Is God in Your DNA?
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
In a tribal area in Northern Luzon in the Philippines, a witch doctor sprinkles chicken blood on the door posts of a new house and chants a prayer asking that the spirits bless the residents. In Yangon merchants step out of their sandals and walk barefooted up the steps to the great Shedagon Pagoda and sit in contemplation before a golden Buddha. Half-way around the world, families fill parking lots, then with Bibles under their arms stream into churches looking more like modern shopping centers than traditional ones with spires and organs. While their paths to God may be as divergent as the distance between the three groups I mentioned, all of them, right or wrong, are reaching out to God as they conceive him to be.
All over the world you find temples, churches, and religious gatherings of one kind or another. Why? Anthropologists may respond that humans have a religious nature, but going deeper is the question, “Where did that come from? Who put it there?” Christians are quick to respond, “God did! That’s how He made us!” And, if you believe the record that God gave through Moses almost 2500 years ago, you can quickly turn to proof texts that essentially say that.
Scientists have attempted to answer that question, saying, “It’s in your DNA. It’s in your genes.” Molecular biologist Dean Hamer published a book entitled The God Gene: How Faith Is Hardwired into Our Genes. He not only believes that human spirituality is genetic, but he believes he has located one of the genes responsible for your quest for God. OK, are you to assume that your thirst to know God is simply the interaction of certain brain chemicals in your head, something no different from the heart cry of David, who prayed, “My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1)?
The book of Ecclesiastes says that God “set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Dr. Hugh Ross, a scientist who is also a Christian apologist, believes that human curiosity, the desire to know which prompts the question, “Why?” is an evidence not only that you were created in the image of God, but is an evidence of God’s existence as well.
Does it matter whether your desire to know God is hard-wired into your DNA or simply born in your heart? The fact is, you want to know God, to know that you came into the world for a reason, and that you can make peace with Him.
A final thought. God would have been cruel to make you with a desire to know Him unless He had also made provision for that need to be met, for your questions to be answered, and for your search to end in His embracing you in His great love. He put that thirst in your heart to fully satisfy it. He satisfies your deep longing. The Psalmist put it, “For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:9).
David put it, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8). That’s a test which leaves you satisfied or else with an intense thirst which makes your mouth parched and dry. A refreshing drink at a cold spring after a long, arduous hike through the desert satisfies in ways that can only be experienced.
Do you want to know God? Bow your heart and knee and tell Him, then pick up your Bible and begin reading in the Gospel of John. It was written to introduce you to this great God who sent His son to earth to show you the way back home. That’s Good News.
Resource reading: John 1:1-14