As similar as some views of God may be, building a relationship with God is a quest an individual must take for oneself. This personal quest does not necessarily mean Christianity, any of the Abrahamic faiths, or any other particular religion. Believing in God means believing in a higher power. Here are some things to consider as you search for faith in God.
- Separate physical measurements from believing. Think of knowing God not by measurable events, but through an intangible presence in everything you do. God is Spirit, experienced intuitively, somewhat like experiencing love, air and gravity, and unfathomable love and grace.
Knowing of God has more to do with the heart (core beliefs) than with objects. The belief you form through faith and in a Higher Power than yourself, does not just happen. You do not wake up one morning, brush your teeth, and say, “today I am going to believe in God. Today I am going to have faith”. Something has to happen for you to need and to seek out that faith. If you approach faith from this premise, then you will see that believing in God is about reflecting on the impact He has on you and on others.
You’ll find that believing is not by material means but by personal development of spiritual faith, since God is generally viewed as a living spirit, not having a decaying body, He can be measured by intangible things, like acknowledging His presence, our beliefs, plus our ways and reactions.
Think about all the things you believe in. You may believe that a team is the best team in your sport, for example. But what is this based on? Do you favor them because they have superior statistics and more championships? Chances are you favor them because of the specific impact they have on you as a fan. Your appreciation for them is based on something inside you, individual, and immeasurable.
- Replace proof with trust. Having faith involves taking a choice. This means deciding to trust without absolute certainty.
Chances are you make decisions on faith every day. If you’ve ever ordered food from a restaurant, you’ve taken a step of faith. That particular restaurant may have a high customer rating and stellar health score, but chances are you haven’t witnessed firsthand your food being made. You have to trust that the chefs have washed their hands and prepared your food properly/safely.
Seeing isn’t always believing. There are still things science can’t measure, yet people still believe in them. For example, astronomers cannot actually see black holes in outer space, because by definition they absorb materials and the light that is necessary for us to observe them. But by observing the behavior of matter and the orbits of stars around a black hole, we can predict that one is present. God is also non-viewable but has knowable qualities and observable influence, that draws people to Him.
Think of a time a family member has been sick and gotten better. Did you ever pray or hope to something higher for their recovery? Maybe this event is like an orbiting star, and God is like gravity that is exerting His pull on all things.
- Stop trying to control everything. Probably across all religions that have a concept of God, this belief is constant: God created all things. Because God is the creator, only He is in full control.
Relinquishing control of certain aspects of your life does not mean you are powerless. Don’t think of God as a puppeteer pulling your strings, but as a parent keeping you safe. You still choose the course of your life, but life may not turn out the way you plan or wish. In times like this, it’s important to remember that God is there to help you.
Knowing that you are not in control of everything can be empowering. Recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous are founded on the premise that people are not fully in control, and that belief in a higher power restores balance by yielding one’s broken ego. Once we accept that we cannot control everything, we learn to accept things we can control.
Consider the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” There are many things you can change but things you can’t. You may believe that there are higher powers that shape your life’s outcome. This is a great starting place for discovering faith in God.