Tuesday, November 19, 2013

For Real

When a man in the grocery store informed me that God was a myth I almost laughed right out loud.  I told him that he was mistaken, that God is for real.

He then went on to state that evangelical Christians held the same faith as Muslims, all a wishful clinging to ancient stories.  I responded with, "No, they are not the same, because Jesus is exclusive.  He says that He is THE way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6)

We talked more about the validity of the writings and the testimony of changed lives.  At this point the man decided he was done speaking with me and disappeared out the door.

I was left with a flustered clerk who had overheard our conversation.  She explained that this man often visited their establishment pestering people with his ideas.    

But what this man did not know is that I was on an assignment from the very God he called a myth.  I was seeking to bless where there had been strife.  A mending of what had been broken.  It was not me, but Christ in me, giving grace to obey. 

A soul storm raged within, but was held simultaneous with overwhelming joy.  An authentic miracle.  Impossible of my natural self.  It was God Himself who was raising me up to be more than I could ever be on my own.  

I had planned on going to a different store, but at the last minute changed my mind.  I even had to turn around to come back to this store.

The God of heaven, the real, living, breathing, resurrected Jesus, was pursuing this man, and he didn't even know it.   A fairytale God?  I think not!

Something else this man did not know is that I had just spent an hour with the Lord.  The radio was on and every song of that hour, ministered to my need.  I was swept up in the shelter of God, hidden under His wings . . . not made up self-talk, not an emotional trance, but the real, tangible presence of the living God!

This is why I could scarcely keep from laughing right out loud.  I thought, "You, sir, do not know who you are speaking to.  Have you given this God a chance?  Have you read the words He left for us?  These words which speak life to our souls?"

I have traveled with this God for some time now.  Long enough to truly know Him, to have seen Him faithful through thick and thin, to see His goodness when circumstances shout otherwise.  And I have not seen the end of it.  God never stops moving and working in my life, always pressing me further to growth in Him. 

The man started out fishing, wanting me to respond with the woes of my day.  Instead, I told him that I was having a great day.  Because I was.

"What?  You don't have ups and downs?" he probed further.

"I do have highs and lows, but God helps me through them," I answered.

God is for real.  He is not a list of rules, nor a sugar daddy, nor some ancient long lost history, nor some vapor in the sky.  No, God is more real than every breath that breathes on this earth.

In fact, He raises me up for this very reason, that I might stand on difficulties with triumph.  Instead of being 'under the circumstances', He enables me to prance over them, these heights taking me into the presence of God where the air is invigorating.  I inhale, breathing His life, and I am renewed.

No, it goes far beyond God being real.  God is actively involved in my life.  He loves, protects, enables, and yes, even disciplines.  He does whatever it takes to turn my heart towards Him for He knows this is for my good.  Near His heart is what we are made for.  It fits like a glove.  

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