The Story of God

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I remember when I first made the decision to follow Jesus. It was the summer before high school. I had grown up in the church, but in this moment, God made himself real to me. The creator of the universe showed his love to me as a good Father.

At the moment I turned to Jesus, I fell in love with the stories in the Old Testament. It took me about a week to plow through Genesis and Exodus. I finished the rest of the Old Testament in just a couple of months after that. I have always been in awe of God as I read the stories of Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Daniel and others. So much can be learned about who God is as we read how these individuals entered into the story of God in history or “His Story”.

I love stories and I learn best through narratives. Details, dates and names often allude me, but I always remember someone’s story. I have learned so much about who God is through the stories of the Old and New Testaments. I think it is so important to know the scriptures, to know how God has walked with his people from creation to the anticipation of heaven. I strongly believe that scripture is to be our grid. I believe that who God says he is and what he calls us to withstands time.

That being said, I think we can learn from the story of God in the lives of people around us as well. God is still very active today! The narrative of our lives, like the life of Paul or Peter, should be pointing to the nature and presence of God. When we experience hardship, should we not see evidence of God as we do in the story of Daniel in the lion’s den? Are we expecting to discover God at work in our stories?

Stories are incredible. They can make the nature of God real and understandable. If we are walking out life with God, someone could do a bible-study-like exploration of our life. They could look and see the nature of God being displayed and how we are being renewed and transformed into the image of God. Others could be filled with hope and learn about God through our stories.

God is not dead. He is surely alive. We sing this. We believe it is true. But, there is a lie thrown at us that says God will not show up, we are on our own and there is no redemption, no restoration. Our stories can strike that lie down. Hearing someone’s story tells us that God is just as active today. He is surely alive! Are we looking for examples of him being alive? Are we looking for evidence and encouragement through the life and stories of those around us?

When we hear of someone’s journey to hope, do we in turn find hope? When we hear of someone’s story of discovering peace, do we in turn find peace? When we hear of someone discovering God as their Father, is our way of relating with God the Father changed? Is the nature of God the same throughout history? I will likely not be thrown into a burning furnace, but my trust and belief in God’s protection, as I walk in obedience, is profoundly increased as I read about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3.

“And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.” (Revelation 12:11)

Testimony is powerful! In the face of our accuser, the one speaking lies and trying to condemn us, we overcome through Jesus and our testimony, our testimony of God in us! I have never understood the expression “it’s just a story”. A story is a powerful medium that can bring life.

Have you ever had someone come up to you and say, “I see how God has been at work in your life and it is beautiful”? It is so encouraging! It reminds us that God is present. When someone shares what they are learning through your life it can strengthen us to keep going. It can silence the accuser and remind us that God is at work.

The next time someone shares from their life, do not look at it as just another story. Look at how it fits into God’s ongoing story.

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