Pastor Jim Stultz
When God Becomes Real
Updated: May 1
I remember my first trip to Florida. I had heard about it all my life but never experienced it for myself until that first drive down Interstate 95. I remember the first taste of saltwater, my first walk on the beach, the first time fishing in the ocean and of course my first Florida sunburn. I had experienced Florida for myself.
Paul was busy preaching the gospel in Ephesus. God used him to do many unusual miracles in the city to show the reality of the message of Christ. When God showed up in power it had a remarkable influence; God became real to the people. Acts18:17 tells us: “… and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified”. The people of the city could not ignore the reality of Jesus and the message of the gospel that Paul preached.
When God becomes real several things happen. The first thing we see is that believers confess their sins. “And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds” (Acts 19:18). So many of God’s people today have just been playing at their faith. They do not feel the pain of their sinful behavior, nor feel the conviction for their sinfulness. That is until God shows up and they taste His reality. When we see God for who He is we abhor our sinfulness and get right with Him. Another result of God becoming real is that unbelievers are converted. Those Ephesians who believed the gospel that were previously involved in magical arts brought their books and burned them publically, thus proving their break with the old life. So much of contemporary Christianity today is sold to the world as not asking for much of a change. They call everyone to come and discover that we are the “cool church”. The lost world is looking to the church to be different, to offer a real faith based on a real Savior. Finally we see that when God becomes real growth happens. Acts 19:20 says: “So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed”.
Is God real to you? Have you seen Him work in your life, or have you just heard about what He has done? The Lord loves to show up and show off in our lives if we seek Him.