If you want to find God, how would you search? Recently at our BAC Thursday service we were reminded of one of the most famous conversion stories of all time, that of Augustine of Hippo in the fourth century.
As a young man, Augustine lived a wild and sinful life. Yet was constantly searching for spiritual fulfillment and was even involved in a number of strange cults. He also had Christian friends and family. But despite much looking, Augustine never found peace, and his heart was restless.
One day while he was sitting in a garden, in the distance Augustine heard what sounded like a child singing ‘take up and read!’. He believed this to be a prompt from God to read the bible. He found one, took it up, and started reading at Romans 13:13-14: Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
As he read the bible Augustine felt that his heart was being transformed. He turned from his life of sin and finally found the peace that he had been long searching for. As Augustine famously wrote later about finding God; ‘You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you’.
Is your heart restless? Then ‘take up and read!’. In some ways it is quite obvious that the place to find God is in his Word… but that is often the last place we look. Primarily, God speaks to us through the bible, and knowing God through his Word is the best single way to find his rest and peace.
Ben Soderlund – Assistant Minister