Where's God Today?

Where is God? Have you ever asked that question? Most of us have at one time or another. Its answer has more to do with His presence in our lives than with belief in His existence. We want to know -- where is God when I hurt, or where is God when something goes desperately wrong in my life? Our conclusions depend on what we rely on as a benchmark for truth in our lives. 

Do you believe the Bible is true, and that it is what it claims to be? If you do, then you recognize that it is the very Word of God. What a great place to begin looking for His presence.

Where is God? How Can I Know He Exists?
Where is God? If this question still needs to be settled in your mind, consider the evidence for God in His creation. Genesis 1:1 says, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Do you believe it? Look around at the evidence. Psalm 19:1-2 tells us: The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. God wants us to know He exists. Where is God? We see Him in what He has created. 

Do you believe that God wants you to see Him? The Bible says He does. He reveals Himself to us. Psalm 98:2 says, The Lord has made known His salvation; His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations. 

God reveals Himself to us through His creation (see Romans 1:20) and through His Word: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). 

Finally, God desires us to know Him so much that He took on the form of a man, in the person of His Son Jesus Christ. Consider these words from Paul in Philippians 2:6-8: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

John, another apostle, helps us understand that Jesus is the same God who created the universe when he says In John 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 

We can see God in what He has created; we can see Him when we read His Word; we can see Him in the person and character of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to help us understand God, and to assure us that God understands us. John goes on to say: No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18). Jesus declares His existence and further reveals the truth about God.

Where is God? How Can I Relate to Him?
Where is God? There's a popular song that says God is watching from a distance. Or you may have heard Him referred to as a higher power, the man upstairs or a divine imminence. But the Bible tells us He is a person, and that He is near. James, a man history records as the brother of Jesus, tells us that if we draw near to God, He draws near to us (James 4:8). What more could we ask? Does that give you a picture of being cuddled? It should - God longs to cuddle you in His arms. 

Have you believed God is waiting to judge you? The Bible says He longs to forgive you. Over and over throughout the pages of Scripture, we read of His longsuffering nature. From Genesis through Revelation, we see a consistent picture of a God who continues to offer forgiveness, up to the very end of time. He is not willing that any should perish, the Bible says, but that all should be saved. The reason He sent Jesus into the world is so that we could all be saved! (John 3:17). Religions teach us we need to earn God's favor. The Bible tells us God's favor is a gift. All He is waiting for is for us to admit our need. Once we confess our sin, His forgiveness is ours. (1 John 1:9)

Where is God? What Next?
Where is God? In today's world, it's easy for us to think that we suffer alone. But if you have wondered where God is, so has someone else. Now that you know who He is and where He is, you can help someone else know where God is, too. 

Near the end of the Gospel of John, just before He was crucified, Jesus told His disciples about a comforter He would send, to remind them of all the things He had taught. That comforter, the Holy Spirit of God, came at Pentecost, just a short time after Jesus ascended into heaven. In the first chapter of Acts we read about that event as His disciples were filled with His Spirit and began declaring the Gospel message. 

What this means for you and me is that once we confess our sins, receive God's forgiveness and accept the gift of salvation through Christ, we can know the presence of that Comforter, too. With His Holy Spirit living in us, His nature gradually overtakes our own. As that happens, others will begin to discover where God is by knowing you.

Guns in America

There is much talk going on right now across the United States of America about the gun control orders being executed unconstitutionally by Obama. While these orders are being disguised as something good, many praying people know where this will lead: to the ultimate control of the people. A Friend of Medjugorje wrote in They Fired the First Shot 2012, that evil has been planning this all along, to take away the rights of the people, then control them; give the methods a disguise and call it “safety.”

The questions from believers then arise: How do we act? What is in our rights as a Christian to do? If we are a believer of Our Lady Queen of Peace, what should be our attitude?

We are called to maintain peace by God's command, and Our Lady has come as the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje to tell us that peace is what is lacking. So what do Our Lady's children do?

A Friend of Medjugorje, addresses these questions in today's important Radio Wave Mejanomics titled, “We Ain't Gonna Back Down!” A 50 minute Mejanomics Special broadcast that is urgent for anyone who is alarmed by the recent attempts to overthrow part of this nation's foundation. “We Ain't Gonna Back Down” is an important show to spread to others, to all your family, friends, co-workers, prayer-group members, pastors, and anyone else you love and care about. Will the day come when the Christians will once again be martyrs in the public square? The answer depends on our “responding” now, an on-going action of responding.

A crisis about confession...

When I was in seminary, the simple question, “What makes something sinful?” haunted me. Although I did not speak out about this question for fear of appearing stupid or even godless, it continued to disturb me deeply throughout all the years of my studies. 

When I became a priest, I took confession very seriously, yet this question continued to haunt me. After listening and sharing with many people, I began to to grasp deep within my soul that most people did not really understand the meaning of sin. When they came to the Sacrament, their confessions were superficial and routine, and it was very difficult to determine if they were truly sorry for their sins. 

As a young priest, I went through a further crisis. I asked myself, “Why doe we have the sacrament of Confession?” From the pulpit we announce the Good News. We talk about sin, and we ask people to renounce sinful habits. Yet, in confession I rarely heard that someone was truly responding to the call of Christ or to the priest’s sermon, or was convinced that he must stop sinning. Deep in my soul, I asked myself, “Then, why should we preach? Why should we confess?” I wanted to see the lives of penitents change a little from confession to confession. But I rarely saw much change and my questions regarding confession became stronger and more painful. 

In retrospect, I realise that it is such questions that begin the tension in many priestly vocations, when priests do not discover the true purpose of their vocations, especially the call to reconciliation. I also realise that many Christians have a difficult time with confession, especially our youth. Then I have to ask again, “Why should we confess to the priest?” It happens repeatedly that many who come to confession only confess unimportant things and hide the truly important areas of their lives. This has happened to every young man, especially in his years of adolescence. At that time many stop going to confession. Then the priest discovers that those who really need confusion are not coming to the Sacrament, and those who do come confess only superficially. 

I remember one believer who asked to discuss this Sacrament with me. She made it clear that she did not want to confess her sins, but just to discuss things. Her first question was, “Why do I have to confess to the priest who is simply human like myself? I can confess directly to God.” 

I stood perfectly still for a moment. I felt trapped. I had the same question myself. I did not know how to respond. Finally I replied: “I have a similar difficulty with confession. I have also wondered why we should confess to a priest who is, after, only human. Certainly, Confession does not exist to satisfy a priest’s curiosity or desire to know the sins of others. I am convinced that no penitent says anything really new. The priest has heard all sins, all human acts. I have the same concern that you have.” 

She was quiet for a moment. Then suddenly we both realised that there must be something more. Surely, the purpose of confession is not simply to expose our sins. There is something much deeper that happens. 

In confession a meeting takes place between the one who is wounded and the Doctor, between the one who is sinful and the One Who is holy, between the one who has been offended and the One Who gives consolation, between the one who has been humiliated and the One Who elevates the humble, between the one who is hungry and the One Who satisfies the hungry, between the one who is lost and the One Who leaves the ninety-nine in order to find the lost one, between the one who is in darkness and the One Who is the Light, between the one who has lost the way and the One Who said, “I am the Way,” between the one who is dead and the One Who is Life. 

We talked for a long time, and all the while we were increasing our understanding of confession. 

by Fr Slavko Barbaric OFM