If you ever had a sense that God was with you in a particular moment in your life, then, it is reasonable to conclude and believe that He exists and that it is possible indeed for Him to be present in our lives, even if it is for a moment.
Obviously, this logic can only be understood and accepted if faith in God was present in the first place. But, what if some of us don’t have this faith? What if faith is present only sometimes or doubt is stronger?
The Bible and its historical accounts can shine some light into this logic.
When the people of Israel (Exodus 32:1 ), “saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron (Moses brother) and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
The people made a golden calf and worshiped it – even though God evidently and miraculously showed His presence in their lives every day during the Exodus when His people were liberated from their slavery in Egypt.
Of all people, the people of Israel during Exodus had a clear, tangible and visible proof of God’s existence and His presence protecting their lives; yet some did not believe, at best doubted God’s presence, or felt abandoned depending on the circumstances of their lives..
Note in verses 7 and 8 of this chapter (32 ) that the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, these are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
We know that was not true–it was God, through Moses, who brought Israel up out of Egypt (Exodus 3:6, 10 ).
There are many different lessons that can be learned from this passage (for instance: 1. the consequences we suffer when we don’t follow God; or, 2. how easy we are influenced by the pressure of our surroundings to quickly abandon our faith; or, 3. how fast we forget and substitute our God with our fears; or, even, 4. that Satan is always at work trying to distance us from God). However, one important and simple lesson that deserves closer (or first) attention is the logic about this event. This is very simply and it may help us not ever doubt God’s existence and His presence in our lives.
As stated in the Bible: If God was with Moses at the top of mountain giving him instructions for His people for such a long time, so much so, that people at the bottom of the mountain wondered away from God then, how could God have known that the people at the bottom of the mountain had turned away from Him and had cast an idol? God was with Moses up in the mountain and, somehow, God had to be also present with the people at the bottom of the mountain to have known what was going on to inform Moses.
This passage can be looked as a way to display God’s ability to be present in all of our lives at the same time and independently of our circumstances or belief. We may not understand the “how” but the passage shows the possibility, whether we are open and willing to believe in it or not.
On one hand, we have here the person of Moses, a believer in God, who could not see God’s face but was able to hear, talk, obey and follow Him and on the other hand, we have a multitude of people who despite experiencing God’s miracles every day in that desert, in one moment, could not recognize God’s presence any longer and, consumed by their doubt, abandoned their faith in Him.
Just because some can’t see God, it doesn’t mean that He was, is and can’t be present in people’s lives.
This is important because if we can see and understand His presence in our lives, it can help us face and cope with our daily challenges. It is also up to us to seek, find, recognize and accept His presence – Psalm 46:1 says “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble”.
One way to accept this truth is by knowing God better. We can know more about God and have a closer relationship with Him through the second person of His trinity – Jesus Christ – i.e. God’s Word that became Flesh (John 1:1-3,14 ). Reading the Bible is a good way to start this process.
The logic continues, if God is indeed present in our lives, it is reasonable to imagine that there is a reason for that. That reason is also revealed in the Bible: “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Revelation 3:19-20 ). He is calling us to hear, talk, obey and follow Him just like Moses did.
When we are in trouble… thinking we are alone and about to turn away from God or give into our sinful ways… let’s not forget that God is present with us all the time! As we realize this, we might be enabled to experience a relationship with God in a whole different level.