture, and in every category, trusting what God has promised was and remains the standard by which the saints experienced a fulfilling and personal relationship with God despite having never seen Him. You don’t need to see someone to know whether or not they’re trustworthy. You just need examples of them demonstrating how worthy they are of your trust. We have this through the historical, poetic, and prophetic observations made throughout scripture.
“And now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant.
2 Samuel 7:28 (NKJV)
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Psalm 9:10 (NKJV)
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NKJV)
Benefit: The Relationship isn’t Coerced through His Majesty
If God were to physically interact with us the way He did in Exodus 19 by physically appearing to Israel, there would be two problems creating in having a genuine relationship with Him. Most people would see His sheer power and submit to His authority out of fear. This isn’t what God wants. He is the source of all power and good things. The lifelong process of sanctification is the miraculous work the Holy Spirit does in our hearts to see Him as the better option above our idols and impulses. If all of this was brought to the surface before a work was done in our hearts to see Him as better, then the moment God’s majesty wasn’t in view we’d just go back to our counterfeits. A physical appearance wouldn’t solve the real issue between us and God. It would just force a surface level acknowledgment of reality and no more. A heart that sees God as wonderful without actually seeing how wonderful He really is, they’ll continue to do so the moment they see their beliefs proven true. This is the fine line between a relationship and being intimidated into service. God wants us to know Him before we enjoy Him to the fullest.
Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: “Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all.
1 Chronicles 29:10-12 (NKJV)
Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
Revelation 1:12-18 (NKJV)
Hindrance: We don’t enjoy God the way we were created to
Jesus Himself longed for the fellowship He had with the Father for all eternity. As a man and as God, He rightly identified even a superficial separation from the Father as a problem to be fixed. He even told His disciples that they should rejoice that He was returning to the Father. The reason being that to be with the Father is a far better place to be than on this earth. We think the opposite, ironically, for the same reason. We don’t see a physical separation from our loved ones as a good thing even if they’re with someone far better than anyone they could know on this earth. This is the point that is made. Where we are now is less than ideal when it comes to our relationship with God. Scripture doesn’t dismiss that. The key is to use that longing as further incentive to look forward to and prepare yourself for Heaven while there’s still time.
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
John 17:3-5 (NKJV)
You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because [h]I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.
John 14:28 (NKJV)
Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Romans 8:23-25 (NKJV)
A Reason For Hope is a ministry of Calvary Christian Fellowship of Tucson
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