Seeking Confirmation

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 31, 2017 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Have you ever had a time where you had to question the very foundation of what you believe? Most go through a crisis of faith at one point or another. And it happens to best of us. The very man who confessed “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” had a crisis of faith. He asked Jesus, “Are you the one, or should we expect someone else?” How could John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus, the one who leapt in the womb at the presence of his cousin, the one who shouted down Pharisees, the one who confronted the immorality of King Herod, the one who proclaimed a message of repentance, and the one who baptized Jesus doubt who Jesus was? If John the Baptist could doubt, how much more any of us? But how did Jesus respond to this?

Read Luke 7:18-35, particularly 20-21. Jesus immediately healed people and cast out demons. Then he told John’s disciples this report: “The lame walk, the blind see, the demons are cast out…” Jesus never told John, “Yes, I really am the one.” Jesus said, “Look at what I am doing here. Could I be anyone else?”

There are many skeptics about the claims of Jesus, and many of them ask, “If God really existed, why doesn’t he perform such and such a miracle?” My answer to that question is: “If God did that, would you believe?” Most never say, “Yes.” I want to point out two groups of people: honest seekers and dishonest seekers. I have touched on this in recent posts, but I want to dig deeper into that here.

An honest seeker one who seeks the truth of the situation in all matters, even if it proves him wrong and costs him something. An honest seeker does not just seek what some people claim about the issues; they seek to see if what is said is true. They weigh it and consider it and explore all the different options. They evaluate which options are able to stand upon their own merits. And they do not let the topic slide until they find out the solution. An honest skeptic will look at evidence that questions the position they hold and will conduct an honest investigation to find out if the evidence is so. He will reject evidence if it does not hold to honest scrutiny, not because he simply doesn’t like it.

A dishonest seeker is someone who already has a decision on the matter determined BEFORE investigation. They either favor one side they like or purposefully disfavor another side. They have no interest in what is actually true and they only want to find whatever arguments they can to support their pre-determined position. They will demand evidence for a position they do not agree with, but already have in their mind that no evidence can support that claim no matter what evidence is given. Now, this is different from someone with blind faith and holds to a position only because that is all they have known; this is someone who is presented with evidence and they refuse to examine it for a proper analysis.

An honest seeker may have doubts but wants to believe. Take a look at Gideon. He was not sure of his calling to deliver Israel from the Midianites so he asked for two tests with a fleece and dew. He was not trying to put God to the test by being presumptuous; he was rather seeking a confirmation the he really was to do it. The whole time, he wanted to believe. He just had a few stumbling blocks to overcome.

The dishonest seeker is not going to find God because he is looking to NOT see him. When Jesus spoke of the rich man and Lazarus, he described how the rich man sought to get Abraham to raise Lazarus from the dead to warn his brothers. However, Abraham then responded with, “They have Moses and the Prophets (the whole OT from Genesis through Malachi at that time). If they do not believe Moses and the Prophets, neither will they believe even if the dead were raised” (Luke 16:29). This is serious to grasp. The dishonest seeker will not be moved by evidence. Even when Jesus performed all his miracles and appeared before hundreds after his Resurrection, even then some still did not believe. It is because they did not love the truth enough to believe it. Ahab saw the evidence of the fire from heaven and it still did not change his mind.

I love the testimony of Josh McDowell. He was an honest seeker. He wanted to authentically disprove the Bible. He didn’t want to just find any argument he could find; he wanted to historically and logically disprove it. He could not, and in the process he realized it was true - every word. But he did not become a Christian. He still had his pride and his preferred lifestyle to deal with. Finally, God broke through that and he became a born again believer and is one of today’s leading apologists. He was an honest seeker, but also is a prime example that evidence alone will not convert someone.

I constantly hear people tell me to “prove God exists,” and if I choose to respond, I’ll typically ask, “What would you consider to be evidence?” So far, I have encountered only one person that actually gave legit criteria: God would need to demonstrate himself by doing something that cannot be explained by science. I was impressed. Most who attempt to answer that question either have given it no thought, or purpose to set up criteria for intention of keeping God from being a possible option. So I gave him a challenge. Ask God to address that deep, personal issue that only you know about and tends to keep you up at night. I told him to ask God not for a trivial thing like “make the chair move,” but for that deepest need and desire to be settled. This guy would not (as of when I last spoke) take me up on that challenge. Maybe he is on his own, I don’t know. But his last correspondence indicated he had no interest in finding out who God is or even if he exists.

Are we honest or dishonest seekers? We all have doubts and we all will be shaken at one point or another. I have had my faith shaken but it did not move me. I stood upon my faith, because it was a solid rock. And I know if my faith was based on anything weaker, I would have fallen.

If John the Baptist could be shaken, so can any of us. When Jesus gave the report, John believed again. One thing I have learned is that God will never turn down an honest seeker. He will never leave someone who truly wants the truth unsatisfied in the search. The reason why is because no one is ever going to be an honest seeker unless God is already drawing him. None of us seek after God on our own will and desires.

In the words of Aslan in The Silver Chair, “You would not have called me if I had not been calling you.” Then we are responsible for responding to his call or not. I truly believe God calls upon every person at one time or another. Not all respond correctly. Which are you?

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.