In this field, one meets many non-Christians who seem to have their own parameters set for God. If God will deal with the problem of evil in my life, then I will come to him. If God will bring me happiness, I will come. If God will help me find the person I will marry, I will come. If God will do X, I will come.
This isn’t anything new. We find it throughout Scripture. The Israelites complain that God is not doing what they want him to do. Rather than approach their God as they should, they choose to have Aaron make an idol for them so they can approach god on their own terms.
Several years later, the lesson still hasn’t been learned. When we see Christ on the cross, the chief priests are there mocking. “Let him come down from the cross if he truly is the Messiah so we may see and believe!” One wonders if he had come down if they would have believed or if they would have said it was a devil at work again and blamed it on something like witchcraft.
The sadness is if a man will not believe the truth after all, he is forced to believe anything else.
Let us be careful lest we make the same mistake in approaching the Almighty. When you come to God, you cannot come and tell him what you desire of him. Instead, you come to God so he may tell you what he desires of you. He has already done such in fact. He desires you entirely. Not just part of you. Not just most of you. Not just 99.9% of you. He desires all of you.
God is the one who sets all the rules for the relationship. He did this with the law. Other nations might have been able to choose how they would approach their gods. Not Israel. Israel was given a distinct way to approach God and that way did not change for them. Why? Because the God they were approaching did not change. Whether they were in the wilderness, in Israel, or in captivity, Israel was to approach God the same way.
Today, we approach through the fulfillment of that law, the Christ. It does no good to ask God to provide another way. He has none and will provide none. If you will not approach him on the terms that he has set, then you will not approach him at all. You are in no place to make demands of him.
Were God to change his essential nature for you, then he would be bowing to you and calling you God. What change would you have him make anyway? A change for the better? Then he was not the most perfect being to begin with. A change for the lesser? Then you wish him to be less than perfect. Either way, you will not get the God of Scripture. You will get a god of your own imagination and that is the only place he will exist.
This is something we must accept. We all have a hard time understanding God. Most all of us have had times when we have been angry with him. We want to know what he is doing in our lives. As I write this, my roommate and I both are suffering from some sickness. (Apparently, I was generous in a way I did not desire.) There are times I have woken up from this in the night and wondered why this was happening.
Yet it is. I must accept that. I cannot tell God he must deal with things my way. I do believe he has given us prayer in that we can make our requests and there is a chance he could do things the way we desire at times, but if he does not, then we must accept that. We must accept that he in his infinite wisdom and knowledge has chosen that which is best.
And this is why I believe many skeptics do not come to God. They want to find him on their terms. Unfortunately, God is the only one in town. There is no other place to turn to. You can search high and low for another god. It does not exist. You will merely have to make something else to be that god. It could be power, money, sex, or the most common one I think, yourself.
Yet those of us who do accept him as he is do get the blessing. He does the same for us. He accepts us as we are on his terms. We are taken into his family on his terms. We may seek to change Christianity. We can do no such thing. This is his system. It is not ours. We can no more change it than we can make a new primary color.
Ultimately though, if one seeks the truth, they will find it. It does not mean seeking what you like, as the truth is often not liked. It means seeking that which is true. When we come to this God we may not like everything about at the time, we will come to realize in time that that which we thought most unfit about him is that which is most glorious in his nature.
We do the same in our relationships. We all have friends who have things about them that we don’t like. It does not stop us from being their friends. Husbands and wives have things about each other that drive them crazy. It does not stop them from loving them. This is the question we must then ask of the God of Scripture.
Is he the true God? If he is, then we are to come rather we like him or not. If he has truly raised Jesus from the dead, then there can be no other objections. We may not understand why he allows evil, but we must accept it. We may not like the doctrine of Hell, but we must accept it.
Unless, of course, we care nothing for truth. If that is the case, then the skeptic can rest assured. If he wants to live his life apart from truth, God will honor that request as well.
The choice is his and yours and mine.