KICKSTART QUESTION: How Do We Let People Know God Is Real?
How do you convince people God is real that don’t know God, if they can’t see him?
Such a great question. And honestly, one that I remember asking and struggling with as I have gone through my faith journey.
Specifically, I remember a time where I wanted so badly for my brother to know God. He had just gone through a tough loss in his life and was struggling to see God, struggling to know anything was real. I went to my pastor and shared how I was feeling about this. I personally have faith in God, but I wanted my brother to have the same kind of faith I did. The Bible says that faith is being sure of what hope for, and certain of things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1) I wanted so badly to shake my brother and make him understand this, and it was at that time I had one of the most profound understandings of who God is, what the gospel means and how I’m supposed to respond.
My pastor responded with “It’s not your job to change him, you can’t”.
5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 9 For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.
1 Corinthians 3:5-9
Paul is writing to the church in Corinth, and he’s letting them know in a way that their faith isn’t based on the person who first told them about Jesus. Paul breaks it down so simply. It’s not Apollos or even Paul who made their faith grow, it was God.
I think it’s also important that he went on to say that the work of spreading the gospel to people isn’t in vein. We are still called to be planters and waterers, but it is God who makes it grow. It is good that Apollos and Paul and Timothy are going all over spreading the good news of Jesus, but it was only God through them that people were experiencing life change. So I would answer this question by saying that people will see God in the way you live your life, by the way you show love, and by the way you meet with God to grow your own faith. By the way you share your own personal faith and love for God.
So for me, the pressure of wanting to shake my brother into belief was gone. The idea that the gospel is meant to be pushed onto someone or forced, was gone for me. I simply wanted to love God, grow deeper in love with Him, and pray that my opportunities of being able to plant seeds of faith in my brother’s life would be rooted in God and that God would allow them to grow.
It changes the way you look at it when you start realizing it’s not about you. It’s not about what I can do to make someone believe. It’s only when someone has an experience with God that they begin to have faith in things they (now) hope for and certain of things the (formerly) couldn’t see.