August 2, 2021 | By Jay Ashbaucher
One way people come to know God is real is by using their reasoning and examining the evidence. Such evidence includes the various ways he makes himself known. For example, many individuals research and discover the ways creation and his written word, the Bible, point to him. One of the greatest ways I see the reality of God is by hearing the stories people tell about God’s working in their lives. I have heard many people’s stories in person and they all have in common how God has worked and changed their lives. If you don’t have the opportunity to hear many stories in person, and if you want to hear some stories, listen by typing into your computer, Christian Testimonies on YouTube.
Following is one story I recently heard in person from a woman describing her experience of something God did in her life shortly after becoming a believer in Christ Jesus. The story involves something the Apostle Peter said in 1 Peter 4:1-4. He said to be ready to suffer for your faith, for unbelievers will make fun of you for being a Christian, especially if they have been your friends and now your life has changed and you no longer do with them some of the things that you used to do. I asked her to write down the story she shared with me and she gave me permission to share it with you. So here is what she wrote.
“One evening, after a sporting event, I went over to a friend’s house. There were three of us there. The other two gals had been drinking alcohol and continued to drink at the house. After some time passed, one of my friends started questioning me in a belligerent manner about God. She began to ask questions like, ‘If God is real, then why are babies born with Spina Bifida or Muscular Dystrophy?’ My reply was, ‘I don’t know.’ Her next question was ‘well how about Downs Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy?’ These questions continued, and I always answered the same, ‘I don’t know.’ She finally said, ‘Well, you don’t know very much little Christian, do you?’ I finally realized that they did not want to hear or learn about God. All they wanted to do was fight. I then told them that I did not want to fight with them about God and that I was going to leave. One of the gals looked at me saying, ‘That’s right little Christian, put your tail between your legs and run.’
On my way home, I noticed my gas tank was almost empty and gas stations were closed. As I continued home, I heard the Lord say two words to me, ‘GO BACK.’ I told him, ‘No.’ I drove a little farther, and he repeated those two words, ‘GO BACK.’ This time, more emphatically, I said, ‘NO.’ This conversation between the two of us continued until I was almost home. I told the Lord, ‘I’m not going back. They do not want to hear about you. All they want to do is fight. I don’t even have enough gas to go back.’ Finally at my front door, with the key in the lock, the Lord told me, ‘GO BACK’. I realized that God was not going to leave me alone. The conversation between the two of us was going to continue all night. So, I finally said, ‘All right, I’ll go back – but you’ll see, that, first of all I’m going to run out of gas. If I do make it there, they will still be fighting and laughing at you. It hurts me to listen to them ridicule you.’
I arrived at the apartment and entered. They both looked surprised to see me. I said, ‘You can laugh at me and make all the jokes you want. I love Jesus and everything he has done for me. Paying for me with his life and offering salvation to me. So here I am. I’m back. Take your best shot.’ They looked at each other and then at me. One friend said, ‘I can’t believe you came back.’ The other said, ‘We were so mean and yet you came back. Why would you come back?’ I asked them why they kept asking me that question. One of the gals said that after I left, she shook her fist up in the air and said, ‘God, if you’re real, make her come back. If she comes back, then I’ll know that you’re real.’
I told them, ‘I didn’t come back because I wanted to. I was finished with the two of you. I came back because God wouldn’t leave me alone. He kept telling me to GO BACK! ‘What do you mean, he told you to go back? Did you hear him?’ I replied, ‘Yes, I heard him all the way home. The words started out gently and grew more and more emphatic! He wouldn’t leave me alone. I knew this would go on all night—until I did what he wanted. This is how much God loves you.”
After telling me this story, she commented that, many years later, after a life of heartaches and running from God, this gal who had shaken her fist in the air became a believer and follower of Christ Jesus. I believe this woman’s story because the same thing has happened to me. I’ve heard that voice in my head. I knew it was God’s voice telling me to do something, and I fought with him until I gave in and did it.
Of course, there is no 100% proof of God since people can always find some reason to doubt and not believe. However, hearing the stories of people’s experiences with God can be quite convincing in helping us see that something is going on that is beyond people’s own doing. The reality of God is often seen in people’s lives, especially if lots of people’s stories point to the same God. Therefore, the best way for you and I to know the reality of the God they are talking about, the God who points to Jesus Christ as savior, is to use our faith. The reality of many things in life is not experienced until we have stepped out in faith. I believe my car can take me to my planned destination. There are, however, many reasons the car may not get me there. Until I put faith in my car by getting in and driving to where I want to go, I will never experience the reality of my destination. The Bible says that the one “who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). There is no way to know that for sure until we exercise our faith.