butter light

Why do you believe in God?


Why do I believe in God? Is it because I have been swayed by some incredible overpowering logic?

Hardly – That would be true if my soul were a mechanism. Is it because the throws of religion have finally birthed faith in me?

Hardly – No religion is so strong or tantric as to force a man to believe. If that were so, everyone would believe God once they walked out of the woods or off the street into a church lobby (narthex if you are traditional).

I believe in God because I want to. Let me guess – you think this sounds like “consumerism” or so very “on the couch”? ‘God is my therapist’ kind of thinking – sounds like I have come to God because He gives me what I want.

“Why did you come today?”

“Well, doctor, because I feel so out of sorts.”

So does this patient really like his therapist or does he like what the therapist does for him {or like what he hopes, he prays, his therapist might do for him? The therapist is getting paid enough that something good ought to be happening – uh?}

There are plenty misplaced desires in the wants of man. Still the core of true faith is indeed about wanting. But this kind of want, this faith-want, is not the wanting of God for the sake of ourselves. Otherwise we are in the business of making gods out of what we want.  One of these god-wants may be fortunate enough to be promoted to the position of “Chief Analgesic.”

Is that You God?

With that mindset one can never be sure. This way of thinking about God isn’t going away any time soon. Still faith is basically the wanting of God. Faith is wanting God. This may sound simplistic, not deeply theological, maybe even somewhat irreligious {the best ideas about who God really is often are irreligious. Ask Jesus}.

But it’s true. Faith is wanting God. Can you have faith in God if you don’t want it? Why in the world would you? Have you ever asked yourself why atheist Christopher Hitchens is a non-believer in God? He has written a lot in answer to that question. He could have been brief: “I don’t want to.”

Are the implacable within the fold of God? God forcing people? Actually God’s grace is irresistibly desirable – no force applied.

Rather we are the ones who aim to get what we want by forcing the other person’s hand. We are crafty too. But here is a surprise for many – God doesn’t want you if you don’t want Him.

“I thought God wanted everybody?”

No, He doesn’t {this is where reading Calvin helps and, of course, Romans 9 through 11}. What person (one who is not interested in using or abusing others) wants interaction with another person who doesn’t want it too? People who force it are awkward aren’t they? Some of them end up as dictators.

Why do people divorce? Forget the statistics and the ‘top 5 reasons.’ The stats are interesting, but keeping statistics hasn’t made things better for marriage in America. The real reason why people divorce? It doesn’t show up on those “top ten” lists; not number two, three or four…or eleven. The reason? – one or both parties in the union don’t want it. It’s that simple. No want in the chest.

What good it is to believe in God if you don’t want to? What good is it to believe in God if you want Him in order to get something else? What good is it to believe in God if you retain some notion, even in the back closet of your brain, that you are in with Him because He tricked you into being there? Does God get bonus by getting you to believe Him when you don’t want to?

As for those who don’t want to believe their heaven is their hell {or vice versa}. And they are quite ok with that – for now. God is too smart to bring people into the fold who don’t want to be there. Faith, from where I sit, is mostly about wanting God. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that this kind of want is like wanting another piece of pie. Hmm, no not like that.


2 thoughts on “Why do you believe in God?

  1. Hi Mark,
    good focus on the person casually or superficially “worshipping” God. I know this is not your theme for this post, but I think perhaps you might put more emphasis on the lengths God goes to pursue us before he “decides” we don’t want him. Someone might only know Calvin as the owner of Hobbs, or have just a glimpse of the concept of election and think “God just didn’t pick me, so why bother”.

    II Peter 3:9
    The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

    Luke 19:10
    For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

    I Timothy 2:3&4
    This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

  2. yes, good point. my thots in the post are coming out of recent thinking on how important desire toward God is to our faith. i agree that considering how God pursues us is a big deal. maybe one way He pursues us is by helping us notice (want) how appealing it is to live under Him.

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