The Logic of Faith
by Pastor Dan White
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By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible “ (Hebrews 11:3).
It’s not so much a leap of faith any more to believe in God.
Unbelievable advances in technology make belief in God quite logical.
World War II General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Allied Supreme Commander, could never have imagined the military tools that technology has developed for our troops. If he could somehow magically appear today for a briefing, I am convinced that he would be absolutely incredulous when told of such weapons like a drone air force without pilots. With pinpoint precision the missile can take out a hiding place of terrorists. He would want to see proof of a pilotless plane.
Or, how about “smart bombs” that all of us witnessed on television during the Iraq War. I couldn't believe it when I saw a bomb go through a narrow opening on top of a building and blow the building and the combatants inside to smithereens. It would have been something out of science fiction in the 1940’s.
And, let’s not forget the Cruise Missiles fired from the Battleship Missouri far out in the Persian Gulf that went straight to their targets.
Today’s weaponry has advanced even further. On March 5, the National Security Agency dedicated a new 525,000-square-foot, one billion dollar building on Ft. Gordon near Augusta, GA, providing 4,000 well paying jobs for the area.
My wife, Joyce, is a nurse at Eisenhower Army Hospital on Ft. Gordon taking care of our soldiers. She relates stories of men and women who tell her that their job is to sit in front of a computer screen and scan “hot spots” anywhere in the world beamed to them by satellites. They can tell when people who might be terrorists go into a building and when they come out. They can even read the car tags on their vehicles.
“We have a lot riding on these young men and women many who are in their 20’s to protect us,” she says. “It is up to them to report to a superior any possible terrorist or enemy activity that they suspect threatens the United States.”
From the new building on Ft. Gordon in Georgia, orders can be sent lightning fast to investigate a possible threat or a wanted terrorist. If officers determine that it is a valid military target, then a drone can be dispatched to blow it up without any risk to our soldiers.
This technology was recently used to kill a top Al Qaeda leader who was on the FBI's most wanted list for his role in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole warship. As soon as Fahd al-Quso stepped out of his vehicle in Yemen, he was hit by a missile fired from a drone.
That was science fiction 40 years ago. Today, it is fact.
Another marvel is Google Maps/Street View. I went to Google/Map Directions and typed in my address. An “A” popped up to locate my house. When I put my cursor on the A, another pop up appeared with a picture of the White Oak Rd. and Ray Owens Rd. intersection. I clicked on that picture and a larger picture emerged. I then took a virtual drive down the road I live on, pulled in my drive way, and there was a picture of our home. Believe it!
It’s really something. Kind of scary to me in some ways, too. Anyone in the world can find our home and see it. There is nothing private anymore.
I’m also amazed at the Global Positioning System (GPS). GPS is a radio navigation system that allows land, sea, and airborne users to determine their exact location, velocity, and time 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions, anywhere in the world. The magnetic compass, the sextant, the chronometer, and radio-based devices are obsolete today. GPS is even available on “smart phones.”
There are 24 GPS satellites that are in orbit at 10,600 miles above the earth. The satellites are spaced so that from any point on earth, four satellites will be above the horizon giving the location to any person with a GPS device. With a GPS device, a person never gets lost. A person can even program his destination into GPS and a voice will tell the user where to turn and lead the traveler each step of the way. Amazing!
Then, there is the computer mapping available on MapQuest. I can type in my home address and then type in my destination address, and in only a few seconds, my route is mapped out for me.
That sure beats the old way. When I was a child and my parents planned a vacation, I wrote to the Gulf Oil Company map service. Several days later, I got a package from them with the best route highlighted to get to our vacation destination.
Next is the miracle of cell phones and “smart phones.” The other day, my printer started acting up. I called the toll free number for Hewlett-Packer (HP). Lo and behold, a technician from India answered and walked me through all of the possible problems and solutions. After an hour and a half, he transferred me to his HP Indian supervisor. The problem was resolved. He determined that my printer’s hard-drive was beyond repair and that he would send me a new printer. My printer was still under warranty, thank goodness!
