Are you like many people who say. "I believe in God, but He seems so distant so unreal to me"?
Have you wondered: "Where is God? Has He gone off somewhere? Why doesn't He show Himself in some way? How can an invisible God be real to me?"
But think about it for a moment. Almost everyone already believes in some things that can't be seen. Air, wind and gravity are invisible. Yet these are quite real.
God is composed of spirit and therefore cannot be seen by human eyes. But He does have definite form and shape, and lives in a specific place. This study will show how God can become very real to you, and how you can even come to know Him personally!
Before you begin, be sure to get your Bible, a pen or pencil and some paper. Look up, read and then write down the Bible verses in this study. This will help you remember what you will be studying.
1. In the second chapter of Genesis we learn that God warned Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that was in the Garden of Eden. In spite of the warning, they disobeyed — sinned — by taking the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:1-6, 17). What did they do when they heard God walking in the garden? Genesis 3:8.
They hid from God! God had been teaching the first man and woman. He wanted them to get to know Him and His way of life. But when they disobeyed, they felt guilty and wanted to hide from Him.
2. In the days of Moses, what did the Israelites do after God spoke to them from Mt. Sinai? Exodus 20:18-19.
When the people heard the thunder and saw the lightning and other evidence of the almighty God. "they trembled and stood afar off." Here were human beings wanting to cut off contact with God. They were telling God, who was very real to them then, to leave them a lone.
This is typical of how mankind has been reacting to God since the incident in the Garden of Eden. Ever since Adam, the world in general has been playing the game of hide-and-seek with God.
3. What is God compared to? I John 1:5. Is this why people have tried to hide from God and even claim He does not exist? John 3:19-20. Have they cut themselves off from God because of their sins? Isaiah 59:2.
Everyone since Adam and Eve has sinned by breaking God's law (Romans 3:23. I John 3:4). Humanity is accustomed to living a way of life the Bible refers to as "darkness." But God never sins. His way of life is like a bright light that shows the way out of darkness, or sin. But because people like the darkness, they hide from the light of God.
4. What is one of the things Jesus Christ did while on earth? John 1:18.
Jesus, one of the two eternal members of the God Family, came to earth to reveal God the Father to us, as well as to die for the sins of all mankind.
5. Besides the many revelations from God that a rewritten in the Bible, is there another way we can understand the invisible things of God and the absolute reality of His existence? Romans 1:19-20.
Think about the physical universe and all that it contains. From the forces that bind atomic nuclei and fuel gigantic stars, to the laws that sustain incredibly huge galaxies; from our marvelous, life-sustaining earth, to the vastness of space; from the beauty and intricacy of the observable creation, to our incredibly complex minds that can try to comprehend it — all are awe-inspiring evidence of the existence and power of an almighty, universe-ruling Creator!
6. Since the evidence of God is clearly seen everywhere in His creation, why isn't God real to most people today? Have they become willingly ignorant of the reality of God? Romans 1:21-25. How does God describe one who refuses such obvious proof of His existence? Verse 22, Psalm 14:1.
The ancient philosophers knew that a Creator God exists. They examined the world around them and discovered order, harmony, system and design. God was in this sense revealed to them, because the existence of order, harmony, system and design absolutely demand a supreme Architect and Designer — a supreme Creator!
But these same men flatly rejected the evidence rather than answer to a higher authority. For if they had admitted God exists, they would have had to obey Him! So they "suppressed," or held back, the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). They convinced themselves, against the facts and their own better judgment, that God doesn't exist. Those who reject such obvious evidence indeed look foolish to God.
7. How did God reveal His incredible greatness, power and wisdom to Job? Job 38:1-6. (God's speech to Job continues through the end of chapter 41.)
Many today are like Job in this way. He thought he knew a lot about God. He was pretty well convinced about God's existence. But then God personally spoke to Job
Gravity — we all believe in it even though we can't see it. Although we can't see God. He can be real to us, too. (Photos by Hal Finch)from a whirlwind and pointed out a few things he hadn't considered before.
God focused Job's mind on His physical creation by asking him a series of questions about the creation he could not answer. Before these questions, Job had talked about God at great length. But God had not been absolutely real to him.
8. Was Job really shaken up after he finally came to see God in a completely new light? Job 42:1-6.
Job had now, for the first time, come to a true picture of the awesome Creator, the almighty God. Job was now humbled and deeply convinced of the absolute reality of the great, all-powerful Creator God!
9. Can those who seek to become personally acquainted with this same God really find Him? Isaiah 55:6-7. But must one put forth diligent effort to seek Him in a personal way? Hebrews 11:6, last part. Is God not far from anyone who will earnestly seek Him? Acts 17:27.
Yes, you can get to know God. God is interested in and available to His human creation. He is not too busy to hear the prayers of people who really want to know Him. But one must put forth effort to seek God.
10. Will God bless those who truly seek Him wholeheartedly, and desire to actually do His will? Psalm 119:2, I John 3:22.
God is as near as the next fervent, sincere prayer. Those who seek God earnestly will be blessed, both in this life and on into eternity.
Once you come face to face with the reality of God's existence and have a glimpse of His goodness and power, you can begin to trust Him to bless you (Hebrews 11:6).
11. But do you realize that our conversation with God is not one sided? How does God speak to us today? Hebrews 1:1-2.
God has revealed His will and plan for humanity through Jesus Christ. He then inspired various men to record the words of Jesus for us today (II Timothy 3:16-17). And so we are able to learn about God and His purpose for humanity through His written Word.
In a very personal way, God reveals Himself and speaks to us through the Bible. We become acquainted with God by talking to Him in prayer and by reading what He says to us in the Bible.
By reading the Bible, we can come to know the mind of God. We can understand His character and how He thinks. Through His inspired written Word, God shows us how we can have happy, productive lives He tells us what He has promised to do for us if we seek to do His will.
So get acquainted with the great Creator, Ruler and Sustainer of the entire universe. Begin to understand the great love and wisdom of the living God who takes great delight in those who seek to know Him, talk to Him, love and obey Him!