I think you can live pretty well without believing in God. I said yesterday during the Q&A: …that although a big part of a believer’s life is learning to rely on God, and lean on Him for things like healing, wisdom, guidance, gifts, help… many of you are smart enough and capable enough to live on your own apart from Him. Sometimes Christians say, “I don’t know how I could get by without God!” And non-believing friends think: that’s why you need God, “because you’re psychologically weak and the idea of God is your coping mechanism…” But that’s DEEPLY mistaken.
I don’t know how I could have gotten through the past few years without my wife Grace by my side… but that doesn’t mean I married her because I needed a nanny to take care of me. I married her because I love her, and she’s real, and our relationship is real; and because our partnership is real, I can lean on her and in hindsight say, “I couldn’t have done it without you.”
In the same way the reason we get into a relationship with God is NOT because we need Him. “Crisis believers” who come to God in the trenches and in times of crisis usually do not care for God very much when times are good. Rather, the only good reason to believe in Christianity, in Jesus, in the God of the Bible is because it’s true… Because He’s real, and because as you get to know Him your relationship with Him becomes real, and because you love Him.
By the way, do you know why you can live without God so well? It’s because you’ve never actually lived far from God’s blessing. Like children of wealthy parents who, after college, proudly assert that “they are going to do it on their own…” You have had all the privilege and blessing and help of a Father in Heaven. And no matter how much you “do it on your own” you can’t erase the benefits you’ve already received. Things like mercy, compassion, equality, humility, honesty, truth, beauty… are part of your make-up. You did not choose them, they were given to you. So yes, you can get by without God…but why would you want to?
If there’s any chance that this is true, that it’s real – that beyond all the silliness of what passes as “religion” here on earth, there’s a real God trying to get our attention, who washes our sin and wants to bring us home… Why not be sure about it? And for believers, if you had access to the wisdom and the love and support and power of God, why would you not want to lean on it, learn from Him, spend time with Him?