Cogitation I: How Do I Know God Exists?

Here I am sitting against the headboard of my bed early this morning, the muffled whimper of darkness all around me as I ruminated this existence called life. I am wondering, pondering the existence of God.

I am not supposed to ponder such questions. Not after decades of faith in that same God. No, nothing outward happened. It’s just my early morning meditation. The religious mind is afraid of such meditation. He considers it “dangerous.” He therefore subjects himself to his own tyranny, oppressing his own thoughts, suppressing any whiff of doubt or dissent. He imprisons his own thoughts to prevent himself from wandering. But not me. I am a contemplative mind. I cogitate existence, my existence, trying to make sense of this complex dynamic called life. There are questions that cross my mind: Where did God come from? How did God come about? I cannot of course ask who created God for then God will not be God. The very notion of God is a highest being. He is the causal factor of all things. He cannot be caused. Was “God” man’s invention? Is “God” a lazy invention, an easy recourse resolution of questions that cannot be answered?
The principle of first cause in Physics invariably raises the question of what was before God. Can anything be before God? Genesis does not tell us where God came from. It arrogantly asserts it’s not a question to be asked by not addressing the issue. God is. In Genesis God is presented as having been in existence. Genesis is the genesis of man not the genesis of God. Even an inflection point in time is presented as a continuum… In the beginning…
But I’m assuming a lot concerning creation. I’m assuming something has to be created to exist. What if there are weird unknown laws of Physics that do not recognise causality – higher dimensional laws. We always assume the law of causality governs all things. And what if there are things that are not caused. We just assume everything must have a beginning. If you ask me why, or by what law I cannot tell you. What if the law of beginnings only applies within time dimension. You cannot have a beginning without time. Physics tells us time, alongside matter, was created in the beginning. And so there was nothing like time before the beginning. Physics struggles with knowledge of things before that beginning. If indeed God created time and matter Physics will not be able to explain God to me. Clearly the materialistic limitation of Physics would not give me the answer to God. But if I say creation presumes a creator the unbelieving can counter with, says who? There’s the logical possibility creation is random and wasn’t caused by a creator. There goes “intelligent design presumes intelligent designer”!
And yet David insists creation gives an exuberant witness of the existence of God. The heavens declare the glory of God he said. How did he know? Day after day they continue to speak, night after night they make God known he wrote. How did he know? How did he hear? And he complicates the whole thing by saying creation speaks without a word or sound. Their voice is never heard, he said. In other words creation speaks in non verbal communication. Do we then assume there’s something akin to Bluetooth technology embedded in nature? Is that what links all of creation? Is creation embedded with a program? If indeed the Psalmist “heard” creation “speak” about God there’s a secret code linking all creation.
But then I remember my prayers. Who answered my prayers? I prayed to a deity. Perhaps the so called “answers” to my prayers were mere coincidences of nature. Possible. But then judging by how many answers I’ve received through the decades these are too many coincidences. And when coincidences are too many they cease to be coincidence. Too many coincidences are no longer coincidence.
Then I thought of major illnesses I’ve had, illnesses which flummoxed science. There was an ailment for which there’s no cure to which I had a cure. I had prayed to someone called “God.” Were those healings mere happenstances of the complex algorithm of nature? May be. But then how about healings for my children. Who healed them? I had prayed to a deity too. If I question the existence of God I must necessarily question the counter facts. It is a fair approach to the issue of the question of the existence of God.
And then I thought of those things I just know. How do I know impossible things? Within my frame of reference my knowledge of those things presumed a relationship with a being called God. I asked him for wisdom. I had believed the words of the historical figure called Jesus as recorded in the gospels. He assured me I would know things external to me and beyond me through the agency of a being called the Holy Spirit. And so I just “know” certain things, I just “have” certain knowledge. I know my natural limitations. There’s no way I can come to those knowledge outside of an external agency. The sceptic would of course contest my knowledge of my limitations. He’d say perhaps I don’t know myself enough, don’t understand my capacities and capabilities. Perhaps. But how did I have a certainty about what did not exist? How come I have stream of “knowings” about future events? These are not stored data.
And I can “listen” inside me, hear stuff from “Deity”. We could argue that the architecture of man incorporates clairvoyance; but then this “man” is rather too complex for random assembly of molecules. Do molecules have prophetic gifts? Do molecules have “subconscious” minds? Molecules are material. This “man” knows immaterial things. Am “I” immaterial? In which case my molecules are a casing. Who am “I”? When I ask questions of deity how come I seem to have answers regularly? Where does wisdom come from? It’s different from knowledge. These are inner “knowledges” and transmitted know how. I know. It is these inner “knowledges” I cannot shake. I know God talks to me but how do I convey that fact to a third party? He cannot hear what I “hear,” he cannot know what I “know.” The knowledge is an internal dynamic. But I assume the existence of God when I ask him for help. To relate to God I must assume his existence. Or how can you talk to who does not exist; how can you expect a reply from who does not exist.
As I thought of this I wondered if this was the same epiphany Paul had when he wrote, “He that comes to God must believe he exists.” It’s simple logic. Granted “Someone” knocked him down on the road to Damascus, but then his companions didn’t hear the subsequent conversation. They only saw him knocked down. But there was inaudible conversation. It all boils down to “faith” therefore. To know God you must have faith he exists. It’s a condition precedent, albeit an awkward one. Where does that leave me? I still cannot answer the question of first cause. I do not know how God came about. That may be due to a conceptual limitation. I am a creature of time. It’s why I believe all things must have a beginning. I struggle to grasp meaning outside that frame of reference. Even Physicists struggle. But who said all things have to have a beginning! Infinity is a loop. It has no beginning and no ending.
I pray to God because I assume he exists. I ask him for protection because I assume he exists. I ask for wisdom from him because I assume he exists. I cannot receive answers otherwise. I believe therefore I ask. I ask therefore I receive. I receive therefore I ask. Faith validated by evidence. Evidence validated by faith. You cannot contest my facts with me because they are internal to me and proprietary to me. Faith is proprietary. Then there is the witness of those too many coincidences. There are too many answered prayers. In other words I have too many evidences. Faith therefore is the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for.
You cannot know God until you assume his existence. It defies the logical sequence we know in our every day life. That statement assumes what it seeks to prove. But then who said all realities are governed by our rules of logic. What if there is a dimension governed by counter logic, a world in which you give before you get; a world in which you turn the other cheek when assaulted; a world in which death begets life? Perhaps the notion is not so far fetched. The seed must die to germinate new life after all. I therefore know God because I believe.
If you’ll like to “know” God through faith please pray this prayer: “Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus died for me, that you raised him from the dead. Father please forgive me. I accept Jesus today as my Lord and my Saviour. Amen.”
© Leke Alder |