Why is God so Hidden?

In this video, the questioner asks a poignant question I am sure each of us has dealt with at one time or another in our Christian walk; “Why is God so hidden?”

The point he makes as a motivation for his question is a fantastic place to begin. If Christianity is a personal religion, and God cares for each individual, how can we explain why God doesn’t make Himself more apparent to people?

Here is Ravi’s answer:

Points from the video:

  1. Almost every Christian deals with this hiddenness issue. It is not a problem relegated to the non-believer.

  2. We never have a constant experience of God showing up in an obvious way. It always just enough of an experience where there is no other explanation other than the supernatural for certain instances in your life or the life of someone you know.

  3. When you live a life that is close with God, even in the midst of physical destruction and disability, you find that this is not the ultimate destruction and loss. Ravi shares the story of a Pastor who, though he only has the use of his body from the chest up, has written scores of Bible studies for universities. He says that the more disabled he becomes, the more he feels God coming closer to him to meet him where he is.

  4. The majority of those coming to Christ in the Middle East are coming to Him through dreams and visions. This even though the Gospel has been banned in those countries!

  5. Ravi says that for every person who asks the question of the hiddenness of God, he can show you someone who is telling him about how God revealed Himself to them in a spectacular way.

  6. Ravi challenges the question to go home and pray and ask Christ that if He is who He says He is to reveal Himself to them.

Questions:

  1. Have you experienced the hiddenness of God yourself?

  2. How have you seen God reveal Himself to you or to someone close to you?

  3. Do you share your personal experiences with others when they ask this question?

Personal Reflection:

I often find that this question comes from a place of genuinely caring about people. In the question is the grounding of, “I care about people. If I were God, I would do things differently to reach these people.”

I often push back gently and tell them that no matter how much they care about people, God cares more. He is even more desperate for these people to come to know Him than they are. How do I know? He sent His Son to reveal the Father to us and paid with the death of His Son to restore relationship with us.

If dealing with a non-believer, I also like to ask them if God has shown Himself to them. What if this conversation is God’s way of offering them an invitation to be in fellowship with Him. How will they respond to this invitation? I encourage them to know God and then partner with Him to reach those they so passionately care about knowing Him.

These are just my thoughts! I would love to hear what you think!

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Great thoughts!

I might add a couple of my own. First, Romans tells us that what was created and creation’s attributes evidence the fact that there is a God and He is powerful and that every person is without excuse from knowing such. So, if someone is missing seeing God evidenced, gently suggesting it’s as clear as the nose on their face that He exists and asking, if they comprehend that basic issue. If not, should lead to a “creation can’t explain itself” conversation.

But, I expect that the real crux of the issue is more along the lines of, “why doesn’t He make it personally, supremely evident to me that He is and that He is everything He says He is? If He did, of course I would believe in Him”.

As I’ve thought through this issue, it leads me to ancillary questions like, “why does God cause it to rain on the just and the unjust? If He only allowed rain on the just, everyone would know where everyone else stood - just look at their lawn.” This would drive people to be just in order to survive - survival would dictate conformance to God’s will (although He wants hearts and not just actions, which is tricky). Or, “why does God distribute good gifts to men, not just believers? Why give a child to someone who will kill it? Why not only give children to couples that will be good parents and raise them in the faith?” The world would be transformed into a Christian one after only a couple of generations by doing such.

But, the hinge of the answer to each is the need in God’s mechanism of redemption by faith. All mankind is under the judgement of sin and every person’s life is forfeit to God’s justice. No one can atone for even their own sin, much less someone else’s, being under the demands of God’s law. BUT, Abraham’s faith was accounted to him as righteousness - a faith that was proven by his actions. The scriptures tell us he didn’t understand God’s plan, as the action of sacrificing his son ran counter to God’s promise of a nation from him, but Paul tells us he was undaunted and considered that maybe God wanted to raise him from the dead - he trusted that there was a way that God would be faithful and true to him even if he killed his son by God’s command. Yet, Paul tells us that faith will not always be needed because we will eventually see Jesus face to face and we will know fully as we are known. At the point of complete evidentiary knowledge, the critical component of the redemptive switch of faith for righteousness falls apart. For angels, who knew the reality of God, the choice was a stark agreement with God’s will or a resistance to it. Some chose to align to His will and some chose not to, even with firsthand knowledge of Him. For mankind, God engineered a different structure. Through Adam all mankind came under sin and it’s judgement, so no man after Him could choose, from a place outside of judgement, whether to accept or reject God. Further, no man would know God personally until the faith for righteousness transaction took place. The Devil thought he knew a way to impede God’s plan, which was to place all men under judgement/make them no longer righteous. But, he played into God’s plan like he did when he participated in the path of Jesus crucifixion. He is a fool playing a fool’s game.

In regard to a fool playing a fool’s game, those who want to argue towards a place of full knowledge at which they would make the obvious choice to choose God and align to his will, the fact that angels chose to go against His will is a proof that there is still no assurance a sinful individual would choose God. And, they would also collapse the necessary redemptive transaction that God has graciously purposed for man to enter into the eternal relational state with Him, which has been the point in the first place.

For me, I see the hiddeness of God as a part of His gracious provision for man in which faith is required and by which man can find coin for redemption in conjunction with Jesus’ atoning work. I thank God, as my inquisitive mind runs constantly towards trying to figure out His system, ways, attributes and plans, that even post conversion and experientially knowing God daily that I am still required to live by faith as from faith to faith He nurtures me and grows me as He conforms me to the image of Christ as He asks me for my own seemingly meaningless and small sacrifices.

Whew! Carpal tunnel syndrome setting in, brother. Anyway, some supplemental thoughts. Maybe there’s something in it that’s helpful.

Hope you have a good week!

Kevin

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I find great comfort in this scripture passage about the hiddenness of God.
Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
John 20:29 NLT
This might be simplistic to some but it is what I believe. Thre are many times He feels hidden to me but this word tells me He is there.

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@kumquat

I certainly like the example of the angels falling despite being certain of his existence. I also like to bring up the Israelites. They walked with God and they still denied his authority and defied his Word. Most who hold this thought, while it is reasonable on a certain level, are basing it on some shaking assumptions about how they would respond to greater obviousness on God’s part.

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Hello @Joshua_Hansen!

Thank you so much for sharing this today! I was so encouraged by hearing this and through the reading of what you and others posted.

The questions you included are inspiring and will definitely invoke some very interesting responses in conversations!

I also thought of how journaling has helped me work through God’s power, goodness, and PRESENCE in my daily life. On paper, when I have taken the time to think and put to ink all that God is doing- I am absolutely blown away! In our minds, we know He is working out things for our good, but when we really take the time to ponder them and record them- His mercies definitely can overwhelm! Praise God that His handiwork is etched throughout and interwoven into each of our stories.

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Thanks for the feedback! I am glad you found it encouraging!

I agree, journaling can certainly help reveal instances of God’s hand in your life that you might otherwise overlook. It has certainly helped me! Great advice!

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