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Monday Motivation

As we begin our day and our week, we all know that there are forces out there that want to drive you to question everything that you have ever been taught and everything that you believe. You will be instructed that to question God is a wise thing, and you will be influenced to doubt the very foundations of your life. Some of these instructions and influences will come from people you trust and even love. My goal today is the direct opposite: To tell you that God is indeed real, that His ways are the ways of true life, and that you can personally walk in a loving communion with Him every day that you live. The best way I know to accomplish this is to relate to you a couple of the deeds of the Lord in my own experience from back in my younger days.

My first recalled interaction with God was when I was somewhere between the ages of three and five. I was playing around the house, contemplating on whatever kids that age contemplate on (probably thinking of a way to get into mischief; I did that a lot back then). Suddenly the thought came to me, “I’M ME!” Sorry, at that time I considered this to be quite the earth-shattering revelation. “This voice in my head that tells me things, that instructs me, that sometimes argues with me or gets me into trouble—that’s ME!” It was something similar to Rene Descartes’ hallmark statement of Philosophy, “I think, therefore, I am.” But my little self came at it from the opposite direction; “I am; therefore, I think. I’M ME!” But Descartes got his bombshell at the age of forty-one. I had discovered my personal existence at a much more tender time of life.

However, do you honestly think that I came up with that on my own? I don’t either. Even then, these two words drew me to two related conclusions: First, that this thought had come from God Himself; He was the One Who had put those words into my consciousness. I was a church-going child of church-going parents, and I was familiar with the concept of God, even if we had not yet made a strong connection. But this realization led to the second conclusion, the obvious fact that this God they were telling me about was real. If I had an ability to think, where did it come from? Something like that doesn’t evolve, or occur as a genetic mutation, or happen as a result of survival of the fittest. A species can maybe evolve a pair of opposable thumbs or the lack of a tail, but cognitive ability requires something way more deliberate to bring it into existence. (Ok, I’ll admit: the last sentence, I developed a little later.)

So I went on in life, a church-going kid who believed in God because he had heard from Him. As time went on my faith developed: A church-going, God-loving kid; a church-going, God-loving, bible-believing kid; and finally a church-going, God-loving, bible-believing, and bible-reading adult. It was at that stage, some fifteen to twenty years after my initial encounter with God, that I had a life-transforming personal experience with Him that I want you to know about.

It began when this church-going, God-loving, bible-believing, and bible-reading adult decided he wanted to commit a sin. It was a conscious decision, not a spur-of-the-moment impulse or an unexpected temptation. It was something that required a certain amount of logistical preparation and planning to commit; it necessitated me going out of my way to a certain degree; and I did it anyway. I knew it was wrong, and I did it anyway.

Don’t misunderstand me. No laws were broken in the commission of this sin, and no other people or animals were hurt, injured, or suffered in any way because of it. Yet, it was wrong, and I did it anyway. Also, it wasn’t as I had never sinned before or after this event. What made this different was the cold deliberateness with which it was committed, and what happened afterward.

When it was over, I was feeling pretty guilty. I was kicking myself, and wondering what in the world God was thinking of me now. That was when the unexpected happened. I was suddenly overwhelmed with feelings of forgiveness, acceptance, and love. I’d never experienced such feelings of this great intensity before, nor have I since. I was moved to tears, not a normal thing for me. I simply could not comprehend this massive outpouring which was so contrary to what had been coming from my own soul just moments before. I knew it wasn’t coming from me; that overwhelming level of forgiveness, acceptance, and love was beyond my scope of emotional understanding.

Then I realized: this was from God, as surely as that affirmation of His existence years ago in my toddlerhood had been. He was showing me His true character, not from the pages of a book, but in real interaction, in a way I had never known. He was showing me His Nature through His powerful presence.

That’s when I knew without doubt: This stuff is real. And that’s what I want to let you know, young people: This stuff is real. I know it, not because of something I reasoned out or mentally assented to, but because Almighty God wanted me to know Him. He showed Himself to me, through personal interaction, in these two occasions. Of course, there have been many others over the years. We talk pretty much daily. But these are the foundational moments in my life when God showed me Who He was. And you know what? He wants the same for you. I’m no different from you, I’m just another church-going, God-loving, bible-believing, and bible-reading adult. He wants you to have that experiential relationship that can withstand all those other voices out there trying to rob you of all God has for you.

That’s it. I’m just remembering His wonders of old in my life. May Almighty God give each of you such deeds and wonders on which you can anchor your lives, as well.


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