Aug 29, 2010

A Lack of Knowledge, or the Hating of God?

A few days ago I met a man who took the beauty bait and entered into a long discussion on God (whose existence he does not acknowledge) with me.  For several hours as we talked I silently asked the Spirit for direction - logic and arguments and reason would not bring light to him, so completely was he decided in his mind and so highly did he hold his own understanding.  Yet as much as I asked, Jesus did not give me the one prophetic word, or right tack, to use to convince him that God existed or even that it was worth investing time into the question.

I found it an exercise in frustration - and at the same time joy.  I love getting to proclaim aloud the truth about Jesus, especially to people who think I'm ridiculous and openly insult me because of it.  Yet, the longer we talked the sadder I became - I don't often meet people who seem to me to truly fall into that category of the wicked who are "bound and determined" to be eternally lost.  

As I prayed for him, I found myself asking an unusual favor of God (the queen can do that).  Though this man had rejected the multiple messengers the Lord had already sent him, would the Lord for my sake sovereignly reveal Himself anyway?  Simply because I asked?  (For Lucy's sake, in the Last Battle, Aslan speaks to the self-blinded dwarves.  But I wanted even more than that - I wanted his full salvation.)  

Several currents were constant in me as we talked.  First, I was intensely frustrated by my inadequacy as an apologist.  All the statistics and details and knowledge of other religions and memory of how to counter certain arguments -- these were gone from my mind.  Second, I was excessively disappointed by the silence I heard in answer to my prayer for prophetic power and understanding.  I desperately wanted to know what the real root was to this man's blindness.  If only I could get at that directly and address it.  Why wouldn't the Spirit just tell me?    

In the days since I have thought much and prayed often over him.  Remembering our conversation, it became clear to me that although the man claimed not to believe God even existed, he had exhibited an extremely deep and personal hatred and anger toward God.  He did know God was real - he simply hated Him.  And instead of understanding that God went to the extreme measure of dying to save him from a condemnation he was already subject to, he blamed God for carrying out any judgment at all against sin and wickedness.

To my shock, today, Allan Hood preached a sermon on this exact subject - almost detailing word for word the content of my conversation with this man.  Eerie.  No, not eerie.  Divine.  And yes, I was right -- there are two basic realities that man did not understand, and Allan delineated.

1.)  Man hates God.
2.)  God loves man.

Apologetics and prophetic insight were not what would reach this man, because the root of his blindness was not a lack of knowledge or a lack of physical revelation (he had already spent much of his life studying the beauties of nature, which themselves reveal the existence of God if one has a heart to perceive).

The truth is the dead spirit of man hates God.  It is utterly devoid of the life of the Spirit of God.  To pansy around the reality of death - that something is dead - means to leave it to that death.  If we, as believers, are not clear on the stark difference between life and death, between God's kingdom and Satan's kingdom, we will not be able to lead the dead ones back into life.

This is a subject the Lord has been harping on in my life for the last year. In the novel I'm working on I wrote quite a while ago this line - "A woman cannot marry a corpse" as the heroine takes a final stab at explaining to an unbelieving man why she cannot enter a relationship with him.  Mike's recent sermons on Romans, on walking in the Spirit, have been highlighting and solidifying this distinction - the great gulf between the Spirit and the flesh, life and death.  It's something we must be entirely clear on in order to truly preach the real Gospel.

I'm thankful for the object lesson this conversation was, and the way the Lord followed it up with a clear confirmation of what He's been teaching me.  I am more determined than ever to walk this way - according to the Spirit, able to explain the difference between life and death.

And at the same time my heart longs for this man - he is more than an object lesson, he is a creation of the Almighty, and I will be satisfied with nothing less than his eternal salvation.  Apologetics and prophetic insight are not what will pierce the blackness of death.  Only the mighty Spirit of the living God can do that, and intercession is the one great tool I have to effect the lifting of blindness off his heart -- Lord, make me an intercessor!