Monday, September 3, 2012

The God Who Has Revealed Himself to Me

For a New Testament Theology course right now I am reading an introductory overview of the development and methodology of biblical and systematic theology. Biblical theology deals with the message of the Books of the Bible within their historical settings. My reading deals with the idea of special revelation - namely Scripture, one of the primary modes through which God has revealed Himself to humanity. Scripture reveals God by describing and sometimes explaining His activities in human history. Various acts of God, not attributable to human achievement or failure or skilled leadership (such as God's miraculous deliverance of Israel from Egyptian slavery, for example), tell us about the character and intentions of God.

Reading this, I can't help but think about the "acts of God" in my own personal history - divine interventions that have revealed God to me as He would have me to understand and know Him. One of the most near to my heart of these experiences was when I prayed for God to heal a close family member who had been given a very short time to live. He did. He also eventually answered a prayer I had prayed daily for many years regarding a personal healing of my own that was both physical and emotional. These activities of God on my behalf have revealed God to me as Healer, and as One who is moved by (and not stoic to) my desperation. No matter what happens in the future, I know that in the past He moved for me in these two situations. I know He cares about me, and He is willing and able to move on my behalf.

He has revealed Himself to me through other activities as well. I won't share them all here - they are personal, and their meaning is individual to me. Others can argue they have been coincidences, or times of good luck, or statistical inevitabilities, but I KNOW when God has moved for me. There have even been times when I have known the very moment He was moved to act. It is an inward, personal knowing. And these acts have revealed God as having good plans for me...as being the Faithful Provider of all my needs...as the Friend who sticks closer than a brother.

He has been so faithful to me!

In the times when I doubt who I am, who He is, what His intentions are toward me, or just whether or not I am going to make it, I have not only the witness of the Bible and the acts of God toward others; I have not only nature and all God has created; I have a whole collection of things He has done for ME that I can remember and be assured that the God who does not change will continue to be the Preserver and Establisher in my life. He will continue to heal. He will continue to be moved with empathy for me. He will continue to provide, to lead, to sustain. And though there will be times of suffering; though there will be times when I do not understand His purpose or seeming lack of activity, that is when my faith that has been founded on His revelation of Himself to me will sustain me, and my conviction of who He is will be enough, and I will trust Him.

May you remember how God has acted in your life in such a way that you knew it was Him. What have these acts revealed to you about who He is?

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