This is a guest post from Peter Matta - a pharmacist living in Toronto, Canada. In this post, Peter shares his journey from a skeptic to a believer - from someone who doubted/questioned God, to someone who fully submits and lives his life for God. A truly beautiful story! If you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
Many people argue that they don't need God, that they are perfectly happy without Him. Those same people usually think that all God cares about are rules and having us obey them. We (Christians) often respond to by saying that God doesn't care about rules, but instead He cares about a relationship. He doesn't want us to be good; He just wants US! He wants ME! He wants YOU! He wants to be with us and us with Him. That is the “will of God” that people so often search for.
But the question I ask is this: why should I want to be with God? (I know this sounds like a basic question, but humor me here).
I know that He chooses me, but why should I choose Him?? Am I even given a choice? He says if I don't choose Him then I go to hell! What kind of God punishes people for no reason except for not choosing Him?
I asked these same questions in my teenage years and I accused God of being selfish. I lived without God for so long... I tasted hell right here on earth. Hell is nothing except being without Him. It is not punishment; it is what we so often seem to be asking for – an existence without God. And it starts right here on earth. Either you choose to be with Him or you choose to be without Him.
So as I was asking questions I came across a verse from John 14:6 where Jesus says “I am the TRUTH...” This astonished me. Nobody in the history of the world, no religion, says this. So I examined it, I was attracted to Him, I WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH!
Is there a God? Is there Heaven? What am I? Do I have a soul? What is a soul? Who is God? What is life? ... and so on.
I was insatiable. I asked and I asked and I asked.
Finally I broke down and said to Him “Where are You God? Are You here? Are You there? Are You everywhere? Are You listening? Why don't You answer? How do You answer? Maybe You don't have to speak to me, but answer me whatever way You answer people. I don't want to be just convinced about You in my mind... I want to know You. I want to know You in my soul... my heart... my everything. Give me Faith! You say I must have faith. But I have no faith. So then GIVE ME faith. It is YOUR responsibility, since YOU asked for it, YOU have to provide it!”
Anyway... I can't describe what happened next. There was no flash of lightning. No earthquake. No voices, dreams or visions. No overwhelming sensation of glory. Nothing at all. But ever since that moment, my faith in Him has been increasing.
I still pray for faith every day. But now when I ask for it, I'm asking for more of it because now when I speak to Him, I know He's listening. I know He is there. If 7 billion people told me I was wrong... if I was the last person in the world who 'believed' in God... I would look back at everyone... and I would feel sorry... and I would tell them they're wrong. He listens to me everywhere. He sees me everywhere. He is with me always, even when I am not with Him.
Now when I ask questions, it is not because I doubt Him, but rather because I DON’T doubt Him. I’m no longer asking to disprove Him but rather to UNDERSTAND Him. Now I no longer see commandments as a set of right vs wrong. Obeying God is not a way to satisfy Him, to please Him, or to quiet His wrath; it is a way to be WITH HIM.
And that is the goal of my life. Why? Because if life without God is hell, then life WITH GOD is heaven!
And that is all I want.