Awaken to Reality
You….I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.(Isaiah 43:10)”
Why do the very ransomed children of God know so little of that habitual conscious communion with God that the Scriptures seem to offer? The answer is our chronic unbelief. Faith enables our spiritual sense to function. Where faith is defective the result will be inwardly insensibility and numbness toward spiritual things. This is the condition of vast numbers of Christians today. No proof is necessary to support that statement. We have but to converse with the first Christians we meet or to enter the first church we find open to acquire all the proof we need.
A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His presence. The eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality.
By reality, I mean that which has its existence apart from any idea any mind may have of it, and which would exist if there were no mind anywhere to entertain a thought of it. That which is real has being in itself. It does not depend upon the observer for its validity.
By our definition, God is real in the absolute and final sense that nothing else is. All other reality is contingent upon His. The great Reality. Is God who is the author of that lower and dependent reality which makes up the sum of created things, including ourselves. God has objective existence independent of and apart from any notions which we may have concerning Him.
The worshipping heart does not create its Object. It finds Him here when it wakes from its moral slumber in the morning of its regeneration.
A. W. Tozer
I have read of individuals who have been declared dead. They literally have an almost impossible attempt to prove otherwise. I’ve read that though they have presented themselves in person to various entities, they were asked for documented proof. What a nightmare this is for a living being to prove their existence.
Great treatises have been produced in an attempt to prove that God is real and that He exists. One question by the secular community is that which wishes some tangible proof of God as a real being. Even Christians struggle with the concept of God being more than a perception of faith. We may not express our doubts of the existence of God but somehow He remains some fuzzy futuristic being. We live often as though God doesn’t exist. As in the case of those who have been in error declared dead, there is often required a continued proof that God exists.
The Bible never attempts to prove the existence of God. We may try to explain why we believe what we believe but the intellectual mind will never find enough proof for the existence of God as a real being. So we do what the Bible does. We accept that He is real.
For some of us this isn’t enough so we seek and search. What then can we find to validate the existence of God? Let me give a simple example. Suppose you have a friend who is constantly talking to you about their friend whom you have never met. I think about the episode on the Andy Griffith Show when Opie meets Mister Beavie. Coming home he attempts to describe this new friend. He jingles, walks in trees and blows smoke from his ears. In addition to this he gives gifts. Barney and Andy treat this friend and an imaginary person that Opie has created. Throughout the episode Opie keeps trying to prove his friend is real and no one believes him because they can’t connect his description of his friend to their concept of what a human is like. Finally Andy goes in search of Mister Beavie and meets him for himself. When that occurs, Andy sees why he jingles, his extra “hands”, his walking around in trees and the smoke coming from his ears. Andy accepts the reality of Mister Beavie’s existence. The difference between the concept of Mister Beavie’s reality initially that was met with skepticism and the acceptance of his reality was the meeting between him and Andy. Once Andy met him, he became a reality.
This is the answer to the question of the reality of God. Once we meet Him personally, once we begin to know Him, then we can accept the reality of His being.
The disciples has similar challenges. Though they were with Christ and watched Him work miracles and teach great truths, to accept Him as God was a stretch for them. Four incidents show us this.
One day as Jesus is sitting with the disciples he asked them who they thought He was. They replied that some believed that He was a prophet such as Elijah or Jeremiah. We know that Peter got the revelation that Christ was the Son of the Living God. Jesus told him and us that Peter only knew it because God the Father had revealed it to Him.
On another occasion we read that Phillip asked Jesus if He would show him God the Father. Jesus answer to Phillip was that if Phillip had seen Jesus He had seen the Father.
The third incident occurred on the Mount of transfiguration where Peter, James and John were with Jesus. While beholding Jesus in His glory and seeing Him talking with Moses and Elijah, Peter wished to build three tabernacles to honor the three. On that occasion they heard the voice of God from heaven saying, “This is my beloved son….”
The fourth incident happened after the resurrection. Most of us are familiar with “Doubting Thomas” who needed to touch the wounds in Jesus’ hands and body to believe. We see Thomas bowing before Christ and we hear the words; “My Lord and my God.”
What connects all these incidents is the personal encounter with God. On each occasion the doubts and uncertainties were answered with presence. So for us when those doubts arise, let us draw near and seek God and may He make Himself known to us in reality.
To those who have met with God, His reality is as certain as Mister Beavie was to Andy after the personal encounter. May God grant every believer a personal encounter not once or twice but daily.
Dr. John Thompson