Could it be that faith in God has gotten complicated for you? Many believe you must understand a certain theological system or interpret scripture using a hard-to-grasp paradigm before your relationship with God makes sense. I don’t think so![featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
For decades I studied God and his ways. Sometimes, I’d back myself into an intellectual corner and sit there paralyzed. I couldn’t make sense of God. I have a friend who did this kind of thing and now calls himself an atheist. Is this a life of faith?
Hebrews 11 presents many descriptions of people who had the right kind of faith. One example is found in Hebrews 11.5-6. It tells of Enoch’s simple faith.
As an example of faith, Enoch knew two simple realities:
1. God exists.
This was not just a head knowledge or an intellectual idea he had about God. There was no way to know God like that in his time. There were no philosophical or scientific arguments for the existence of God for him to study. He did not attend lectures on God’s existence and become convinced. He knew God existed because he was experiencing the reality of God in his everyday life. God’s existence was not a theory or concept. He knew God as he experienced the birth of his children, as he lived in nature, as he saw the sun rise and set, as he ate food provided for him, as he endured suffering, worked hard and interacted with people (especially his children) or sat in silence.
Truth is, this is how you and I know God exists, as well. Conventionally, modern Christianity wants you to only find God through books and arguments that appeal to your intellect. But, classical Christianity teaches that God is known experientially in everyday life. It’s always been this way.
Saint Maximos the Confessor (580-662) sheds light on “existence:”
The final goal of the movement of the things that move is to reach the eternal and good existence, just as their beginning lies in the existence which is God. For he is both the giver of existence and the One who gives the gift of that good existence as its beginning and its goal.
God exists here in everything that exists – seen and unseen. You can experience Him if you will.
2. God rewards those who seek Him.
What is this “reward?” It seems Enoch’s reward was that he had the pleasure of God’s company 24/7. Is there any greater reward? What would it be like to actually experience God all the time? Was Enoch also rewarded by not dying? We are not sure where he was “taken” but we know he did not die. Was his experience of seeking God so intimate that, being in God, he simply entered eternity with Him? Fascinating.
Enoch’s example is motivation to seek God with simple faith. Believe that God exists and believe that he rewards you as you seek him. Seeking God is a journey of faith. Faith is not instantly developed. Faith means journeying with God whom you cannot see physically (though Jesus showed us God in his person) though you experience His existence.
You’re on that journey. Keep it simple like Enoch. Enjoy the reward of God as you seek Him in everything.
How has your pursuit of God left you? How would a simple-faith pursuit change you? Share below.