Does God want you to know He exists? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
A common refrain I often hear from skeptics online is that if God wants us to know He exists, then He could do a better job. Why not just show up and let us all know? The problem with this approach is it really treats God like a trivia question.
Imagine if every morning my wife got up and said to me, “Honey. I want you to know that I know you exist.” Well, geez. Isn’t that special? That doesn’t really touch me at all. I’m instead wanting to know, “Yes. But do you really know me? Do you want me? Do you love me?” The answer to those is yes, but that’s what a spouse wants. A spouse doesn’t just want their existence acknowledged. They want to be wanted.
I think this is what God wants. He doesn’t just want people to know that He is there. He wants people to want Him and He appears to those who really do want to see Him. (Keep in mind also that the last time God showed up among us, we crucified Him.) God wants to be wanted.
The book of Job has a section in the middle talking about mining and what a hard job it is. Why talk about this in the middle of a book about suffering? It’s because those who really want gold and silver will do the hard work and face the risks of mining in order to get those precious metals. Those who want God and really care about Him will do the work.
If we treat God like He’s just a trivia question and the question is if He exists or not and that’s it, then we’re not really going to find the answer. If we really do care, we will work and try to do the answer. This isn’t to say that anyone who is agnostic or atheist right now just doesn’t really care. They really could. I think biblically that there are only three types in the world.
Those who are not seeking God and will not find Him.
Those who are seeking God or will seek God and will find Him.
Those who have sought God and have found Him.
This must be a real and diligent search. It can’t be a half-hearted thing. A person must really be willing to throw themselves into it. Truth must be worth it even if it costs dearly.
There’s a story about a boy who came to Socrates one day wanting to know how to get wisdom. Socrates took him by the hand and walked him out into the ocean with him. When they were about waist deep, Socrates took his hands and pushed the boy under water. After about half a minute of the boy flailing and struggling, Socrates let him up and the two walked back to shore. The boy began swinging his fists angry at Socrates and Socrates calmly asked, “When I was holding you under, what did you want more than anything else?”
“I wanted to breathe!”
“When you want wisdom as much as when you want to breathe, you will get it.”
People who ask the God question this way will not find the answer because they don’t really want it. One good indicator of this is to ask them if they read any scholarly works on the topic that disagree with them. Those who are really searching will do that, search.
God won’t show up for your game of trivial pursuit. If you want Him, He is there waiting. If you don’t, He will let you go your own way. Your choice.