“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’” Acts 17:26–28 (NIV84)
God didn’t just create the universe and the world in which we live and then go sit in a rocking chair and watch what His creation would do. Paul told us that God created us in such a way that we (mankind) would long to seek Him and reach out to Him. Paul described God as not being far from each one of us. And then Paul made the most amazing statement: “In Him we live and move and have our being.” Have you ever felt like your life was off track? Have you ever been in a place where you had no certainty about where your life was or where it was going? Even today, do you for the most part feel alone, confused, and that life has an overall sense of meaninglessness? Much of this is natural. God has placed something in our essence that longs for meaning and purpose, and when those longings are not fulfilled we feel lost.
As I think about how we have gradually pushed God out of the arena of thought and society, I see that we are creating our own problem. The more we move away from God the more we move from the One in whom we live and move and have our being. You see, God has made it so that we cannot properly define ourselves without being in a relationship with Him. It is no wonder we live in a day and age that holds conferences at prestigious universities to ask the question, “What does it mean to be human?” We, as a society, know that there is something wrong with us. We see the rise in depression and anxiety. We see teenage and young adult suicides on the rise. We see violence, in general, getting out of control in areas where violence wasn’t always an issue. Look at what’s happening today in cities all over our country. The chaos we see is a byproduct of society not having agreed-upon definitions for Justice, Equality, Identity, Right, and Fairness. Only God can restore these unalienable rights and definitions. Without Him, we are left with a war on words only He can define.
Maybe it’s time for us Christians to stand up in our communities and families and clearly state what the problem is. We have moved away from the only One who can give us meaning, purpose, and morality. We need to shout out to our community that Jesus Christ came to the world to share with us the Father’s love. People need to know that we cannot define ourselves without the One in whom we have our being. Jesus introduces us to the One who can forgive, redeem, heal, reconcile, provide hope and peace to His people. The closer we draw to God the more we will find our lives being lived out and moved by His influence.
May we always believe and know that “in Him we live and move and have our being!”