Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1)It is clear that Jesus is telling his disciples to remain diligent in their prayers and devotion to the Supreme Being.
He is telling them to stay the course.
Within Jesus' parable, there is a critical understanding relating to the position and personality of the Supreme Being:
First, notice that the judge didn't care what people thought. This meant that he was independent. He didn't need the people for anything.
This is the position of the Supreme Being. He is the Controller of everything, and thus needs nothing from us. He is independent of us. He is aloof, in other words.
God is not our servant
It is not as if the Supreme Being is waiting at our beck and call. He isn't our servant. It isn't that all we have to do is pray for some material thing and He delivers it - like He is some kind of internet site or vending machine that will deliver whatever is ordered.
This misunderstanding about our relationship with God runs rampant among the various sectarian institutions and their teachers. These teachers speak as though all we have to do is pray for something and it will be delivered. As though God doesn't have a choice - He has to give us whatever material thing we pray for.
No. God is not a vending machine. He is also not our servant. The Supreme Being is independent from us. He doesn't need us - nor does He have to deliver whatever we ask for.
A common atheist argument
This relates to the common argument presented by atheists, based upon this fallacy that God will deliver whatever material thing we ask Him for. Here is a version put forth in the past by the communist party:
A communist general and his troop approaches a village where the people are starving. They are religious people. So the general challenges them: "Ask God for some bread. We will return tomorrow to see if He delivers it."
So the general and his troop return the next day to find the villagers are still starving. So he says, "Now ask the communist party to bring you some bread."
The villages do this and the army returns the next day with a truckload of bread.Of course, this is a paraphrasing of the story that has been told, but this is a common challenge that atheists make to those who believe in God. And their argument has benefited the position of the atheists.
For this reason, God does not respond to whimsical challenges and threats - such as:
"God, if you don't give me this thing then I won't believe in You."
"If you don't save my dog then I won't believe in You."
or the converse:
"If you save my dog then I will believe in You."
These are simply silly challenges that God doesn't need to respond to. He created a system of consequences within the physical universe that takes care of these sorts of challenges automatically.
These challenges are based upon the false notion that God is waiting to deliver whatever we ask Him for. And if our bodies are suffering due to our previous activities, then He must not exist - this is also a false assumption.
The fact is, God does not need to comply with the challenges of atheists to prove His existence. Nor does He await the material requests of anyone and everyone who asks.
God stays aloof from greedy people
Rather, the Supreme Being is aloof from us greedy, self-centered souls that mostly inhabit this dimension of the physical world. We have rejected Him, so He is giving us our freedom. Why would He need to prove Himself? He has uncountable loving relationships. He doesn't need us.
God created this world to help rehabilitate us
Instead, God designed this dimension to help us - with programming to render consequences for our actions. This He did to enable our escape from Him, along with the faculty of learning.
This is the programming of illusion, which is made up of light, energy, atoms, molecules and so on - along with energy that is not perceivable by the senses. This is the energy by which we falsely identify with these temporary bodies - much as a person identifies with a dream.
But this energy of illusion also enables us to virtually suffer the consequences of self-centered activities. This might be compared to a video game - combined with an online course. We each experience the consequences of our activities, which ultimately teaches us about relationships, love and so on.
These bodies are like icons or avatars used in a video game. The computer can simply be turned off. Just as a sleeping person can awaken from a dream untouched, each of us - spirit-persons occupying temporary physical bodies - is ultimately untouched by the suffering experienced by the temporary physical body.
This illusory energy is not perceivable by the senses.
Illustrating this, recent research by astrophysicists indicates that nearly 95 percent of the universe is made of what is being called "dark matter" and "dark energy" - matter and energy that is not perceivable.
Just as a movie set provides the illusion that the events and people in the movie are real, the energy of the physical world provides the illusion that we are these temporary physical bodies - and He doesn't exist.
Yes - the Supreme Being is hiding from us. He has created a dimension that allows us to pretend that He doesn't exist. This allows us the continued freedom to reject Him.
You see, love cannot be forced. In order to be able to love, one must have the freedom not to love. In order to provide us this freedom, the Supreme Being creates the physical universe to allow us to pretend that He doesn't exist and that we are the greatest - that we are the masters.
We aren't masters
Of course, we aren't the masters - as we have no real control. We can control our general direction by our decisions to love Him or not. But otherwise, nature is programmed for consequences.
Even with this illusory energy, intelligent people can realize that the only thing that makes scientific sense is that the universe was ultimately created by a Supreme Being.
Why? Because one of the basic tenets of physics is that what has been produced must be contained within its source. This is a basic principle of the law of conservation of energy.
Within the physical world, we not only have atoms, molecules and energy. We also have living beings. We have personalities. Where did these personalities come from?
Where did this life come from?
According to the law of conservation of energy, the source of the universe must therefore also contain personality and life - since the universe contains personalities and life.
In other words, the source of the "big bang" couldn't just contain the physical elements and energy needed to create all these planets, stars, gravity, light and so on. The source of the "big bang" must also contain personality - life.
Thus cosmologists and astrophysicists must accept that the source of the universe - must also have life - personality. This is the Supreme Being - the Original Personality and the Source of persons and personality. The Original Source of life. But what about God?
Where did God come from?
The Supreme Being also created time. Time requires a beginning, but for God - who created time - there is no beginning: Because He is not subject to time. To assume that God would be subject to time would mean the element of time would be superior to God. The very definition of God means that there is nothing superior to Him. He created the element of time and therefore is not subject to time.
The Supreme Being also created the energy of illusion. This allows even the supposedly smartest people to conclude that even though there is so much life and personality in this universe, it all came from nothing. All this life and personality just arose as an accident of chemistry.
Such a notion is so illogical that it illustrates the ability of the Supreme Being to cover the consciousness of those who reject Him - preventing them from accepting His existence.
This illusion has been described variously in the scriptures - sometimes as Satan, Beelzebub or the devil. The reality is that this energy of illusion gives us what we want - an escape from our relationship with God.
Freedom of choice
It also gives each of us the ultimate freedom of choice to love God or not.
This means that if we want to resume our relationship with God then we have to want it. We have to make that choice.
This relates specifically to the mistranslation of the Greek word ἐκλεκτός (eklektos) to "chosen ones." The word actually means "the elect" or "the pre-eminent." This, of course, requires an initial choice to be made: We must choose between the Supreme Being and our self-centered desires. We must make the choice first. Then - assuming we make that choice - God will recognize us.
As such, God answers the prayers of those who feel lost, or lonely, or in need of a friend - these prayers are heard and answered: Those who seek Him and seek a relationship with Him.
This is confirmed by Jesus after he talks about, "For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds..." -
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:13)Thus Jesus is not speaking of asking God for a bunch of money, or to win a football game. He is speaking of asking God to help us renew our relationship with Him.
But we must be serious. After all, why should He bother with us when we aren't even serious about renewing our relationship with Him?
Okay, so we aren't that serious yet. But this doesn't mean that we can't become more serious about renewing our relationship with God. How do we become more serious?
Reaching out to God
As Jesus is stating, we must become diligent worshipers of God. By reaching out to God - by praising His Holy Names and praying to Him - we gradually become more and more serious as we become purified by our contact with His Holy Names and Scriptures.
See the scriptural evidence for how God's Holy Names can purify us and ultimately save us.