Summary: Learn to pick up the C.L.U.E.s of our invisible God.
I think it’s safe to assume that everyone here believes that God exists. (Why waste your time in a Sunday morning worship service if you don’t have faith that He is real?) What Christians aren’t always convinced of is the reality of God in their every day lives. For most of us God exists, but He’s way off out there in space somewhere. Maybe He intervened to bring us to salvation through Christ; perhaps He’s vaguely answered a prayer of two over the decades, but most of us don’t perceive that He’s up to anything in the ordinary moments and days of our lives.
Most Christians in America think and live like deists. Deists believe that God made the world and everything in it, but He wound the universe up like an old clock and stepped back to let it run according to the natural laws He put in place. We don’t expect to encounter God on a daily basis. We don’t perceive that He’s active at all in what’s happening around us. As a result, we order our lives like everyone else. Our hope for the next life is with God in heaven, but our trust in this life is with human wisdom and ingenuity.
Most Christians approach life as spiritual schizophrenics. We don’t perceive God doing anything in our lives, so, other than an occasional prayer, we conduct ourselves as if He doesn’t really exist, though in our heads we believe He does. Then we read the Bible and find that He’s active everywhere and all the time. He is providentially moving history in a specific direction. He has determined our days and sees to the most minute details of our lives. We come to church and say that it’s true, then we go back out the door and live as if it’s not. We have to develop a split personality to uphold our faith and still live in the real world. I’m convinced that this is why more and more people in our nation want to shut God into the church building and not allow Him into every corner of our lives.
The problem is not with God. He is not distant from us. He is near. He’s not passively watching. He’s actively involved right down to the smallest detail. The problem is with us. We have not learned to see God. For the most part, we’re stuck in our culture’s worldview that the material universe is all there is. You can tell we’re trapped in this mindset because we live as if the only things that are real are what we can discern with our senses.
The problem is that we have forgotten how to see God. Yes, I realize that God is spirit. He is personally invisible to the physical human eye. But He has given us the capacity to detect His obvious fingerprints. We have to re-learn how to see His activity in our lives and in the lives of those around us. It’s important to be able to do this because you can’t live a fully obedient life while oblivious to what the Lord is doing. You will miss out in the incredible journey that He invites each of His children into. You could fail to receive a gift or blessing God has for you because you weren’t paying attention.
Genesis 24 provides a wonderful picture of people detecting God’s fingerprints and then receiving all that He intended them to have. Let me ask you, how many times did God make an appearance in the story? None. There were no visions, no voices, nothing. However God’s name was mentioned 17 times. That’s the author’s way of telling the reader, “God is all over this, but you can’t see Him.” The players in this story picked up God’s fingerprints and they became a part of His grand cosmic drama.
I want to tell you that you can do the same. What it takes is learning to see with spiritual eyes. When you make this your practice, you too can join on an incredible journey, no matter what your age or stage of life.
How to Collect the CLUEs of an Invisible God
My four point are all based on the word “CLUE.” The first step is to …
Cultivate an openness to receive and respond
If you’re not open to God being active and real in your life, go ahead and tune out now. Shift your brain into neutral, put in the ear buds, take a snooze. You must begin with the conviction that God wants to lead you somewhere and follow through by going after whatever He reveals.
This was the case with Abraham’s servant. He’d watched Abraham walk with God for years, but probably felt himself inadequate for the task. He was just a regular guy. Actually he had less to be confident about than a regular guy because he was a slave, at the bottom of the social ladder. The odds were stacked against him humanly speaking. It had been more than 60 years since Abraham left Mesopotamia. It’s likely that this servant had never been there or met any of Abraham’s relatives. How was he supposed to obtain a bride for Isaac from that specific family?