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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Truth As Far As I Can Tell... Seeing God

Photo taken by my brother, Nelson Mullis
Jeremiah 29:13 – If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

Matthew 7:7 – Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

            I had an interesting conversation with a friend about why God doesn’t just show Himself to people.  I mean, if God is real, why doesn’t He just "appear" in an unmistakable way so everyone will know?  (Well, God did come to earth as Jesus Christ—did miracles, was crucified, rose from the dead, and ascended into heavenbut that was 2,000 year ago.)  
            God does reveal Himself to us all the time through nature, through gentle whispers, and in a thousand other subtle ways if we pay attention.  How can we see the magnificent beauty of a flower or the wonder of a baby’s birth and not see the hand of God at work?  However, the question still remains:  If God wants us to know Him and has the power to do so, why doesn’t He do something dramatic like speak in an audible voice from the sky for all the world to hear?
            Well, I don’t claim to have the whole answer, but I have done some thinking and praying on it—especially since the conversation with my friend.  Here’s what I believe.  If you really want to see God, you need to search for Him wholeheartedly.  God is not some sideshow exhibit that you can casually stop by and see at your leisure.  God is active.  He’s on the move.  He is changing the world.  He is leading a battle “against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).  If you want to see God—in His power and majesty, in His most dramatic forms—if you want to see God move in mighty ways that will take your breath away and convince you more fully of His presence, you need to go where the action is.
            I have personally seen miracles.  I have seen God revealed in ways that took my breath away.  I have seen God move in ways that left me convinced that God was personally involved in a situation.  These have happened most often during the course of my ministry as a pastor when I was overwhelmed, out of options, out of my comfort zone, and totally dependent on God.  The most memorable of these “God moments” have been when I participated in foreign mission trips.
            If you want to see God’s hand at work in this world, step outside of your comfort zone.  Leave behind a sheltered life where you are in control of it all, doing your own thing, leisurely making your way through life.  Get busy working for God’s Kingdom where your only hope is God’s intervention.  Take a mission trip to serve people who desperately need God’s help.  Get involved in a homeless ministry like Providence Ministries in Dalton, Georgia or Family Promise.  Find ways to serve God that are beyond what you can do by your own abilities.  It might not happen right away, but you are more likely to witness God doing what God does if you go to where God is doing it.
            God is everywhere—even where you are right now.  However, if you want to see Him more clearly and dramatically, look for Him with your whole heart.  Of course, I’m no expert and I certainly don’t claim to know everything, but that’s the Truth as far as I can tell…

God loves you and so do I!

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