There’s an old saying, “Seeing is believing.” God has blessed us with two eyes and many great things in life to see. People, architecture, flowers, animals. Those truly blessed with the gift of sight are able to paint masterful works of art and take incredible photographs.
In our relationships, the people we love most are those we talk to, spend time with, and often get to see.
However, with all that God has allowed us to see, He has chosen not to make Himself visible. Yet, Jesus said that we are supposed to love Him more than anything else on this Earth (Matthew 22:36-37). That sounds difficult without being able to see Him.
Even in the moments when we feel very close to Him, wrapped in His arms of perfect peace, we cannot see Him.
That old-time saying usually applies to life when we experience doubt as a result of not seeing. Sometimes not seeing God leads us to feel that way too. Doubt.
God is aware of this flaw in our human nature. He knows that naturally, we rely on our eyes to do everything from walking, to working.
So why would God not allow us to see Him? This is a question Moses may have asked himself.
“Then Moses said, “Now, please show me your glory.”
The Lord answered, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will announce my name, the Lord, so you can hear it. I will show kindness to anyone to whom I want to show kindness, and I will show mercy to anyone to whom I want to show mercy. But you cannot see my face, because no one can see me and live.” (Exodus 33:18-20)
Seeing God the same way we do our loved ones would be far more than what our eyes can handle. Thus, God makes Himself “visible” in other ways.
Despite not seeing, there are still ways we can love an invisible God. For Christians, seeing is not the only way to believe.
If you are wondering how you can love an invisible God, here’s how to do it.
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1. We Love God with Our Prayer Life
There comes a time when you pick up the phone and want to talk things out with a friend. You come to find no one is available, but there is someone else who is. The first way to love an invisible God is through prayer.
God is always available, whenever you need Him. Day or night. No matter where you find yourself.
In the Bible, David recognized this truth.
“The Lord has heard my plea for help; the Lord accepts my prayer.” (Psalm 6:9)
Prayer is a conversation between you and God that serves as a spiritual connection. Instead of relying on your phone service to make a call, you can reach God with words and a willing heart. That’s it.
Prayer allows us to connect with God in the same way we might talk to a person we can see. We still feel emotions, receive insight, listen, share. Any time we communicate with God shows our love for Him. Prayer allows us to acknowledge His authority over our lives and our dependency on Him.
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2. We Love God with Our Faith in Him
What is fascinating about prayer is that when we talk to God, and make our requests known, we have to wait to see if our requests come to fruition. That is faith. Sometimes God delays our blessings, and sometimes chooses to bless us in a completely different way.
The fact that we believe God will bless us shows an appreciation for Him.
When we can have faith in God, loving Him becomes much easier because we think of God as a loving father who provides, instead of a figure standing in the distance.
“So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Faith in God means that we are believing in what we cannot see. What we cannot see we cannot control, however, God can.
When we surrender to God’s will, we are following Him. Our choice to follow is a sign of love. As with our human relationships, we place faith in people who show us care and respect. We respond with love. Thus, our relationship with God works the same way, and builds over time.
3. We Love God When We Trust in Him
One of the greatest ways to show our love for God is to show Him trust. When people hurt us we often lose our ability to trust. We continue to love, but maybe we love less. We may talk to them less, spend less time with them, and ultimately, see them less.
If God is closer to us than anyone else, seeing us in our highs and lows, and never giving up on us, we are better off placing our complete trust in Him. He doesn’t let us down.
“Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5).
God is always with us. We can love God by trusting in this promise. When we have trust, there is no room to doubt God’s good will for our lives. We can love without limits.
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4. We Love God by Giving Thanks
Don’t you just love to hear the phrase, “Thank you”? Imagine how God feels hearing our appreciation for His many blessings in life.
“Therefore I will give thanks to you among the nations, Lord; I will sing praises about your name.” (Psalm 18:49)
Showing appreciation to God is like a child showing appreciation to their earthly father. Giving thanks affirms God’s authority over our lives. Great for us, there are many ways to give thanks including prayer, song, and dance.
5. We Love God by Growing in Knowledge and Wisdom
Loving an invisible God is not easy. If we don’t practice and remind ourselves how, we can forget. And just as a committed and loving relationship takes time and practice, so does your love for God. As you practice love for Him, your heart will grow for Him.
While love is an action that comes from the heart, it can also be fostered and grown through our knowledge of God, and the wisdom of His ways. Knowledge is perfected through study. Wisdom is perfected through experience.
God’s word is a source of great wisdom when it comes to love:
“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-13)
Wisdom is what we develop as we try to live out the act of loving God. We take our knowledge and apply what we learn into our daily lives. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
As we grow we will find that loving an invisible God is indeed possible. And while our love for Him may never be perfected this side of eternity, our baby steps of trust and obedience toward our Father’s arms will build our love for him. He will strengthen us with the ability to love the way Christ does.
Just as the ability to hear God’s voice takes practice, trust, and obedience, so does learning to see all the ways God surrounds you with His love.
“We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
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Originally published Friday, 11 September 2020.