Knowing how to look for God will help us see Him in our world.
Faith is the biggest challenge of spirituality. People that were not raised in church have a hard time believing there is a good God in Heaven orchestrating our lives. Many people that were raised in church have the same challenge, except it turns to more of losing connection with God because they don’t know how to establish an authentic bond themselves. God has been poorly portrayed as angry, as impersonal, and as legalistic. These are not things people can connect with and we usually turn away from. God becomes an idea that we just can’t reach or see. He is too big and too far for us to believe. To Love a God that is everything, yet unseen, is difficult for us. If we want to draw closer to God, we need to see him at work in our world before we can see him at work in the universe. If we are able to see who and what God is in our lives more, I believe we would want to be closer to Him. But how do we see God?
God becomes more tangible when we see His principles at work around us. Principles are fundamental truths that serve as the foundation of a belief system or chain of reasoning. Here are 5 principles that help us see God in our lives:
1. He is the Creator. The first principle we see in God is that He is the creator. If we see Him as this, we open our minds to see that He creates more than just the physical world we live in. It is not always difficult to admire the beautiful world we live in, but for me, the physical world alone does not make me feel connected to God. The idea that he creates passion, creativity, and drive connects me to the idea that I am made in His image (Genesis 1:27). Those are things I have found I am thankful for in myself and the principle that God is the creator makes me think of Him in those things.
2. He is merciful. Seeing God as angry and ready to strike us down leaves us in a place of fear and self-destruction. We may still worship God but it would be from a place of practice and obedience rather than a place of pure worship. This is why God feels distant to so many. We naturally avoid situations where we feel like we are not enough, but we approach situations where we feel we are accepted and can grow. If we see God as merciful and forgiving, we see Him as loving. We see Him as knowing we are not perfect, but still caring for us. This is where we believe we can become more and what leads people to God, to change and life. Not by punishment for falling short, but by being accepted as we are. Psalm 86:15 says “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Seeing God as merciful helps us see God in our everyday lives. When we see a child forgive their parents, we can see God in that. When we see mercy being shown by characters in our favorite tv show, we can see God in that. This principle helps us look for God everywhere and because we seek Him, we will find Him. (Matthew 7:7-8)
3. He is the source. If we see God as the creator and we see Him as merciful toward us, he becomes approachable. We can come to God in honest, conversational prayer to seek knowledge and strength. True love and sacrificial giving to others as found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is not from our natural selves. It comes from God’s spirit as we become connected to Him. 1 Corinthians 12:3 tells us “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except through the holy spirit.” When we are able to do or say these things, we are doing so because they have been done to us first through Jesus and we have been changed. God is the source of all good. He has written his goodness in our hearts (Hebrews 10:16). When we see this goodness around us in the world, God is the source. Ask God to show you pure generosity, creativity, passion, and leadership in your day to day activities. Knowing God is the creative source of it all makes you feel closer to Him.
4. He is fair. God does not have the same standards as we do. He isn’t partial with some of us because of the brand of clothes we wear, our socioeconomic status, or our job titles. God’s standards are higher than our own, and thank God for that. If our source didn’t have higher ways than us then we would be forever trapped in a dead end purpose with no growth to pursue. Romans 2:10-11 says “But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good…for God does not show favoritism.” It is a hopeless feeling to think you are ruled out because you don’t meet a certain qualification. God is accessible because of who He is, not what we can do. His love is not off limits for any man, woman, or child. Proverbs 16:11 says “The Lord demands accurate scales and balances. He sets the standard for fairness.” He is on your side and fights for your chance. You have to take it.
5. He is the ultimate leader. God has a special place in leadership because He is the original cultivator. We have this life and we don’t all have a clear line of sight in what to do with it. Through trial and error, through prayer and longing, through pain and joy, we find ourselves established when we are connected to our source. He does not take our steps for us, but he can make our path more clear. Proverbs 3:6 says “Seek His will in all you do and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:12 says “The Lord corrects those he loves.” He is the source of leadership models because He leads us into ourselves and resets us because He believes in us. He invested His time and pride into us. If things were just handed over to us what would we learn? We would learn that God provides but that isn’t his entire plan for you. His plan is to see you come into yourself, to develop Godly character, to be like Him, to connect with people and share faith, hope and love. The best leaders in the world trust their people, they let them be creative, and they cater to their strengths. This effective leadership design is of God. He caters to your strengths by giving you a call born out of the passion put in your heart. If you don’t have a good leader in your life, finding one is helpful, but knowing God is the source of leadership makes a way for the fatherless.
This is not an all-inclusive list of what God is, but I hope it helps you see Him as closer. I hope you see Him now as present and active. I hope you have a moment of awe and pure worship imagining something you admire to find out it was God and that you are more connected than you once thought. You are loved.