Is God for real?

In a recent blog, I mentioned that when I was 20 years old, I came to submit my life to God’s plan for my life with 51% believing and 49% doubting.  I made that decision with my heart, soul, and mind to submit to the rule of Christ for living and found freedom and forgiveness through his grace.  Looking back, I now understand I did so with much more of my mind rather than of my heart, soul, or body.  Surely, all these aspects were somewhat involved because we are not separated fragments as the Greeks once believed.  But we are wholly one, and ultimately, as we accept Christ as our Lord, we are wholly God’s.  For me, as I experienced a new life in Christ, it began more in my head, but it didn’t stay there.  Over the next 50 years, this experience has infiltrated almost every area of my life.

Philosophically, socially, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and physically, I now experience God as reality, not just mentally.  I can make an argument philosophically for God’s existence by looking at the ordered world around me and the miniscule odds that we would exist today without an intelligent designer.  I also agree with Pascal’s wager that if I were a betting man, it is better to believe that God does exist if it is not true than to believe that God doesn’t exist only to find after you die that he is real. God’s wisdom has given me a firm footing to build every area of my life upon.

In the social area, I have seen the principles of the New Testament bring fulfillment and deep relationships which I only dreamed about as a teen.  I have built deep relationships and become sensitive to others.  I have experienced love from others and been able to give love, which was not easy for me early in life.  The Spirit has not only taught me principles but given me the ability to be a different person in my relationships. Don’t take it from me. My own mother told me shortly before she died that she never thought I would stay married to one woman because I lacked relational maturity.  She acknowledged that only Christ could have changed me.

Emotionally, God has given me security that comes from knowing I am deeply and eternally loved by the creator of the universe. He knows everything about me, and he still loves me! This allows me to admit my foibles and work on them. My last fifty years have been a journey of exploring why I feel like I do and how I process these emotions for my benefit and for those around me. I have now come to see myself as a flawed person who is loved unconditionally, and therefore, I have the foundation to deal with and change my emotions by doing the tough internal and external work.

Mentally, I have experienced the freedom to learn about everything.  Augustine reminded us that “All truth is God’s truth,” so I have no fear of exploring any area of learning.  I have grown my mental capacity because I don’t have to prove I am smart, and I can admit I need to learn more.  I am curious about what I think I know and curious what I know I don’t know.  I am a much smarter person, and I now know a much more ignorant person than I was 50 years ago. 

Psychologically, I am thoroughly intrigued by how the mind works.  I am free to acknowledge that our minds, souls, hearts, and bodies are intertwined and, therefore, complex beyond our comprehension.  As I explore any one of these areas, I find out so much in the other areas.  Books that are not explicitly Christian in their orientation have taught me greatly these past five years, such as:

  • The Body Keeps the Score
  • Iconoclasts
  • Widen the Window
  • Between Us
  • Everything isn’t Terrible
  • The End of Average
  • Coddling of the American Mind
  • The War on Kindness
  • Ignorance
  • Peak
  • The Fifth Dimension; and exploration of the Spiritual Realm
  • Scattered
  • Extraordinary Relationships
  • The Lost Art of Listening
  • Think Again
  • How to Make the World Add up
  • Atomic Habits
  • Chatter

Just as these Christian books the last five years have done the same:

  • Growing Yourself Up
  • If you Met my Family
  • Vanishing Grace
  • The Divine Conspiracy
  • The Divine Conspiracy Continued
  • Better Decisions Fewer Regrets
  • Not in it to Win it
  • Soulful Spirituality
  • Jesus and the Powers
  • Simply Christian
  • The Soul of Shame
  • Soulful Spirituality
  • A Burning in my Bones
  • Hearing God
  • Preparing for Heaven
  • Unoffendable
  • Surfing for God
  • I Once was Lost

Finally, physically, I have grown to believe that my body is a gift from God, and it is the residence of God’s Spirit (1 Corinthians 6.19-20).  As I would with any precious gift, I value, cherish, and care for my body.  This means for decades, I have been aware of how my sleep, diet, and exercise impact my physical well-being.  I continue to learn how to take better care of my body.  I also update what I believe is best for me physically through evidence-based research because we learn more every year about the implications of our sleep, what we eat, and what kinds of cardio, stretch, or strength training are best for our bodies long-term.

In the blog mentioned at the beginning of this post, I said that my belief is now 85-90% and doubt is 10-15%. As I have reflected on this, I think it is because I have experienced transformation in all these areas. These changes over the last fifty years have grown my faith and belief in God so that it is much more than cognitive assent. Instead, it is a deeply visceral and transformational dependence on him in all areas.  For that, I am much more grateful, confident, and hopeful than I was as a 20-year-old!






6 responses to “Is God for real?”

  1. Kyle Reed Avatar
    Kyle Reed

    Good Read!

    1. Greg Wiens Avatar
      Greg Wiens

      Thanks Kyle, I appreciate you being the kind of person who would find this more helpful than others. Keep up the great work…

  2. Mariann Strozier Avatar
    Mariann Strozier

    Thx for the book lists!

    1. Greg Wiens Avatar
      Greg Wiens

      People will ask me for a list of my favorite books and I struggle. This is because most of them are my favorite for a time or a season. I find great truths that help expand my perspective in much of what I read. So, I thought this is a better way to give some of the books I have found helpful. As it was primarily from my memory, it is not intended to be exhaustive…but I know you get that. I do appreciate you feedback.

  3. Scott Evans Avatar
    Scott Evans

    Thank you for your knowledge ! I’m going to examine myself in all these areas of my life also . Thanks also for reminding me; we are not the sharpest knives in the drawer !

    1. Gregory Wiens Avatar
      Gregory Wiens

      Yes, isn’t it ironic that though we are much smarter now, we still don’t know as much as we thought we knew decades ago:-)

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