“There is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.” That’s a rather stark statement by C. S. Lewis in his essay “Christianity and Culture.” Yet it is starkly true. And since it is so starkly true, we need to be sure we have a very clear image of who God is and what He expects of us as we live in a universe where the cosmic battle between good and evil is played out every day in so many ways.
In Mere Christianity, Lewis gives us the starting point on the road to knowing God and His ways: “When it comes to knowing God,” he affirms, “the initiative lies on His side. If He does not show Himself, nothing you can do will enable you to find Him.”
Some may contemplate those words and begin to despair, or at the very least, to question if God is unfair, since the issue is whether He decides to show Himself. Yet that would be a misreading of the nature of God as revealed in Scripture. He clearly wants to show Himself to us.
Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.I Tim. 2:4; II Peter 3:9; John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
No, the real problem exists at our end. God does show Himself more to some people than others, but that’s due to our willingness to see Him, not to any favoritism on His part. “It is impossible,” Lewis explains, “for Him to show Himself to a man whose whole mind and character are in the wrong condition. Just as sunlight, though it has no favourites, cannot be reflected in a dusty mirror as clearly as in a clean one.”
As always, Lewis excels in using an example:
“You can put this another way by saying that while in other sciences the instruments you use are things external to yourself (things like microscopes and telescopes), the instrument through which you see God is your whole self. And if a man’s self is not kept clean and bright, his glimpse of God will be blurred—like the Moon seen through a dirty telescope. That is why horrible nations have horrible religions: they have been looking at God through a dirty lens.”
If that is the case—and I believe it to be so—it is incumbent upon us to make sure we don’t have blurred vision. We need to be willing receptacles of the knowledge of God and His ways. We need an attitude of continual repentance and humility. The more we seek Him, the more of Him we will find, and then we will be able to redeem that “every square inch,” that “every split second” that is God’s rightful claim in His universe.