This is an important question that is often misunderstood. Many people suggest that because God’s existence isn’t directly apparent, that this lends evidence that He doesn’t exist. I believe that God’s existence cannot be proven. Yet, I have become quite convinced that God does exist. I believe that there is a very important reason why His existence cannot be proven. I want to explore how God’s purpose for the human race cannot succeed unless His existence is uncertain.
Let’s try an exercise. Do your best to put yourself in God’s place for a moment. You dwell as the all-powerful, wise, resourceful, and joyous Creator of all things. As such, wouldn’t you want to spread the joy and love to others? Why keep it all to yourself when you have an infinite supply?
So, you decide to create other beings that can enjoy the life that emanates from your being and join with you in celebration. You would want them to be able to draw so close to you that they can experience all of the joys that you enjoy. Indeed, why not allow them to be united with you – to become lost in the joys of your infinite being. This thought enhances your delight and celebration. So, you establish this as your plan. You will create other beings that are empowered to experience the maximum amount of life possible and to be united with you in a joyful celebration for all eternity. Yet, such a plan requires great care and planning. For the plan to succeed, you must endow them with certain characteristics and capabilities that will facilitate intimacy and unity. Consider that you wouldn’t want to force yourself on these beings. Rather, love requires that they be given a choice of whether they want to be united with you or not.
Love is not love when it is forced. Love can only be expressed out of the freedom to choose other options. Without the ability to decide not to love, love has no meaning. As the infinite Creator of all things, you have the option of choosing not to create and love other beings. These options give real meaning to your choice to create and love others. If you want your creation to be able to experience the same kind of love like you, you must give them the same options not to love. Only then can creation know the deepest joys of choosing to love.
Yet, here is the challenge. You are the most glorious, majestic being that exists. You radiate with infinite life and beauty. There is an aroma about your presence that awakens joyful celebration within everything that comes in contact with you. To behold you is to desire to never take one’s eyes from you. To see your astounding presence is to spontaneously erupt into joyful life-giving worship.
This means that if your creation beholds you, choosing you will be an automatic, default reaction. As the source of all life and beauty, one cannot behold you and be unaffected. As such, true love cannot flow out of this circumstance. Beholding your presence removes all options to choose anything other than you. No one could resist saying yes to you once they have beheld your inexpressible beauty.
If creation is to choose to love you with the same joy you find in its expression, it must not be based on beholding your power, wealth, and beauty (for choosing based on such motives is not based on love but far lesser things – such as selfish greed). Rather, if creation is to experience and express genuine love, they must choose to love you amidst other legitimate options (just as legitimate as your options to not create and love others).
This empowers creation to love you with the same kind of love that you express toward them. This is essential to intimacy. A lopsided love doesn’t facilitate intimacy. That is, if one pays a high price to love another while the other pays little or no price to love in return, that kind of love doesn’t lead far down the path of intimacy. By allowing creation to make other choices, it forces them to pay a price to choose you (to give up the other options that they could have had instead of choosing to love you). This legitimizes their love and gives it some measure of equilibrium with your own (giving them the substance needed to go deep with you in the eternal journey of united intimacy).
So, for your plan to succeed, you must place creation in an environment that is free from your presence. They can never behold your majestic glory during the decision-making phase. Yet, this doesn’t go far enough. If they never behold you but they are certain that you exist, it will still influence their choices. If they know that you exist, they may choose you purely out of fear of doing otherwise. Also, if they are certain that you exist it will taint their freedom to choose other options. If judgment is undeniable, people will be less inclined to make choices that are contrary to the judge’s principles. Only if there is room to reasonably doubt your existence will their choices be legitimately their own.
So, in order to fulfill that objective, you would have to design this reality in such a way that your existence could be genuinely questioned. Further, you could leave no proverbial fingerprints behind. You would need to create an alternate reality in such a way that other possibilities to your involvement could account for it. Still, you would need to provide creation with an assortment of evidence that could be interpreted to mean that you don’t exist. For example, without any pain and suffering in this world, it would be easy to believe in your existence and goodness. In a perfect world, who wouldn’t choose you simply because it is so easy and natural to do? But, who wants a love that is so easy that everyone naturally chooses it? Untested love holds little meaning or value.
True love must be able to withstand trials and difficulties. An imitation love quickly erodes into nothing when it is forced to endure trials. Genuine love is purified and refined by the testing fires (like gold is refined by fire). So, you must give creation trials in life for two purposes. First, it provides those who do not wish to choose to love you with a reason to make other choices. Second, it strengthens and purifies the love of those who decide to say yes to you.
Okay, now let’s step out of God’s shoes and consider some thoughts. If this concept actually accounts for the reason for God’s uncertainty, some may question whether God’s plan is worth so high a price as we are required to pay in terms of pain and suffering in this life. It is important to recognize that this perception comes from the midst of the trials. As with any trial in life, you can never see the benefits of it while you are still in the midst of it. Usually, it takes a considerable amount of time to process through the trial to see the good that came from it. Hence, it should come as no surprise that we cannot see the ultimate benefits of pain and suffering while still in this reality.
We have yet to see the fruit that will be produced from it on the other side. I believe that once we have completed these trials and stepped onto the other side we will see that it was all very much worthwhile. It will be as if we have awakened from a brief nightmare. Our fears and pain will quickly dissolve away and we will realize that it was only a blink of an eye. Yet, it will have produced a glorious bounty of fruit that will be enjoyed forever.
We will find ourselves in the loving embrace of the infinite source of life. We will understand how needful all of the trials were in order to produce love in us. On that day, we will not be willing to give up the fruit our trials produced in order to forego the brief difficulties of this life. We will come into complete agreement with God that His choices for us were absolutely the very best. We wouldn’t trade the fruit our struggles produce for anything. It will be the eternal currency of heaven that we can spend without end.
So, God’s existence cannot be proven in this reality without robbing us all of the fruit that God’s magnificent plans are designed to produce. I have come to believe that this is precisely why God’s existence has never been proven beyond a reasonable doubt (and why I don’t believe it ever will be). At the same time, it is possible for us to know He exists on a personal level through faith. We can experience His presence constantly and abide in unity with Him. We can hear the voice of His Spirit in communion and dialogue with our spirit. Indeed, this is the deepest form of life we are capable of experiencing in this reality.
You may also be interested in a new article I wrote in 2020 on this same topic with the same title here.
“God, I want to know You! I want to step out in faith and accept Your invitation into an eternal relationship of intimacy. I ask You to reveal Yourself more to me. I invite You to speak to me in whatever way You wish. Awaken my heart to the purposes for which You created me. I am ready to go on a journey of exploration to know You in a way that permanently changes my life. In Jesus’s name, I pray, Amen.”
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