Our sixth post in an ongoing series right here on the blog: Mike “Hark” Harkisheimer, who is locked in a “Gorilla beats The Man” duel in this photo, has been willing to share what God has been teaching him. If you would like to share your testimony or a devotion, email email@example.com with blog testimony in the subject line.
Hello everyone, I wanted to take a moment to talk about an important facet of a Christian’s spiritual walk, and that is how God reveals himself to us. John Calvin coined a term known as sensus divinitatis, which is a person’s sense to naturally believe in God. He claims that as human beings, it is our nature to believe God exists and that we need his direction, and this sense is in all of us but can be clouded (much like any of the other senses can be turned off). This is the sense is used to help decipher God’s knowledge as he bestows it to us, whether in his word or by other means. Basically, the sensus divinitatis is how God sends his knowledge to us through the windows of our souls, but people often ask does this window open and how will God reveal Himself to me?
The opening of such a window happens in many ways, but one thing is for certain, we have to be willing to open the window and keep it open. According to Alvin Plantinga, who is a leader in field of philosophy of religion and apologetics, our sensus divinitatis will not work if we are unwilling to seek God, and allow ourselves or sin to cloud the sensus divinitatis and close us off to God’s revelation and our relationship with Him. Many people who do not believe in God do not find his revelation because they are unwilling to seek with their whole heart and the sensus divinitatis remains closed (or only open a smidge, which is difficult for someone like God to fit in). I often come across people saying such statements as: I hope there is something greater than us out there; or if God were a little more real to me, maybe I’d follow this whole Christianity thing, but often they hope and do not legitimately seek. FAITH TAKES ACTION! James chapter 2 talks about having faith without works, and how not working on your faith can eventually lead to its death. For those who have come to God, it is when they have looked for their answers and either God delivers it to them, or in the search of that answer they grow closer to Him (God may not always give you the answers you seek, but you can grow closer to Him in the search for that answer). Be open to God and He will be open to you, do not seek God and your window to Him closes.
Now you are probably thinking, I have opened up myself to God, but in what ways will he reach me? This has been a question asked by many Christians who are struggling to find how God is communicating with them. I think William Craig says it well when it comes to the ways God reveals himself to us:
“I must say that hearing people’s personal stories of how they came to faith in Christ has been just fascinating. The diversity of the ways in which people come to faith is mind-boggling. I’m frequently amazed at how people who appear to have it all together have incredible backgrounds and experiences which have led them to Christ. It makes my heart rejoice to see the variety in the body of Christ and all the wonderful ways in which the Lord works to draw people to Himself.” (reasonablefaith.org Q&A #78)
God has the ability to reach us all in a personal way, which means every testimony has individual perspective. I have come to really know God through science and philosophy (which I thought strange at first, but hey, that’s how God works sometimes!), some may come to him through personal suffering or hitting rock bottom (see Jonah 2), some by a moving message or through worship, and others have simply been surrounded by God’s loving presence since they were very young and have come by his revelation easily. Each will seek and find him in his or her own special way, do not worry if your experience isn’t like the experience of others. If God made it so everyone had the same spiritual walk, Christians would not have the diverse personalities we see today, and God’s relationship with us would not be a personal one. Think of it as getting a Christmas card from someone, does the generic card from your corporate or a handwritten note from a friend mean more?
For those who have not reached this area of their walk yet and still are seeking, try finding God in everything you see and do. Keep the window open and he will reveal himself to you. Paul speaks of God’s ability to reach the Gentile that may not know God yet in Romans 2:14-16, and how he can be seen in all of even if we aren’t consciously recognizing His divine action. It may take some time, and be sure to keep your patience, even Elijah had to pray seven times for God to bring rain in 1 Kings 18. Once God has made himself apparent, you will know. Ask those who have been given personal revelation (or read some testimonies of some of God’s people). The saturation of the soul with God feels as real as any of the other senses (as real as taking a bite of that “heavenly” Philly cheese steak pretzel sandwich). Be patient and willing to seek and he will make his way into your heart, and do not give up for God is faithful if we are willing to keep our sensus divinitatis tuned to Him.
Well that is all for now, I hope these words help you in your walk with Christ!