"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." (Romans 1:20)
A.W. Tozer writes in Chapter 4 of The Pursuit of God that “for millions of Christians… God is no more real than He is to the non-Christian.” (pg 37) He goes on to describe how human nature defines what is “real” by what we perceive through our five senses while dismissing what can be perceived spiritually as imaginary. Yet the tree, the river, the stone were not created by man and those things can be touched and seen. One could argue that science can explain the placement of a stone, the path of a river, and the home of a tree in opposition to the notion that what is unseen is the cause.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
But science can also explain the presence of an atom, a proton, a quark, a boson which cannot be seen. So are these scientific discoveries “real” in the same sense as a tree? The scientist argues that the effects of these unseen particles can be observed and measured. But at the same time can not a Christian make the same argument about the effects and influences of God working in and around their life? Of course the difference is objective versus subjective. But once upon a time the smallest particle was considered to be a grain of sand and there was no subjective argument. Then it was impossible to consider anything smaller than an electron. We should be careful to draw a line in the quark (see what I did there?) as definitive, as the final answer with nothing left to discover. We would be foolish to limit our definition of what is real to only that which we can see.
Consider the scriptures above: God’s invisible qualities… have clearly been seen… faith is… certain of what we do not see. How easily we dismiss the spiritual all around us just because we cannot see it. And as Tozer rightly notes, this arrogance prevents us from truly knowing God. Yet to know God, all we have to do is look around!
“For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.”
Do not close your eyes to what God has revealed through his creation. Do not close your ears to what God speaks to you through his Word. “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord!”
This blog is part of a book club reading The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. Please join the discussion here and at our hosts, Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter. Need a copy of the book? You can get it for free on Kindle.