Scripture: Acts 10:44-48
How do you experience God? Where best do you relate to Him? It is funny how often we tend to judge when, how, and in what clothes we can meet with God. In this passage Peter and several Jewish believers witnessed something they could not explain. They say people unlike themselves receive the same blessing that they had.
Prior to this time the only way people could come to God was through the temple in the Holy City…or was it? I have often wondered about this. What did God do with people in Ireland, Rome, China, and every other nation prior to Christ? I think it will be a constant debate because we can never really know the truth on this side of the veil. But it still makes me wonder. Which also makes me ask where did all the “pagan” gods come from that these places worshiped? I try to look through the legendary writtings and am left with the thought that someone experienced something and had to give it a name. I have even read through scripture and found references to Michael being the leader of God’s army and the protector of Israel, what if there were other angels given tasks over other people groups? Were some of these angels involved in the angelic rebelion and if so what hapened to the people groups that they were sent to protect?
Lots of questions, but there is really only one answer. We all experience God in different ways. God speaks to some of us through participating with Him in creating through art and music. Others of us enjoy having a healthy intellectual debate and reason with Him. Some of us hear His voice most clearly while being out in nature, or working with our hands. We build religious groups around these expressions but the fact remains that God meets people there.
Theologically we can debate if expressions are benificial or not, but God is beyond our words and knowledge. Peter and the Hebrew believers had a theological stance, but God blessed Gentiles with the Spirit in the same way. Which leads me to ask was God already there? When I think back on my life I can see that God has been there all along, even in the areas I felt He was absent. The most stiking thing is that those areas I felt God was farthest away He was actually closest to me helping me find my way through the darkness.
I recently went on a tour through a cave and just like every cave tour they shut off the lights. In the darkness our guide asked us to find the way out, of course no one moved. God gives us some light, He did not leave us in total darkness. He then judges us according to the light we have received, and also draws us to even greater light which is found in Jesus. Jesus experienced life just as we experience life, sure there were some differences but for the most part the basics of life are the same. (If you visit another country you would observe this as well). Jesus vicariously lived out the darkness for us leaving in our paths enlighted trails to follow.
God did not withold his blessing from anyone, but freely gave it to anyone who opened their lives to Him. I encourage you to follow the Light before you and enjoy His pressence where you feel closest to Him.