Talking with God

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, February 12, 2014 0 comments

My roommate was gone for the weekend. It had been a long week and I was exhausted. I had so many questions on my mind. A fire was kindled in my bones and I had to open up the my Bible and seek answers. I kept my Bible underneath my Bed. So as I was laying there in silence, I reached down and picked it up.

“Where do I start?” I asked myself. “I believe that this book has the answers to my questions, but it is so big. I need a reference point to guide me. Where do I start?”

As I grappled with this predicament, I decided to pray. “Lord God, I know that you are real. I know that you are the Creator. But my friends, they don’t know that. The longer we all sit in that classroom, the more doubts we are going to have. I have heard so much from your Word and about your Word in church, but now I want to explore it myself and learn about what is troubling me today. Please Lord, guide me in your Word to what you would have me learn. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Did I hear any voices? No. Did I randomly open my Bible to where God wanted me to read? No. Did I dismiss my prayer and God’s existence altogether for the sake that he failed to answer? No. Did God answer? Yes. For as a laid upon my bed, having finished my prayer, the Lord brought to mind Bible 101 and the book of Romans. First to Romans 12,
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” (Romans 12:2, 3)

Wow. God did not expect me to know everything but he wanted me to have the proper frame of mind when I approached the world around me. Let your mind be transformed so that you can see things for what they really are; not as other people try to tell you they are. Then, balance that out with a sober perception of myself. I do not realize the truth merely because I am better than anyone else, but because God has opened my eyes. If it were not for his grace I would still be blind and falling into the sinful pattern of the world. These verses helped me to understand that I might even encounter certain people who I perceived to be good, but did not believe in Jesus as their Lord. Yes, they are good people, but who is good but God alone? So in that sense they are my better, but because of the measure of faith God has given me it is my privilege to introduce them to the truth of the Gospel for the glory of God.

I was intrigued and decided to turn back to the beginning of Romans. So Romans chapter one was my next endeavor. It was there that I found these words: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (1:16) and then, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (1:20).

Now this really spoke to me. I was in an environment that was hostile toward Christian beliefs but God has called me to be bold and to stand passionately for Christ even in the midst of those circumstances. My fears and my doubts began to wash away and I was encouraged by God’s Word to hang in there and let the power of God be known. How would this happen? I had no clue, but clearly God was in control of my circumstances.

Furthermore, I was reassured that it was not I who was in denial about the absence of God, but Derkins who was in denial of God’s existence. If his invisible qualities are made known through his creation, certainly Derkins had to know that God was real. But did he really believe in his heart that God was real? It did not seem like it. In fact, it appeared as though God was the furthest thing from his heart. But I knew that this passage was correct. I did not know how to explain its precise meaning, but somehow I suspected that Derkins in some way or another really believed in God’s existence. He was just unwilling to admit it. But if this was true, why? Why would someone reject the existence of God when God is the one who provides salvation and eternal life. Now I was starting to develop more questions.

There is so much more to this conversation that I experienced than I could possibly express in words. It was a conversation, though. I spoke to God and he responded through his Word. Not only through his Word, he also spoke his truth directly to my heart. I was experiencing the truth of Scripture in real time. That is not to say I was reliving the events of the Bible in some mystical way; rather, I was conversing with the Living God whose very presence was in my room and in my heart.

Sure, not all of my questions were answered. There is something about God’s answers that always leave room for more questions. I was hoping for all of the answers, but what God gave me were challenges. “Humble yourself, trust me, and live your faith. Your answers will come in time. For now, you must rely upon my promises.” Thus our time concluded and I fell asleep.

It was powerful and surreal, and yet there was one problem that remained: tomorrow.

As subtle as it may sound, tomorrow will be a challenge. The challenges of tomorrow, again, are unique to his previous ones. For tomorrow is a day off…Saturday! How will Ryan spend his time and what will he encounter that challenges his faith? Only time will tell, but it should be interesting as Ryan spends some time walking the streets of Cleveland.