“The fool hath said in his heart there is no
God is big. His dominion is so extensive that it is commonly
said that He holds the whole world in His hands. Not one sparrow dies without
the decree of God, nor is there a hair on our head that is not numbered by Him
(Matthew 10:29-30). That is big!
In fact God is so big that He even directs our very
footsteps (Proverbs 16:9). But God doesn’t simply limit His providence to only those
who fear and follow Him, rather God is just as active in the heathen’s life too
(Psalm 98:2). After all, God loves all His creation and desires that we all become
saved (1 Timothy 2:4).
The Holy Spirit has to be so intimately active in the
heathen’s life in order to lead him to Christ, that the heathen doesn’t so much
let God into his heart, but ratherhe acknowledges
God existing in his heart. So it is not true to say that when somebody receives
the Holy Spirit into their life that the Holy Spirit was never there previously,
but rather the person only now
acknowledges that the Holy Spirit is present in their heart, and he warmly welcomes
Think about this. It is impossible for God to ‘hold the
whole world in His hands’ if He doesn’t direct the lives of all humans, whether they are accepting
of God or not.So God has to be in us all along.
In fact when your atheist friend does a good deed, it is not
a good deed of his own, but rather the Holy Spirit within the atheist that is
responsible for the good deed. The fundamental difference between the atheist
and the Christian here, is that the atheist rejects God’s presence in his heart,
but the Christian acknowledges and welcomes God’s providential presence within
God Himself forms an inseparable part of the essence of mankind.
The Biblical narrative of man’s creation explicitly teaches this. It is written
that the actual breath of God is in man, and it is this breath that animates us,
and this breath alone that creates our soul; “and [God] breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and
man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7
It was an absolute lie that Satan told to Adam and Eve that
they could be gods themselves and thus be separate from God their Creator. But
they fell for the deception, choosing to forsake the truth for a lie. They wanted to be self-determining like a god, and they wished to have the glory of a god which belongs only to the one true God.
But Christ has renewed the truth. Having died for our sins
He showed that He alone is mankind’s salvation (Acts 4:12). We can not affect
our own salvation as Adam and Eve supposed. Christ demonstrated that it is only
when we die to ourselves and let Him reign in us that we can be fulfilled (Gal 2:20).
We can not fulfil our own destiny as Adam and Eve reckoned.
The message of Mankind’s fall is that Man is not sufficient
in himself, rather he is reliant on God for all things. The truth is that God
is in every single one of us. It was God’s Purpose in sending His son that we
accept this truth, which Adam and Eve rejected.
In light of all this, Psalm 14:1 takes on a slightly
different meaning. Rather than saying “The fool hath said in his heart, There is
no God”, the verse may actually be saying that “The fool hath said, in
his heart there is no God”. Notice I have placed the comma in a
different spot, and thus the entire meaning changes (There are no commas in the
text of the original Hebrew Bible, so the position of the comma that we now see
in this verse is not at all certain).
So rather than the verse implying that the fool says ‘there
is no God’, the fool is actually saying that ‘there is no God in my heart’! The
fool wants to deny that God is in him. The fool wants to pretend to be his own
god! To deny that God directs our steps is indeed foolish!
What greater feeling could there be to know that the
benevolent God of creation is directing our lives for our benefit? No more
stress, no more worry, because the Almighty God has our whole life in His hands!
All of this affirms to me just how big God is. God is so
infinitely big that His presence permeates all things, even the heart of the
heathen. The heathen pretends that this is not true, that he can be separate from God, but we can not escape the
reality that God is part of our very essence.
“Where could I go from
Or where could I flee
from Your presence?
If I ascend up into
heaven, You are there;
if I make my bed in
Sheol (the place of the dead), behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of
or dwell in the
uttermost parts of the sea,
there shall Your hand lead me
and Your right hand
shall hold me.
I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me
and the night shall
be [the only] light about me,
the darkness hides nothing from You,
but the night shines
as the day;
the darkness and the
light are both alike to You.”