Sergeant Major Cedric Moore shared with me his story as we sat in his car at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Raised in a black community in Huntsville, Alabama, he often attended church and had uncles who were pastors. But what these men preached was not what they lived. Watching “spiritual” men engage in adultery, robbery, lying and other sinful behavior caused Cedric to conclude that God must not be real.
While attending college in Birmingham, Cedric was exposed to Black Muslims who gave him literature and tapes in order to recruit him. At first he was interested but the more he investigated them the more he realized that they were just as racist as the KKK. Two years into his education but out of money, he had to drop out. But he didn’t want his mother to have to go to work to pay for his education so he joined the Army. On his dog tags he listed, “No Religious Preference.”
Stationed at Fort Bragg, several people asked Cedric to go with them to church. Most often he brushed them off wanting nothing to do with Christians. One day, frustrated and wondering what even gave people the desire to live, he said, “God if you are real You have to prove yourself to me.” Later that day, a white stranger invited him to church. Cedric told him he would not go to church with him. But then convicted by his rudeness, he called after the man, “If you have a service tonight I will go with you.” To his surprise, the man turned, smiled and said, “Great, we have a service at 7:30 and I’ll pick you up at 7:00.” Because he was a man of his word, Cedric went to church.
That night for the first time Cedric experienced interracial worship. He watched a white preacher whose face reddened as he spoke with intensity. As he listened, the pastor said, “Some of you here tonight have told God that to believe in Him He must prove Himself real to you. But if you want to know God, you must prove yourself real to Him!” Stunned by the words he knew were from heaven, he walked down the aisle and gave his life to Christ.
Mark 15:39—When the centurion, who was standing opposite Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, "This man really was God's Son!"
A Roman centurion experienced an earthquake and saw inexplicable things associated with Jesus’ crucifixion. He watched the way Jesus died and concluded the Son of Man really was the Son of God. He had to come to his own conclusion. God gave him all the evidence He needed.
God is real! If we base His authenticity and therefore our willingness to believe in Him on what people do or do not do, we immediately err. God’s reality is neither verified nor falsified by people’s activity. God is real because of what He does and who He is. Cedric met Him when he quit demanding He appear. The centurion found Him when His Son quit breathing. The paradox of faith is that we have to believe stripped of our reason; make a human decision untied to humans to follow a Creator who gives us the evidence to see Him yet who remains invisible! Something to think about . . . in reveration!
©2010 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)