This is a post about what I know – what I now know. It is thoroughly based on my personal experience and a journey to awareness, which I began by taking the undeniable evidence of my own life (my experience), mixing it well with knowledge sifted from much time spent in study, and adding just a dash of conjecture. That last bit is the spice of confirming testimonies I have heard from and seen in my brothers and sisters in knowing. All of which is a delicious way of saying, “Let me tell you what I have come to believe with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.”
All of it can be tasted in Romans, Chapter 20, various translations. It is worth the take out.
First, I am sure that God The Creator exists, exactly today as He was at the beginning of time. Creation itself testifies to this.
From the Creation of the world,
God’s invisible qualities,
His eternal power and divine nature,
Have been clearly observed
In what He made.
…plainly discernable through things which He has made and
which are commonly seen and known…
The basic reality of God is plain enough.
Open your eyes and there it is!
By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God created,
People have always been able to see
What their eyes as such can’t see:
Eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of His divine being.
Second, in addition to God’s handiwork continuing to be clearly observable in front of my opened eyes, He has also given me an innate sense of Himself.
Let’s consider the way a few other translations put it in Verses :19-:20:
…evident within them [in their inner consciousness] (AMP)
What is know about God should be plain to them because God made it plain to them. (CEB)
The truth is known to them instinctively; God has put this knowledge in their hearts. (TLB)
So, I have the evidence of 1) what I see and 2) what I inherently know.
The third fact is revealed through some of the synonyms of “discernable” (perceptible, detectable), which imply the need to do a little digging and thinking. While something as short as sitting still to gaze upon an entire sunset or sunrise can be enough, it took a lot more time and effort for me to learn God – I was one who had to “take a long and thoughtful look.” It’s funny, for I had always prided myself as being someone who embraced the easy way, but you can read how that turned out in Learning the hard way about the easy way… (6/17/2016).
3) What I can learn by dedicating my time to study; to building a relationship with God The Creator and Jesus my Savior.
In my years prior to meeting Christ in person, Me, Myself, and I were the focus of everything I did. How did that come to be? I think what happened to me was that a) I took the physical world for granted – I didn’t see it or what it really meant, b) I ignored what my heart said and listened instead to “logic” (which oddly enough convinced me that there was no meaning or reason to anything), and c) I therefore dedicated my time to more enjoyable pursuits than homework. I do know that my typical approach to complex subjects like religion and politics was to form an opinion, frame it and place it on the wall of my subconscious as part of the decor – which I then never considered updating.
[Though] they knew all the time that there is a God, yet they refused to acknowledge Him as such, or to thank Him for what He is or does. (Phillips)
For this reason, God allowed their lusts to control them. As a result, they dishonor their bodies… (GW)
And because they thought it worthless to acknowledge God, God allowed their own immoral minds to control them. So they do these indecent things. (GW)
…they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. (MSG)
The two obvious points in these verses are that a) I thought it worthless or refused to acknowledge or thank God, so b) God then allowed me to make my own choices. Think, “How’s that working out for you?” But the deeper meaning is, in fact, the whole question of meaning.
If there was no God, then all was random and meaningless (or there could be only the meaning that I myself gave life.) The only problem was that I was broken, distorted, and perverted by the way I had been treated by others, and I therefore held myself as trivial, worthless, and saw no reason not to give in to whatever temptations I felt, to the lusts of the flesh, eyes, and selfishness of life. I dishonored and abused my own body. I drank and partied to excess. I wasted and killed my precious time. I ignored the negative effects on my health, wealth, and well-being. And, while I did this at first by choice, I eventually found myself stuck in a rut, unable to break out, except, I thought, in desperation, by putting an end to myself.
Thus leaving these [people] without A Rag Of Excuse.
That precise moment – my rock bottom – was when Jesus revealed Himself to me. As my literal Savior, He took my place, freeing me, and abbreviating my sole (or soul) motivation for living from,”Why me?” – as if the world revolved around me and my struggles – to simply, “Why?”
(God has already promised this Good News through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures. This Good News is about His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in His human nature He was a descendant of David. In His spiritual, holy nature, He was declared the Son of God. This was shown in a powerful way when He came back to life.
Through Him we have received God’s kindness and the privilege of being apostles who bring people of every nation to the obedience that is associated with faith.
Faith is belief in God, The Creator, and His purpose to salvage everything and everyone. From knowing this, I became able to understand my own worth – to Him and to myself – and thereby, I could recognize the worth of each, of every other person.
Maybe some people find holding faith as easy as looking at that sunset. I not only had to learn how to see it, and how to recognize the truth that was placed in my heart, but how to be changed behaviorally, to focus my attention and energy on my awareness of God through the daily time I spend with Him. Consider this an open invitation.