Where is God? – Part 4

Any scientist will tell you that there is no direct evidence of God’s existence.  God cannot be measured, observed, tested, categorized, or explained.  There is no tangible evidence for God, and since scientists cannot insert “God intervenes here” into an equation or hypothesis, science is not necessarily interested in finding God in the natural world. 

Where is God?  What role does God play in our lives?  Does He answer our prayers?

Free will is certainly a factor in any of these questions.  If God is to judge us, then He must allow self-determination.  Free will makes us accountable for the consequences of our actions.  Without it, we would be nothing more than organic robots.  A robot or computer does not know the difference between right and wrong, it acts only as programmed.  It is not possible to place a moral judgment on something that is incapable of discerning morality.  Consequently, God must allow us to make our own moral decisions before He can judge us.

Let us also imagine what we would be like if God answered every prayer.  Human nature, being what it is, would grow dependent on Him.  We would begin to wait for His divine intervention in everything.  Any wise parent realizes that their children must learn to do things on their own or they will be forever dependent on them.  A parent can give sage advice (much like God gives us the Bible for guidance and inspiration) but ultimately the children must make their own decisions and lead their own lives.  Unanswered prayers allow us to mature and not depend on Him.

In addition, God is not a Divine butler or maid, Who exists only to serve us.  Any parent with grown children would prefer that their children visit them just to see how they are doing, not because they want something. 

God does not appear to play a discernible role in our lives in answer to prayer.  A teenage boy may pray for x-ray vision but he is not going to receive it.  There is always one winning lottery ticket, so someone’s prayers will be answered.  However, most participants will be disappointed.  People do claim that God intervened and helped them find the perfect spouse or a great job.  However, if the marriage or the job does not go as anticipated, they wonder if God intervened at all.

Yet, lack of tangible evidence does not necessarily exclude Divine intercession.  God can still support us, comfort us, guide us, and heal us in an undetectable manner.  Many claim that the means by which God assisted them the most was through their mind.  They prayed for comfort, guidance, acceptance, and serenity, and they received it.

When God answers such prayers it does not violate any rule of free will.  This type of response actually makes the most sense.  Visible signs of answered prayer will be infrequent.  God cannot stop a spouse from cheating, a determined criminal from thievery or assault, or a student who does not wish to learn from flunking, without violating that person’s ability to act as they choose. 

In fact, God cannot intervene in almost anything where there is more than one person involved, without transposing His will on one of them.  While this may seem depressing, imagine if God pushed you back into a marriage of physical abuse in answer to the abuser’s prayers.  You would hardly consider that reasonable.

In addition, with God as a guide, we may not always get what we prayed for but He will direct us toward His plans for us.

Perhaps this explains many acts of goodness.  Those who allow God to guide them should be more likely to intervene for their fellow-man.  They might be more likely to comfort a tearful coworker, assist a stranded traveler, or risk their lives for a stranger.  God’s role in our personal lives is largely intangible and not manifestly visible.  It is not something that science will ever acknowledge, because God acts indirectly through His willing, faithful believers.  He comforts them, guides them, strengthens them and through them He helps those who need assistance, and fights evil, tragedy, and injustice.

Where is God?  We see God indirectly through the righteous acts of those who seek Him and choose to represent Him.

What role does God play in our lives?  Does He answer prayers?  God may intervene and answer some prayers but He does so sparingly and judiciously.  He will not violate our free will, and He cannot give us everything we desire.  Like a wise father, God wants us to seek Him and love Him not for anything that He gives us but for Who He is.

 

Previous article: God is Not in Control – Part 3

Next article: Where is God? (entire essay: parts 1 – 4)

image_print