How should faith and reason work together?
When did God speak to you?
But I don’t think I can recollect such a time? Well, we all have a testimony, whether we remember it or not, if we are now a new creation. Perhaps you have always believed in Jesus since your earlier days and just don’t remember the transition between old and new lives. If so, then pray now for God to reveal Himself to you, because these are very important moments; they are spiritual nourishment to ensure your faith grows. Even those who don’t believe in Jesus are said to have no excuse.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
I can remember three significant occasions in my life when God showed up and one of them was so dramatic that it’s the single go-to memory that I recollect when my faith falters. It wasn’t a particularly pleasant time but the power of the Name of Jesus was demonstrated to me so powerfully that it’s worth more to me than any number of awesome testimonies, brilliant arguments or cunning apologetics. In one moment in time, God acted in my life and this experience is the clincher that puts paid to any wavering. First hand memory is the best weapon we have against the wiles of the enemy. Our remembrance of such God moments should be one of the greatest forces we have to sustain our faith.
Our God is a supernatural Being and therefore any interactions we have with Him will be supernatural too. When all is said and done, Christians live in the supernatural, identified by experiences, not just logical arguments and deductions. God is to be experienced, not proven logically. He is, after all, a living Being, not a bunch of mathematical equations! The Greek way, prompted by the teachings of Aristotle, gave us people like Anselm and Aquinas, who formulated a set of proofs for God’s existence. This is just knowledge in the head, not certainty in the heart, which is the Hebraic approach.
The Greek approach to God is to read about Him and analyse Him and try to prove His existence. The Hebraic way is just to get on your knees and speak to Him and ask Him to speak to you.
So God uses time to communicate with us. Events and moments, either personal or through His Word, that we are compelled to remember and which build up our faith.
The Bible is, therefore, at its deepest core, a diary of divine interactions with man, with everything else as commentary. To fully understand its heart, one does not peer over maps and diagrams, because God is not a God of places (with the obvious exception being the Tabernacle/Temple). Rather we should trace those moments of revelation, when God speaks. He is, after all, the Author, and so His voice is pre-eminent. A popular feature of New Testament translations is to print the actual words of Jesus in red. Perhaps we would equally benefit by doing the same for God in the Old Testament?
What the Bible and, in fact, history itself, tells us, is that there is a hierarchy of moments in time. All periods and ages are not the same. Although men may pray to God at any time, God does not speak to man in equal measure. There have been times, such as the four centuries between Malachi and John the Baptist, when He seems to have gone on holiday. There are other times, such as the three years of Jesus walking with us, when there was continuous revelation. God chooses the time, the silences, the outpourings, the revivals. This is not something we can manufacture, despite the claims of many a ministry to promise a visitation of the Holy Spirit to all delegates who have paid an entrance fee!
This is an extract from the book, Hebraic Church, available for £10 at http://www.sppublishing.com/hebraic-church-101-p.asp