Think of that! A problem in rural Appling, Georgia, resolved by a technician in India using a cell phone.
I remember the days as a child when no one even had a private telephone line. They were called party lines back then. You’d pick up the phone to make a call and two people would already be in a conversation. You had to wait until they finished their conversation to make your call.
It was a big deal when technology finally developed to the point where everyone had a “private” line.
Now, somehow, someway, my cell phone’s signal goes to a cell tower. There are not too many places where cell phone towers do not exist. So, my phone goes with me everywhere, and I can call from practically anywhere.
From there, my call bounces off other cell towers and even a satellite if I make a call to the West Coast or overseas. The signal is my own. It doesn’t get confused with the millions of signals bouncing around in the air. And, I can clearly hear the person who I called, and he can hear me from anywhere in the world.
This is not to even mention the technology that makes texting, the internet, and sending pictures through “smart” phones available. That’s amazing to me.
And these are only a few of the tremendous advances that have happened in my lifetime. I could mention satellite TV and satellite radio which we now enjoy in our new Ford SUV. Instead of a few local stations, there are now hundreds available in every genre imaginable plus talk shows and sports broadcasts from any stadium in the nation.
I can’t see how all of this happens. I can’t feel it happening. It just happens because some mighty intelligent human beings invented all of these modern marvels.
My mind cannot comprehend the technology that will be invented for the next generation to use. I suppose that the cell phone may become as obsolete as the party line of the 1950’s.
My grandfather could not have even imagined the world as it is today. If someone had mentioned all of this to him, he would have said, “You’re crazy. That’s impossible. I don't believe it can happen.”
A generation or two ago, all of this was unreasonable and certainly not logical. Today, it is here. It has happened, and there is more to come in the future. Things we cannot even imagine or dream are yet to be invented.
In centuries past, believers and perhaps non-believers alike marveled at the creation and the creative power of God. The creation itself brought people to believe in God. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) wrote, “God our Creator is the "Most High, all-powerful, good Lord" and all creation reflects His majesty and goodness.”
It was and still is logical to believe that God spoke and “the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”
Now, there is the logic of faith through the human creation of technological wonders that can be added to the reasonable belief in God through creation and nature.
Engineers and scientists have created a world where someone can always watch us, speak to us, fix our problems, guide us to our destination, find our homes, and bring destruction with pinpoint accuracy from anywhere in the world.
If finite, mortal man can create, and implement all of this, then it is no longer a big step to believe that God created us, surrounds us, watches over us, speaks to us, fixes us, guides us, finds us, and can bring destruction to us.
Thus, it is reasonable to believe in God. I think that faith is logical more so today than ever before.
Today’s military technology can destroy an enemy with pinpoint accuracy in Yemen. It is thus reasonable to believe that God can destroy a godless person with pinpoint accuracy.
This is something that is not pleasant to think about much less believe. You don’t hear much preaching on God’s judgment and destruction these days. It’s all about the favor of God and the blessings of God. There doesn’t seem to be much fear of God today.
But, the judgment of God and destruction of the godless is as real as a smart bomb. The Scripture is clear. “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly” (2 Peter 3:7).
Also consider this. If I can take a virtual drive through Google up my driveway and see my house, then how much more is God able to know my address and to know me!
Jesus knows all about us - even our name. “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:3-4).
Isaiah affirms God’s protective technological marvels too. "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:1-2).
This is a great comfort that the Lord knows all about me.
My Jesus knows just what I need
Oh yes! He knows just what I need
He satisfies and every need supplies
Yes, He knows just what I need.
When other friends seem to forget me
When skies are dark, when hope is gone
By faith I feel His arms around me
And hear Him say, "You're not alone."
There’s a down side to this too. If we try to hide from God or hide something from God, we can’t. “Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the Lord. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:24). Like Jonah, we can run but we cannot hide. Adam and Eve tried to hide from God, but He found them anyway and confronted them.
