September 18, 2012

Seeing God

The skeptic says, “If I could see God, maybe I would believe in Him.” Against this, we use arguments like, “No one can see electricity yet we believe in it,” but when it comes right down to it, God cannot be seen by those who do not believe. This is not about our blindness so much as that God is able to hide Himself from human eye. 

In the days of the kings of Israel, He hid Himself because of their evil deeds, revealing Himself only to those who believed in Him and followed Him. David experienced God, as did his son, Solomon. Both were determined to build a temple for worship, a place that God said He would inhabit as they honored Him.
Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. I have indeed built you an exalted house, a place for you to dwell in forever.” (1 Kings 8:12–13)
Solomon dedicated the temple, but God had revealed enough about Himself that this man knew that the God he worshipped was unlike the idols of the nations around him. They put their idols on a pedestal, but Solomon said to God…
But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! (1 Kings 8:27)
He also knew enough about God that seeing Him was not as important as being able to communicate with Him in prayer, and that God’s eyes were open to him. He added these words to God…
Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day, that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place. And listen to the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen in heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive. (1 Kings 8:28-30)
Many centuries later, the Living Temple of God, Jesus Christ, appeared that men might see God and experience His forgiveness. The Bible says of Him that “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3) and “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14).
Because of the grace and mercy of God, He revealed Himself to us in Jesus Christ. He did this because we need to see Him. It is in seeing Him that we become like Him. It is in seeing Him that our sins are forgiven and our prayers are heard and answered. It is in seeing Him that we believe and are saved.
As for those who claim they will not believe unless they can see, Jesus no longer walks this earth, but He can be seen in the pages of the written Word, and even in the world that He created. Look for Him and He can be found. Most amazing, He can also be seen in the godliness of His people and in the works that Christians do. 
Yet this seeing comes with a price, an exchange. Those who want to see God need to give Him their sin, trading it for His righteousness. At the request of a sincere and honest heart, God will remove the blackness of sin and open the eyes of those who have been blinded by it. Of them He says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8).

The marvel of believing in Jesus is being able to walk in the light of Your presence, catching glimpses of You in all of life, even in the small events of my day. This is not ordinary vision that requires eyes of flesh. Seeing You is better than that. It is a vision of the heart, produced by a faith that knows You are here because You promised that You would never leave or forsake me. This means that I can also see You in the thick dark places of life because seeing You does not require sunshine or happy times. Instead, You revealed Yourself in Jesus Christ. Because of Him, I can see that You are far more wonderful than anyone could hope for or even imagine. Thank You.

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