For most of us, God is the supreme being of absolute perfection, all-powerful, all-present and all-knowing.
Being perfect, God must be unchanging, for only imperfection would require him to change, to become perfect.
Perfect in all ways and all things, God makes no mistakes, has no regrets and is without any flaw.
An Unchanging God gives our lives certainty. What God promises or pronounces, God will do. We can trust God to be faithful, to keep His word to us, to not change his mind and renege. As such, we have no reason to doubt God’s faithfulness and love; God is faithful and God is love.
As a child and through my teenage years, when my prayers were answered or when things happened in my favour, I considered myself to be in the perfect will of God. Any wrongs and imperfections were always due to my failings and rested with me.
My relationship with God was expressed as an imperfect me, walking along a straight and narrow path with a Perfect God. It made perfect sense.
Why should I ever think otherwise?
Who is this God who believes in me, whom I believe in, and who helps my unbelief?
How do I know God is real? And what kind of humanity does the man Jesus have?
Two experiences profoundly changed my life, confirming to me that God, the Christian God, is who he says he is and that Jesus is truly a man, one of us, in all ways.
The Clock Tower
On 27 June 1972, at the Anglo-Chinese School Clock Tower, I decided to pray to the Christian God, asking Him to ‘fill’ me with His Spirit. I expected Him to do so, if Jesus was truly His only begotten Son.
As I was uncertain whether the Christian God was truly God, I uttered another prayer. This prayer was to God, if he existed and whoever he might be. I prayed that if the Christian God is not the Supreme Being, and if the Christian confession that Jesus is the Son of God is but a hoax, then nothing would happen.
I felt that I had nothing to lose. I longed for truth. The challenge that I threw to the Christian God, in my mind was quite simple: If he does not deliver, He is not God. If he is truly God, He will deliver.
I had just bought my favourite Teochew-style fish carpaccio and mince pork congee from Maxwell Food Centre and was driving home when Jesus spoke.
Who is the ‘you’ in the passage ‘If you can, all things are possible to him who believes’?
What kind of question was this, I wondered. “You, Lord?” I answered. “Correct”, Jesus replied.
And the ‘him’ in ‘to him who believes’?
“You again, Lord?” I replied, and I felt him smile.
All this while I had the impression that my belief was crucial for God’s work to happen, but Jesus turned this right on its head.
I was excited for, if what I was hearing was true, this would count as another encounter with Jesus, a new revelation. However, I feared these thoughts could also be mere figments of my imagination.
I raced to check the Bible when I got home. I had read Mark 9:23 and heard it preached many times. I always understood ‘you’ and ‘him’ to refer to Man. Consequently, ‘you’ and ‘him’ also referred to me: all things are possible to me so long as I believe.
But was this really what Jesus meant?
God believes in me. These words exploded in my mind and spirit as I flew from Perth to Singapore on 16th March, 2008.
I had been watching an in-flight movie, ‘Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium’, and was fascinated by how a block of wood could do the most wondrous things if only the person, who was supposed to believe in it, believed.
That was when God spoke to me, “I believe in you, Wilfred.”
I was startled. It was as if I was the block of wood and God was believing into me.
What did this mean? I was always taught to believe in God, told it was my belief that would allow him to work miracles in my life.
But this seemed to be only one half of the equation. We love because He first loved us, we believe because He first believed in us! His belief in us is the missing first half of the equation.
Astounding, marvelous, humbling and awesome were but some of the emotions I felt as the impact of these words began to grow within me.
If God believes in me even in all my unbelief, how much more am I able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me?