Link to Today’s reading: Exodus 24; John 3; Job 42; 2 Corinthians 12
Despite being a lukewarm, cultural Christian most of my adult life, I still had many great conversations about God, the Bible and truth. Conversations, that despite their assumed relevance, lacked something they seemed to beg for. Without a deeper personal commitment to my faith, and a constant connection to God, or without the relentless pursuit of spiritual transformation; my conversations lacked real power.
I wanted my words to be more engaging, more compelling, filled with power that came from authenticity. But ultimately, this power could only come from God, and without the presence of the Holy Spirit, my discussions were still constrained in every way possible by the limits of my flesh. Eventually, I found myself in more conversations where the Holy Spirit’s participation seemed present — and these were very different. They were conversations with people who were pursuing lives of demonstrative faith through action, conversations that spoke beyond our words, in silent power. Perhaps, someday, I too would learn how to communicate like that.
Sometimes, Christians view discussions of faith as contests of ideas. And while the competition of ideas can be a good thing; when it comes to matters of faith, and in particular, understanding God, sometimes it is best to plead, “no contest.” Yes, I believe reason is still important in the discussion about God, but it isn’t the main thing — God is! We communicate with each other through language and ideas, limited by our understanding and experience, also by our capacity for abstract thinking and logic; but God communicates with us in other ways. In addition to revelation through the lives of people, God reveals himself through nature, and also by the law laid down in scripture (Psalm 19, and Psalm 119). In each of these three forms of revelation, it is through the Holy Spirit that God speaks directly and miraculously to the hearts of those, who by faith, choose to listen. It is He, who gives us ears to hear and eyes to see, profoundly, if that is what we ask for and what we seek (Matthew 7:7-8). How we choose to respond to God’s revelation, however, is personal, and something we must decide.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my father as well. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” -John 14:6-7
In a conversation with a freind the other day I was presented with this question: aren’t all major religions worshipping the same God? My response was, “no.” Different religions worship different gods, that is the main point of them. However, if there is only one true God, a God above all gods, then it makes sense that anyone, in any religion, seeking God with all their hearts, minds and souls, will find Him. God is calling out through time and space to his whole creation. In a sense, all paths could lead to a God who is always next to us, always calling to us, waiting for our answer; but it seems that our answer, regardless of our religion, is often at best, a timid whisper, “maybe.” Then my freind challenged me with the history of Christianity, filled with abuses and hypocrisy. “If Christianity is the one true path to God, why then is there so much evidence of Christians behaving poorly?” Now I understood his point, much of my life offered evidence to support it; but I said this: “Christianity is a religion practiced by imperfect people, imperfectly. And not all who claim it are true followers.” There are people in all religions who profess a faith that they don’t live up to — Christianity is no different in that sense. This fact however, doesn’t prove that the Christian story is false, any more than the millions of changed lives through out history, prove that it is true. Either it is or it isn’t, and it remains for all to consider: is there a Divine Creator of everything, who is personal, who can be known, who desires to be known?
God has written a story on the hearts of men, and in history; by creating a nation through one family, then rescuing that nation from slavery, delivering them to “the Promised Land.” Finally, through that same nation, after generations of prophesy (that is eventually fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus), God provides the means to rescue all humanity from their sin. God’s story is one of promises made and kept; deliverance and provision and restoration. God created the world, then intervened in its history to finish His work; the undeserved perfection of the Human soul. We need only to respond in faith to God’s overwhelming and constant revelation. How will you respond today?
Jesus said: While I am in the world, I am the light the world. -John 9:5