What would you say if someone asked you what your reasons were for your faith? I’ve wrestled with this for a long time. I’ve studied apologetics, theology, biology, geology, cosmology, and other subjects to varying degrees so I could come up with an answer. Frustratingly enough, I’ve learned a lot, but I still haven’t been able to clearly articulate the reason for my faith. Just a few days ago, I realized the answer wasn’t in the books. God has already revealed to me what I need to say, I’ve just never thought to say. My answer is this: I know that God exists because He spoke to me directly.
During that time of my life, I was tragedy waiting to happen. I was whirlwind of chasing skirts, poppin’ bottles, and a deeply ingrained rage at what felt like the whole world. Everything seemed so pointless and empty. Brokenness was all around me. Friends betrayed friends, husbands betrayed wives, mothers betrayed daughters, and so on. Outside of what I could see around me, my thoughts of people are out there dying from starvation, disease epidemics, natural disasters, the list goes on.
In my mind, God was busy dealing with those things. There was no way He had time for me and my little problems in the grand scheme of things. I just hoped I did good enough not to end up in hell when my life was over. In the mean time, it was up to me to find any semblance of joy on this side of life, but it was a futile endeavour. When I got to my worst and stopped caring about whether I lived or died, He spoke directly to me.
I’ll never forget that night. It was Sunday, January 20th, 2013 around 11pm. I was shut up in my room wrestling with the things I’ve personally done that have added to the world’s misery and suffering. Grief was overwhelming me to the point that I could see literal blood on my hands. Deranged is the closest word I can use to describe seeing a manifestation of personal guilt. I thought I was losing my mind, but then He said two powerful and to and to the point things to me.
The first thing He said was simply “Enough”. The blood on my hands vanished, but that only added to my confusion I really thought I was losing it then. Then He said “I have things for you to do”. It was not an option to consider, it was a command. One I could only respond to with a meek “Okay”. From then on, I just sat in silence pondering what I had just experienced and wondering if I really was just crazy.
What does God’s voice sound like? Well, I can’t tell you that. He didn’t speak to me with an audible voice. The words were impressed into my heart. He spoke to the part of me that sincerely believed those moments that I was a good person subjected to a bad world. His words showed me my lack of righteousness, and that’s how I knew it was Him.
He dispelled the illusion I was in and showed me my true self. Shortly after that, He showed me that He was working in me through other people. Someone I hardly knew told me I was different. I had only met this person one other time a year prior, when I was in the midst of my downward spiral. The second time we met the change in me was brought up and I walked away from that encounter realizing that I indeed did feel different.
The despair, anger, paranoia, and everything else was gone. I didn’t feel a gaping hole in my soul begging to be fed with a hedonistic lifestyle anymore. I was healed emotionally, spiritually, and mentally without even being consciously aware of it. He spoke to me and showed His power by changing the things I found pleasure in. The bottles in my cabinets turned into books on my shelf. It’s been a gradual process of change since then.
So, if you ever wonder why I’m so sure, it’s not because of the moral argument, uniformity in nature, the beauty of creation, love, human rights, or anything else a godless worldview has nothing to show a basis for. It’s because He chose to speak to me. All those other things just bolster my personal experience with Him from that night.
“At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me,a is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” – John 10:22-30