I recently had the privilege of taking a group of 30 students and 7 adult leaders to Lake Ann for the winter retreat, FREEZE OUT. Over the course of 3 days, along with groups from other churches, we spent time playing in the snow, hanging out, singing praises to God, and hearing about Him through His Word. As is the case most years, Ken Rudolph was the speaker for the weekend.
Ken’s focus over the weekend was how we can trust in the invisible God. In each of his four chapel messages, he shared how we can know God is real, how we can fully enjoy Him, how we can see His working in our lives, and how we can live a life that is glorifying to Him. I personally was greatly challenged and encouraged by the first message on how we can know God is real and is present. By the way…yes, even pastors can sometimes wonder if God is there and have doubts.
One of the main things that Satan is trying to do in the lives of mankind today is to convince them that there is no God. What is the main deception that he uses? “You can’t see God, so He must not be real.” Unfortunately, the world has bought in—it’s actually bought in for thousands of years. Jesus was constantly addressing the issue of people only believing in what they could see—the miracles He was performing. They never understood what it meant to truly BELIEVE or have FAITH so that their sins could be forgiven. It is so much easier to trust in things that we can see or touch. But just because God is invisible, it doesn’t mean that He’s not there.
One thing that really stood out was that God doesn’t hide the fact that He’s invisible. God’s Word talks about it numerous times. We read about it and sing about it all the time, but I’ve never really thought about why He is invisible. God tells us why in Exodus 33. After God gives Moses the law and commands him to give it to the Israelites, Moses says to God in verse 18, “Please show me your glory”. God then responds to Moses by telling him that He will show Moses all His goodness and will proclaim His name to him. “BUT,” God says in verse 20, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.”
We want to see God in all of His glory so we can know and believe with 1,000% certainty that He is there. But we can’t. If we did, we would be dead! Instead of showing Moses all of His glory, God reminded Moses of Who He was. God has done that for us by giving us His Word, and that alone should be enough for us to trust in God and have faith in Him. God not only wants us to have faith and believe in His existence and presence, but He protects us from death. God is so holy and righteous that we could never stand in His presence with the filth of our sin—we would drop dead on the spot. Have you ever thought about that? God protects us from death by not allowing us to see Him in all of His glory.
In a way, it can seem discouraging that in this life we can’t see God. But praise be to God that through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection our sins can be washed away and forgiven so that one day we CAN stand in the presence of God in heaven and see Him in the fullness of His glory! And praise be to God that even though we cannot see His face in this life, we can still see Him. We can clearly see His power and majesty through the natural world around us. We can see the truth of Who He is and what He’s done for us through His Word. And we can see His hand working miracles in our lives, both physically and spiritually. He has given us so much for us to see Him!
God is invisible…and He is there!