Billions of people. Millions of dreams. Countless ambitions.
We’re swimming in a world of evil. No matter how ‘good’ we assume we are, God says otherwise.
“No one is good-except God alone.” (Mark 10:18)
I was a ‘good’ person, too -by human standards (at least that’s what I liked to believe). I helped people, I held open doors, I’d stop and push a stranger’s car out of the floodwaters (oh, wasn’t I just awesome?) … but there was a darkness inside.
It’s in us all, right from birth. We merely choose to ignore it among all our ‘goodness.’ Personally, I was a highly irresponsible adult, but at the end of the day I presumed I was still ‘good.’
Oh yeah, don’t let me forget, I also hated God.
A Deep Well of Evil
Mine was a hate that refused to be hidden. Today, I walk around and see that same level of hatred swirling beneath carefully constructed facades, but it’s there. It resides in even the ‘nicest’ of folks who have rejected Jesus.
Every ‘good’ they do is rooted in selfishness. Even doing things for others, giving money to charity, or volunteering is -at its basest element- done not for others, but to make themselves feel good. ‘Hey, I’m doing good!’
I hated God because I saw Him as a petulant, spoiled brat who enjoyed tormenting me. I hated Him because He gave me a vision of my best friend’s grave four hours before he died in a car accident right down the road from me. I heard the car slam that tree! For long years afterward, I believed God had teased me with that vision, knowing I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I also hated Him because I didn’t have everything I wanted.
I was selfish.
From the moment we’re born, we are self-centered and narcissistic. Babies have to be in order to survive. They cry when they’re hungry, cold, lonely, wet, and for every other need.
We have to be taught selflessness and humility.
I didn’t do anything to be saved. None of us do. What I did do was tell God in a raging fit one evening I was going to kill him. The arrogance! The hubris! It knew no bounds.
In His infinite wisdom and (agape) love, He called me, drew me closer, and put exactly what I needed in my path to guide me to a moment of truth: receive Him or receive death.
He worked in me. He tended the soil and prepared it for seed. Even after I had an emotional moment and made a ‘profession of faith’ and assumed I was saved He continued to push and pull me and guide me toward His truth because believing that something is true isn’t trust.
It isn’t faith.
‘You believe in God? Good. You’d do well. Even the demons believe God is one, and they tremble’ (James 2:19).
It wasn’t until I actually bothered to read His Word (what a novel concept, huh?) that He revealed His true nature to me. He showed me the close of His Sermon on the Mount where He said, ‘Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.’ (Matthew 7:21).
He revealed truth. He gave me faith. He did all the work … for me. For me? But I had hated Him.
He had to break down walls and then me. But why? Why me? I asked that for a long, long time. Thankfully, by His grace, I no longer ‘ask’ that question but rather marvel in its revelation.
He was pleased to.
A billion times He could have hardened my heart. A million times He could have given me over to my depraved mind. Countless times He could have given up on me.
But He didn’t.
No matter where you are in life, no matter how ‘good’ you think you’ve been or how many great deeds you’ve done, no matter how angry, depraved, or hateful you are, it’s not too late.
If He could do it for me, He can do it for you. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to see one of Jesus’ miracles, take a look … I am one.
Are you, too?