Why I don’t believe in God

Happy kid playing with toy airplane

To say I believe in God makes God seem like a magical, imaginative entity I can call upon when I need a wish to be granted. It feels like putting God in the same category as the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and leprechauns.

“Believing in” God is analogous to me saying I believe in my husband. It doesn’t make any sense because he’s a real dude. I know my husband, and I live and engage my marriage in a way that both recognizes and honors my husband’s existence, not to mention my own. The same goes for God. I know Him, and I live and engage my life in a way that both acknowledges and honors God’s presence in my life. To say I believe in God is simply an intellectual truth: “I believe in God. I don’t believe in the tooth fairy.”

I know John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” But merely believing in God isn’t enough to experience God’s full and real power–to experience spiritual truth. Believing is only the first step (albeit a necessary step!) to knowing God.

How does one “know” God? I have gotten to know God through knowing his son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is both God’s son and God himself in human form. God wants us to know him so badly that he made himself human so we could reach him so as to be saved by Him. Why? Because God is madly in love with us. He adores you. He adores me. Equally and differently. It’s similar to how you love your children or how your mom and/or dad love you. Parents want nothing more than their kids to know how much they are loved and valued. Same with God for you, only the love is bigger and a billion times more intense.

I digress.

How do you normally get to know someone? By being in a relationship, right?  The way we go from simply knowing of someone to really knowing them is by getting into a relationship with them–talking, hanging out, learning each other’s stories, figuring out what each other likes and dislikes, and learning the core character of each other’s heart. It’s no different with Jesus. You can hang out with Jesus by spending time praying and reading the Bible. It feels awkward at first, but the more time you spend the less uncomfortable it becomes.

I know the Bible gets a bad rap, unfortunately, and that doesn’t help. It has the stigma of being a big boring book of controversial rules and regulations. I personally haven’t experienced this in my time with the Bible. God’s Word is the place where I learn who Jesus is, what He believes, what his backstory is, how He lived (and still lives), and His promises to me. Not only that, through Jesus I learn who I am as God’s daughter.  The trick with the Bible is to ignore the world’s negative commentary and just read it between you and Jesus only. Seek the help of trusted scholars and Christian friends who share their personal experiences with Christ with you. For me, Hannah Hurnard and C.S. Lewis are my go-to scholars who help me understand the Bible and God better.

In learning about Jesus and understanding how He loves me, I have fallen in love with Him.  He has yet to fail me; Jesus is the most loyal and faithful friend I’ve ever had. The more time I spend with Jesus, the more clearly I hear God’s voice and experience the power of His presence in my life. (I’ve recorded my experiences with God all over this blog. Just type “God” into the search bar you see at the right of your screen.) So deeply do I love Him that I seek to live my life in a way that pleases and honors Him. Not because “I’m supposed to” according to how Christian culture teaches, but because I want to out of respect and gratitude for Jesus and for continued connection to him. Think of how you love your most precious people and how/why you would do anything for them. That’s the same response I have for my love of God–it’s how God wants us to feel and respond in our relationship with him.

I don’t believe in God. He’s “realer” than that for me. I know God; I love Him; I follow Him; I experience Him; I hear Him; I obey his voice. I encourage you that if you believe in God but aren’t experiencing His presence, go deeper. He’s calling out for you to be in relationship with him. Meet Jesus and you’ll get to know God. Simple belief turns into deep and faithful love that is far more exciting and freeing than… magical unicorns with rainbow powers.

“No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” John 1:18

If you feel shy or clumsy with prayer, I recommend Prayers that Avail Much by Germaine Copeland. It’s a book full of prayers for every prayer concern you can think of plus Scripture to help you learn and navigate the Bible. I love it!

9 thoughts on “Why I don’t believe in God

  1. Linda Kruschke

    Great post! You had me a little worried with that title, but I love the direction you went with this. My favorite part was where you talked about what we would do for our favorite people and why — it’s because we love them, not because we have to — and it’s the same with God. Peace, Linda

    Reply
    1. Leanne Post author

      Thank you, Linda. I felt a little sneaky about the title but I couldn’t shake it! It just fit. Thank you for reading the whole thing so you could capture the deeper message! I am glad you liked it. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Emily Couture

    Great post! I’m actually writing a chapter for a book about what it means by “believing” in God – everything you said was really inspiring and encouraging. I think people often think because of John 3:16 intellectual acceptance is all it takes, when in fact that is not the case. C.S. Lewis is one of my favorites too!!! ?

    Reply
    1. Leanne Post author

      Thanks again, Emily! Your chapter sounds awesome and so needed. I’d love to know more about the book…is it a book you are writing or contributing to?

      Reply
  3. Lyn

    Excellent post, Leanne. Yes, you had me a bit worried by the title too, but as I read, it was like, “Phew!” I think some Christians (and non-Christians) have trouble with the concept of the “Father heart of God.” They didn’t have a good relationship with their own fathers and find it hard to go deeper with their relationship with God because of that and that’s why reading the Bible and praying is so important.

    Reply
    1. Leanne Post author

      I think you are right, Lyn. Personally, I have had to learn how to separate my earthly father from my heavenly Father. I used to approach and respond to God the same way I would with my dad, filled with fear and intimidation and guilt. I have an entire prayer journal where almost every prayer starts out with “I’m sorry.” It was hard to get close enough God (through the Word and prayer) to experience the relentless grace he gives.

      Thanks for reading beyond the title, Lyn!!

      Reply

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