by Gary Habermas
Not only is God very active in the world today, but it could even be that He is more frequently involved than ever before. Since doubters often report two important aspects here, I will limit myself to a few comments about each. Some wonder if God still performs supernatural feats in the world today. While perhaps still being interested in this subject, others are more concerned to decipher whether God is dealing with them on a personal level, whether or not this involvement tends to be miraculous in nature. The former tend to be more interested in modern-day evidences, while the latter frequently suffer from uncertainty regarding whether they have a personal relationship with God.
One potential indicator of God’s activity is the likelihood of divine healing. Over the years I have collected several special cases of spontaneous healings in the presence of prayer, either manifested immediately or discovered just a few hours later. Whether multiple sclerosis or previously confirmed cancer tumors that either disappeared almost immediately or contain absolutely no cancerous cells, contrary to previous biopsies, these situations need to be taken seriously.
Another example is that of answered prayer, where the results were drawn from either a personal journal or from select double-blind experiments published in medical journals. In the latter cases, it was actually concluded that the results favored medical results from prayer. Two more avenues are reported sightings of angelic beings, seemingly demonic creatures, or exorcisms. Incredibly, a number of the accounts include evidential considerations. Perhaps no area of supernatural findings is more evidential than accounts of near-death experiences. In literally dozens of cases, patients report witnessing occurrences even at a distance, even while they are near death, perhaps even without heart or brain activity. Many have concluded that this is strong evidence for the existence of some sort of afterlife.
Lastly, dozens of reports have emerged where seemingly miraculous circumstances occur, which serve to link up an indigenous people who reportedly were looking for a message from God with missionaries. Many of these accounts have been collected.
However, other doubters are more concerned that God relate to them in a highly personal manner, whether or not the experiences are supernatural. These are more interested in a personal touch, indicating that they are children of God. Here I will simply list a number of experiences which, according to Scripture, are the very sorts of things we should expect, and which are reported regularly by Christians.
For example, C. S. Lewis’s notion of joy is experienced by believers and unbelievers alike. Though very difficult to define, it generally results from a captivating experience of music, nature, or another inspirational setting, resulting in a deep longing or yearning. It lasts only for a moment and is often experienced as a heavenly “tweaking” of the heart, reminding us of eternity (Eccl 3:11).
There are also many examples of other divine contacts of a highly personal nature. These include the personal conviction of sin (1 John 3:4–10,21), the administering of individual correction as an indication of one’s sonship (Heb 12:5–6, 10–13; cf. Jas 1:2–4), the imparting of spiritual gifts specifically to each person (1 Cor 12:4–11, 27), and the internal witness of the Holy Spirit as an indication of God’s presence in our lives (Rom 8:16; 1 John 3:24; 4:13). Still other indications may consist of one’s personalized experiences such as those occurring in worship, specific convictions, or indications of God’s will.
Believers often seem to miss these frequent, perhaps even daily occurrences. Jotting them down in a journal would be very helpful for our future reference. This is a highly effective way to remind ourselves of what God has already done in our lives, helping to avoid the temptation, like children, to respond so frequently, “You never do anything with me.” This is the point raised in so many of these passages of Scripture: we ought to note these signs that God is actually working in our lives. We should never lose sight of the recognition that each item here is also quite personal; it is for us alone.
If we are correct, then Christians have many indications that God is alive and well both in today’s world as well as in their own lives. For those who prefer supernatural clues, several varieties and examples of each are available. Personal touches occur much more commonly, although believers most often seem to ignore them. Therefore, we must acknowledge personally and put into the proper context the regular recognition of God’s activity in the world today. But it is mistaken to say that God is silent—far from it. No doubt believers often wish that God would communicate with them more often, or in a different manner, but we must remind ourselves that He often acts and speaks.
Editor’s note: This is excerpted from Come Let Us Reason: New Essays in Christian Apologetics.
Request a faculty review copy here.
Request a media review copy here.