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The God whom I worship today is the same God who parted the Red Sea, the same God who brought me to Christ.
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Rediscover the Reality of God
Apr 1996 Alan S.L. Wong

Rediscover the Reality of God

Where is God? Why is God silent? Why am I not experiencing His reality? Sometimes, I wish that God would answer my prayers in a spectacular way as an evidence of His reality in my life!

In Mark 8:11-15, Jesus capitalised on the encounter with the Pharisees to instruct the disciples. He warned them of the unbelief of the Pharisees: "Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod."

The disciples thought Jesus was referring to bread when He talked about "leaven." All that they had was one loaf. They were concerned about where could they find more bread. The fault of the disciples was not a misunderstanding of Jesus' command ... what else do you associate with "leaven?" But that one loaf ought to have reminded them of Jesus' miraculous feeding of the 4000 in the wilderness (Mark 8:1-9). Unbelief results in worries in spite of clear evidences.

The disciples were just like the Pharisees, practical atheists living in unbelief. Jesus' questions in quick succession one after another show how deeply He was hurt. "Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart? ... And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the 5,000 ... the 4,000 ... how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?" (Mark 8:17-21). Unbelief grieves God's heart.

What caused their unbelief? Note the thrust of Jesus' question ... do you not remember? The disciples had forgotten more than just bread, they had forgotten their past encounters with Jesus, the Breadgiver who is able to provide more than what they need. Forgetting past encounters with God leads to unbelief.

Unbelief could lead to a hardening of the heart. Who were the unbelievers in the wilderness? They were actually men and women who passed through the Red Sea with waters piled up on each side; men and women who ate manna rained upon them; men and women who saw the power of God. Yet again and again they put God to the test by asking for food according to their desire. Can God provide a feast in the wilderness? Can He give meat also?

Their request for further signs grieved and angered God because they did not believe in Him. The tragic end is that unbelief hardened their hearts to such an extent that they refused to respond to God's voice to enter the promised land. The whole generation died in the wilderness. Forgetfulness leads to unbelief; unbelief grieves God's heart and hardens ours.

I recall my University days ... when I talked with God and sang as I walked past Eusoff College to the bus stop opposite Equatorial Hotel ... when I sensed His presence as I read His Word. I remember the many desires God answered. God is still the same. The God whom I worship today is the same God who parted the Red Sea, the same God who brought me to Christ.

I remember that on my spiritual birthday I would walk up Mount Faber early in the morning when the air is fresh and the grass is still wet with the morning dew. I would take along my Quiet Time journal and spend the whole day recalling the year with Him.