God has a Global Positioning System too. No matter where we go, we are never lost. Didn’t the Lord God guide the children of Israel through the wilderness with a pillar of fire by night to give them light and a cloud by day so that they never lost their way?
It’s amazing to me how God revealed this global positioning ability about Himself thousands of years ago. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye” (Psalm 32:8 KJV).
Through the valley, up the steep mountain, across the desert wilderness, in the fog, beset by storms, in the sunshine or the rain, the Lord’s directions and guidance always lead us in the way, the truth, and the life leading us onward and upward to the glories of heaven.
Because the Lord knows where He is leading us even though we may not have a clue where we are headed, we can rest in the perfect peace of the Lord trusting that He knows what He is doing. The blind poet, Fanny Crosby wrote:
Thy perfect peace Thou givest me,
My ever present Guide;
Thy perfect peace thou leavest me—
What can I ask beside?
In perfect peace the clouds I view,
The gathering storm I see
For Thou hast taught my soul to know
It shall be well with me.
Finally, consider the miracle of cell phones. I talked with a technician in India who helped me with a printer problem.
How much then is God there for you and me to answer our call for help! “Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer (Psalm 4:1).
God answers prayer in times of trial;
God answers prayer when all seems dark;
God answers prayer, He’ll safely guide you,
He loves and knows the way you take.
- George Bennard
With all of the man-made technological marvels around us today, three things are needed. You have to have the right equipment, trust the companies to deliver the service, and then use it.
From what I see around me, there is no shortage of usage from the electronic gizmos out there today. Sometimes when Joyce and I are stopped at a traffic light, we count the number of people using their cell phones. Or, when we ride down the interstate, it is quite common to see people trying to drive and text - a dangerous action for sure!
To use all of the gizmos God has out there for us, the same three things are needed.
Right Equipment. God has equipped us with the ability to receive and send messages to Him. God spoke to Elijah, and he heard him inside a cave. “After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12-13).
History and the Bible are filled with examples of communication between man and God through prayer. Here’s another one. “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3).
Trust the Provider. We have to trust the provider of the service. That’s where faith comes in. “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible “ (Hebrews 11:3). The Lord never fails to hear nor fails to answer when prayers are sent in humble faith.
Use it. We have to use the device. Most people carry a smart phone or cell phone every where they go to stay connected. They are certainly used. It seems that some people talk on the cell phone without ceasing.
The neat thing about prayer is that I can pray driving down the interstate without endangering others or myself. What transformation might take place in our circumstances, in our spiritual life, and in the lives of others if we prayed without ceasing like some talk on the phone without ceasing!
With all of the technological wonders around us today, it’s no longer a big leap of faith to believe that God has the ability and desire to communicate with us, and we have the equipment to communicate with God through prayer. It makes sense. It is the logic of faith.
The renowned English pastor of the 19th century, Charles Spurgeon, said, “Prayer pulls the rope below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly. Others give but an occasional pluck at the rope. But he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously, with all his might.”
O God, Thy world is sweet with prayer;
The breath of Christ is in the air;
We rise on Thy free Spirit’s wings,
And every thought within us sings.
Thou art our Morning and our Sun,
Our work is glad, in Thee begun;
Our foot worn path is fresh with dew,
For Thou createst all things new.
O God, within us and above,
Close to us in the Christ we love,
Through Him, our only Guide and Way,
May heavenly life be ours today!
- Lucy Larcom (1824-1893)
Pray! You have the right equipment. Trust the Provider. Then, use it!
It is the world’s greatest wireless connection! †
Rev. Dan White is a free lance writer and pastor of North Columbia Church, Appling, GA. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Dear Pastor Dan, I really appreciate how you interwove technology with the potential power we have through our prayer life, if we but tap into it. Great article! As you wrote- God has given us the tool, yet most of us (myself included) don't utilize its instant availability into the inner sanctum behind the veil.