Seeing God or Seeking God

Seeing God or Seeking God

We have often referred to Romans 1:19-20 which tells us that God can be plainly seen in the things He has made. However, skeptics frequently challenge us by saying, “If God is real, why doesn’t He reveal Himself?” They want to see God “in the flesh.” But God is not flesh and blood. John 4:24 says, “God is spirit…” Seeing God is just not possible.

God’s desire for us is to seek Him. As Paul shared with the pagans in Athens, God created us with a desire to “seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27 NKJV). The journey of seeking God is not only a path to finding Him but also a source of profound joy as we discover Him in the intricate details of His creation.

Suppose God appeared to us in all His glory. The Bible tells us that in our physical state, we could not stand to see His glory. Moses had to be hidden in the cleft of the rock to protect him from seeing God’s glory. We can’t understand how that sight could have been too much for Moses’ feeble eyes to behold. However, Moses could see God’s work, just as we can.

God loves us and wants us to love Him. If we could see God, would we be terrified? Would we obey God’s commands out of fear rather than love? Fear is a powerful motivating factor, but God wants our love. God showed His love in the form of a physical person, Jesus Christ. Jesus was God, but He was also human. He was Immanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). He said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus was not hidden, but many people refused to see who He really was despite His miracles. (See John 19:16.)

Seeing God in His full glory is not something we will experience in this life. However, we can find immense joy in seeing His handiwork. If God were to fully reveal Himself before our eyes, our physical beings would not be able to withstand His glory (Exodus 33:20). If we somehow managed to survive, our service to Him would be driven by fear and terror, not love. We would lose the joy of discovering Him in His works. The experience of physically seeing God, even if possible, might be overwhelming. On the other hand, finding God in the things He has made is a delightful experience, akin to a child’s delight in finding the one they seek in a game of hide-and-seek. May we all discover that kind of joy as we earnestly seek and find God.

— Roland Earnst © 2024