Longing to Know God

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Luke 10:22

In the last few years, we have seen the emergence of an aggressive and virulent atheism. Enthusiastic atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are not satisfied simply to disbelieve and let others alone. Rather, they are energetic proselytizers of their godless gospel. They would like very much for you and for me to stop believing in God.

To be sure, the so-called New Atheists have had some impact on people, though their views have been refuted in both scholarly and popular writing. I expect we’ll continue to hear plenty from the animated atheists, and that they’ll continue to get undue attention in secular media.

I take atheism seriously and have, at times, sought to refute it. I once engaged in a three-hour, live radio debate with Christopher Hitchens and backed this up with a blog series responding to Hitchens’ book god is not Great. I am not afraid that atheism will one day dominate the world. I have many reasons for this lack of fear. In part, my confidence is based on the simple fact that human beings have a longing to know God, a longing that is itself a reflection of God’s existence.

God has created us to be in relationship with him. Though sin has tainted us and made relationship with God more difficult, nevertheless, our souls yearn for the God who made us in his image and placed within us a yearning for him. As St. Augustine wrote in the beginning of his Confessions, “Thou has made us for thyself and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in thee” (Confessions, 1:1).

In Luke 10:22, Jesus recognizes that knowing God does not come automatically. Yet he affirms the possibility of knowing God and makes clear the way. I’ll say more about this in Monday’s reflection. For now, let me encourage you to consider the following questions.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How have you responded to the New Atheism? When are you most in touch with your desire to know God? Do you think it’s arrogant to say that you know God? Why or why not? What helps you to know God more truly and intimately?

PRAYER: Gracious God, indeed, you have made me with a longing to know you. I want to know you in truth, so that I might understand you to the limit of my creaturely capability. And I want to know you personally, intimately. I want to be in relationship with you, to serve you as my Master, to honor you as my King, to speak with you as my Friend.

Indeed, Lord, you have made me with the longing to know you. And, though sin has made this knowledge more elusive, you nevertheless seek relationship with me so that I might know you, however incompletely. Thank you, dear Lord, for giving me a yearning to know you. Thank you for allowing me and helping me to know you.

May I grow in my knowledge of you. May I know you more truly and love you more dearly. Through Christ, my Lord. Amen.