Sunday, February 1, 2015

{Perspective}:How to Know God is Real

It was time to let my little boy, with the cowlick in the back that refuses to stand down, know the good news. 

He was watching Phineas and Ferb on Netflix with his siblings. 

"Guess what?" I said loud it enough to rise above the volume of Phineas trying to make plans about what to do today... 

No response.

"Hey. Little Man? I've got something to tell you." Slightly louder.

He glanced at me. "What?" Then turned back to the computer screen.

It seemed like he was still listening, but it's hard to tell sometimes with autism

"I am going to be your teacher tomorrow." I paused. "In your third grade Sunday School class." No feedback. "How do you like that?"

He continued to stare at the cartoon. "Oh. Good," he said without flinching.

Helping teach a classroom full of rowdy, rambunctious nine-year-olds, was not really my idea of a day of rest, but I was surprised to find that I was blessed in doing so.

Toward the end of class, one of the questions the lead teacher asked struck me. 

"How do you know God is real?"

That's not just a question for kids. And, it's hard to answer.

For the first time that morning, the class went silent.

Then one bright girl spoke up. "In God's Word."

And, it got me thinking.

How do we know God is real?

Yes, in His Word, the Holy Bible, the best-selling book in all of time, preserved through millenia, translated into nearly every language in existence.

But, how do we know God is real from the Bible?

Well, that is where faith comes in...

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

But, how does one go about getting faith?

Can you try really hard to conjure up feelings of belief?
No. Although feelings are associated with it, faith in itself is not a feeling (Ephesians 2:8,9).

Can you study really hard and know everything about theology?
No. Unless you experience a spiritual rebirth, you cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3)

Can you do every religious practice "religiously" to be considered a righteous person?
No. Every thing we try to do to be right with God is still done without Him and brings us no closer to knowing Him.

God must reach out to us.

Because faith is a gift from above (Ephesians 2:8,9).

And, here is the real good news...

God reached down from on high, broke through the womb of a lowly virgin, grew in wisdom and stature in grace and in truth. 
He allowed Himself to be broken, poured out and killed on a cross as a sacrifice for our sins. 
And, He was raised back to life and now is in heaven until the appointed time of His return.

It takes a miraculous faith to believe in salvation through Christ Jesus.

And also, for us to acknowledge that Christ is not only our Savior, but our Lord, Whom all our feelings, thoughts, plans, words, and actions bow down to.

"That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9,10)

When we believe He reached down to us, and we daily acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord, we know He is real.  And, we will see Him in our lives.

Five Ways to See God:

In our feelings: when we worship the Lord through song, with lifted hands, bowed down, or clapping in exaltation, we allow our hearts to adore Him. And, we will fall in love with Him.

In our thoughts: when we pray and meditate on God's Word, His Works, and His Providence, our minds are renewed. We become God-focused. And, we will think like Him.

In our plans:  when we make a point to look to the Lord first in all things, our lives are set in tune with His will for us. We will trust Him to work all things out for our good (Matthew 6:33, Romans 8:28).

In our words: when our feelings, thoughts and plans are saturated with the Lord, our words will be full of love, thankfulness, and praise. We will confess His faithfulness to the world.

In our actions: when we depend on the Lord's strength to do the things that are hard, but good, we will be able to accomplish the impossible. We will take courage in Him.

We can only see God because He first reached out to us and gave us His grace. 

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8)