“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.” (THE MESSAGE)
Why do so many reject God and while they admire Jesus don’t want to give their lives to him? Among many reasons is the one highlighted in this text. We want to run our own lives without having to acknowledge the right of Jesus to run our lives. This may take fairly benign forms. But for others it is a matter of not wanting divine scrutiny on their lives. They may be up to no good and don’t want a good God snooping around.
Jesus is the light of the world, which is a wonderful comfort to those who want the best way forward and who want to know and relate to God. But that same light shines on our less admirable qualities. The light that points to salvation is also the light that convicts us of our shortcomings.
If we want nothing to do with God we will avoid the light of Jesus. If we want relationship with God we will welcome it. Light shows us God’s way, but if we want to go our own way, we will shun that light. Those who claim to be atheists may well provide intellectual arguments about the existence or otherwise of God. But behind it all there can be sheer unwillingness to surrender to a greater power than themselves.
As the old saying goes, atheists don’t find God for the same reason burglars don’t find a police officer. They aren’t looking for him.
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