God is not an absentee landlord

A common view of God is that He is something like an absentee landlord. Although He is supposed to have set the universe in motion, He pretty much stays out of the picture. Yes, occasionally He has made spectacular appearances, but that was mostly long ago in Bible times.

Today, according to this view, if a poor mortal pleads hard enough, God just might intervene and, so to speak, fix the plumbing or get the roof repaired. But then again, He might not, and if He doesn't, this is supposedly evidence of His inscrutable wisdom. In any event, man is thought to be pretty much on his own.

Personally, I never could believe in such a God, and maybe you couldn't either. But does rejection of an ''absentee landlord'' view of God mean we have to stop believing in God? Not at all! What it does mean is that we could be ready to discover God in new ways.

Christian Science explains that because God is Spirit, it takes spiritual sense to see and know Him. Spiritual sense is a God-bestowed faculty inherent in everyone. It is evidence of the spiritual illumination that ''lighteth every man that cometh into the world,'' n1 as the Bible says. We all have it, but we need to be awake to it. If something within you is telling you that there is a God and that you have a spiritual destiny to fulfill, rejoice! The light of Spirit is already dawning in your life.

n1 John 1:9.

The important thing is to keep listening to and following your spiritual sense. As we strive to know God and obey His moral and spiritual laws, He will define and reveal Himself to us. How? Christ Jesus promised, ''If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.'' n2

n2 John 14:23.

''If a man love me . . . .'' A love of spiritual good, a deep hunger for something beyond what material life offers - that's what opens the door of our heart to God and brings Him into our lives. And this spiritual affection includes, but involves so much more than, personal love for Jesus. To love Jesus truly is to love something infinitely more real and eternal than what our physical senses could have apprehended of the man of Galilee.

To love Jesus spiritually is to love and hunger for - what? How do you put into words the heart's highest spiritual aspirations? How do you describe ''the substance of things hoped for''? n3 How do you characterize infinite good? Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, asks: ''What can fathom infinity! How shall we declare Him, till, in the language of the apostle, 'we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ'? '' n4

n3 Hebrews 11:1.

n4 Science and Health, p. 519.

To fulfill our craving for the spiritual joy and goodness that constitute real manhood and womanhood, we must put our desires into action. Keeping Jesus' words means living them. Mrs. Eddy, speaking of Jesus' great example, puts it this way in her book on the Science of Christianity, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ''Implicit faith in the Teacher and all the emotional love we can bestow on him, will never alone make us imitators of him. We must go and do likewise, else we are not improving the great blessings which our Master worked and suffered to bestow upon us.'' n5

n5 Ibid, p. 25.

To some it might seem a lot easier to believe in an absentee landlord God who doesn't seem to meet our needs, and therefore whom we can safely ignore, than to understand that there is a living God who makes demands on us to clean up and repair our own household. That sounds like work! But it's not as if we are doing God's work for Him. Our heavenly Father works in us when we love and obey Him and listen to the spiritual sense He gives us.

As we better understand that ''it is God which worketh in (us) both to will and to do of his good pleasure,'' n6 we will naturally begin doing the healing, saving works Jesus said his followers should do. Step by step, spiritual sense will show us how God meets every human need, not through miraculous, on-again, off-again intervention, but by the power of His spirit manifested in us.

n6 Philippians 2:13.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE They shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord. Jerimiah 31:34

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