From ages 16 to 19 I was a complete atheist. I did not believe in God, Heaven, or did anything considered “religious”. Well, I did have a devotion similar to a pious church lady when I was rolling a joint, but you would never catch me praying to Jesus.
It’s interesting to speak with atheists today and hear them present the same arguments I did at one time. When I believed those arguments, I could not, in a million years foresee myself ever “buying in to Christianity”, because absolutely nothing and no one could convince me otherwise. Yet here I am now, 100% convinced and devoted.
I have told the story of this climb out of atheism many times, so will not do so again at the moment, but I would like to share some thoughts on how we can help others come to discover God and know Him better.
The existence of the internet and the smartphone might be some of the best tools we have for leading people to God. While they are great communication and education tools, that is not what I am getting at. I mean that these tools help make the perfect analogy for the existence of God and how we can help others discover Him.
Imagine we discovered a tribe of people in the middle of the Amazonian rainforest. They have existed there for hundreds of years without any contact with the outside world, and yet, they are one of those “cool tribes” that are super healthy with perfect white teeth.
Imagine a man and a woman from the tribe are brought to New York City to meet with scientists to study them, and you are in charge of escorting them.
On the journey from their home to New York, you try to explain the Internet. You are using the best language and descriptions you can, but they are not buying it. You try to explain Google, Facebook, YouTube, and various news websites, but they have objections to everything.
They look into the sky and say, “how can there be something like this? I do not see an Internet!” You try to explain you cannot just see it by looking into the sky when you have a sudden realization. You pull out your phone to show them. Unfortunately, you are traveling through the mountains and don’t have a signal.
“But this is the tool you can use to connect to the Internet,” you say. The woman rolls her eyes while the man looks at the phone. He misunderstands that anything with a screen can access the Internet. An hour later, he overhears there is service again and he picks up a calculator, tries to access the web, but to no avail, only convincing him all the more you are wrong.
How can we convince others about the existence of God if they don’t have the tools to believe in Him?
So many look only for physical signs of His existence or utilize the wrong tools. With negative results, they assume He cannot be real. Not only do people fail to discover God without the right tools, but they laugh at people who do have the right tools.
I could write a whole other blog post on the tools required to discover and believe in God, but to summarize, we can see the basic tools are simple. However, just because they are simple does not mean they are as easy as pulling out your smartphone and clicking an app.
Tools take work and need to be utilized for life. The tools needed to find and cultivate a relationship with God are much like how an iPhone is needed to access the Wi-Fi to surf the internet. They allow for the correct connections to be made and for communication to flow. The existence of God is not simply proven, but He is met, known, and loved.
I won’t say this is an easy science experiment, as the tools can be difficult to utilize at times, but the tools are the materials one will need in following the scientific method in discovering God.
In order to find God, you must have humility, persistence, patience, and prayer. Some might scoff at this list, but I guarantee no person who ever had these tools went after God without getting what they were looking for. Each tool is great on its own, and some naturally lead into the others, but all are required for you to be successful in your endeavor of finding God.
I referred to this as following the scientific method, because that is what will take place if one utilizes these tools. These are the steps of all the saints who have come to know God and have grown closer to Him. Just like one would discover how to make penicillin by following the steps of Alexander Fleming, one can discover God by following the steps of the saints.
Similarly, going back to the smartphone analogy, you need to follow the instructions on how to use the phone correctly if you want to properly use the Internet. You won’t be able to receive emails on it if you don’t know how to log in to the app. So too do we need to know these tools, how to utilize them, and how to relate to God in order to know Him and receive the messages He sends to us.
So, while the title of this blog might seem tricky, with a “smartphone” we have been able to better understand God’s existence and how we can better prove it. Each one of us needs to utilize the tools in order to discover Him.
Remember, using these tools might be hard at times, but the results are tremendous. There is nothing in life better than having a relationship with God. To have this is worth everything.
If you are looking for help with this, we have a one-on-one mentorship program that is leading many people to grow in their faith right now. You can find out more info here. We would love to work with you or someone you know!