I'm sure you are familiar with the term "blind faith". I use it pretty often, like when I'm trying to wing something!
Its a phrase that I used to think made sense as a christian, believing in God without actually being able to see him. I used to think that the fact that I continued to believe in God without evidence of his existence somehow made my faith stronger. I have since changed my mind.
Blind faith is weak...too weak for me. If I don't see something I end up just pretending to believe.
The other night in work one of the guys I work with asked me why I believe in God. "Joy, have you ever seen him?" I think he was taking the piss, expecting an answer that started with a "no, but", followed by a long justifying excuse for my faith.
That's not what he got.
Nor did he get the God is like electricity..."you cant see him but you can see his effects" line.
So have I ever seen God?
Well YES as a matter of fact, I HAVE!
My faith is not based on things unseen. I believe in God because I see him every day and their have been times in my life where I have looked him in the eye.
So have I had earth shattering experiences in the holy spirit and mind blowing prophecies? Not really. I haven't shook in a "meeting" in years. I also don't think I have ever fallen over in the holy spirit...OK maybe once or twice but not lately.
God has not been in the quake, more often in the whisper.
I asked my friend on Thursday a question that could only come from me in response to his seeing God inquest..
I asked him if he had ever been to Africa. I honestly think that Africa would make an atheist uncomfortable. You see on one hand their is so much suffering that you are left thinking....."how can God allow this?". But then you meet the people.
I have yet to find a stronger source of God on earth than in these heavenly people.
People with HIV, a few shillings if any, little food, a mud hut and dirty water to match their feet. No stuff. Nothing to hide behind.
So when they smile, they mean it. They don't smile because of what they have, they smile love from their souls. God is love and he dwells in the least.
Jesus in disguise.
One young man in the hospital in Kenya where I worked took me so close to Jesus that I know I will recognise him when I see him. I have seen him since in similarly broken people.
I have seen him during my work this year. Usually in the drunks...this doesn't mean you will see him there too...your source may be totally different to mine but eventually if we all switch our eyes on we will collectively see him painted over our world.
I told my friend I wasn't so much a fan of prim and proper religion. Think by this stage his head was melted.
Jesus did not embrace religion. Jesus embraced those that religion rejected. He trashed the grandeur of the temple and chose to visit the poor, touch the leper, respect the prostitute. Things I find hard to do because of pride came naturally to the king of kings.
I remember a day on the ward when a young guy was dying. His entire family were around his bed with candles lit, prayers on the wall, a priest praying with them and rosary beads in their hands. To be honest these things are a bit alien to me but none of the religious symbols took away or added to the fact that God hit me in the face as soon as I walked in through the door. The kingdom of God is at hand not in the sky, not in the future but here and now. Where people are together in love...
You know I have also seen little glimpses of hell on earth..no I don't mean when I have to work 90 hours a week, though that comes close.
When I was in Thailand I visited a prison. In the dark cell of the prison I saw a glimpse of the kingdom of darkness. Little children that had been prostituted to older men...in a dark,cold cell.
I simply said I never want anyone I know to spend eternity in a place like that.
I guess what I'm saying is that I have a fresh reminder in my heart today that this thing is REAL.
This is not just good living religion for the sake of a clean conscience. Its not about living an abstract life on the "narrow way". The world is the broad way. So instead of disappearing up some narrow christian path a million miles away from reality we have to hit the dirt.
We have to SEE God in the least
SEEING is believing.
The more you see the more you will believe that God and you together can change things. Rescue people from those prisons.
Remember though that with revelation comes responsibility. I'm challenged that since I have seen the truth in this, I have a responsibility to live it.
That is the hard part.
Ignorance is bliss but seeing God is heavenly and worth the sacrifice.