Honestly, I am so sorry that my posts aren’t generally the happy topics that make you smile, or laugh. I love reading those posts too. Believe me, I am a pretty happy person. But the topics I write about are because they are what stirs me, saddens me, compels me to let it out, or give my two cents; hence, my blog.
I believe that most of us who profess to be Christians, and/or church goers don’t believe God. The majority would say that they believe in God. But that God is far away. He’s not quite real to them, which is why I have concluded that we don’t believe God.
This is somewhat alarming because most of us claim that we are Christian but our deeds, our behaviors don’t match our profession. We pretty much do what the culture around us does, which is another reason that we have lost our influence.
Recently I learned of an American pastor who had been caught in adultery with one of his members at her and her husband’s home. The pastor later goes before the church he pastors and says some of the right things, like they shouldn’t defend sin, and asking them to forgive him. But he also says, that he won’t stop preaching, stop doing what God called him to do because to stop would presuppose he was qualified in the first place. He says that God is pushing them forward. Huh? I say we don’t believe God.
Funny aside; well not funny, but just last Sunday during our evening service one of our pastors preached that the first thing one should seek in a pastor/elder is not their giftedness to speak, preach, but their character. That is exactly what the Apostle Paul tells Titus in the first chapter. They must be a man of good character, which requires a period of observation, looking at their family which is inside look at who they really are.
Five years ago, an American pastor was enthroned as king. This proclaimed Jewish Rabbi had the pastor sit in this armed chair, and had four men “representing the four corners of the earth,” says the proclaimed Rabbi, lift him up and walk him around as king, no longer a commoner. All of this happened before a crowd of professing Christians loudly applauding what they were watching. What? Unbelievable? This really happened. Again I say, we don’t believe God.
Don’t we read the Bible? Do we think because God remains silent, or is not immediate in his judgment that he’s okay with our sin, or is it that we just don’t believe God?
We don’t believe God. There are so many instances in the Bible where God has shown his power and might. His wisdom is unattainable. There is none like him. He in Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent. He knows our thoughts. Nothing is hidden from him. He sees all! He knows what we will say before we speak. His silence does not represent complicity, nor a condoning.
“But to the wicked God says: What right have you to recite my statutes or take my covenant on your lips? 17 For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you. 18 If you see a thief, you are pleased with him, and you keep company with adulterers. 19 You give your mouth free rein for evil, and your tongue frames deceit. 20 You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. 21 These things you have done, and I have been silent; and you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you. 22 ‘Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!’ Psalm 50:16-22 ESV
The New Testament states it in a way in which most are familiar:
“Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7 KJV
Yet, we live like we don’t believe God, like his judgment is so far away that our sin won’t matter; or worse still, like there is no God at all. For if we believed God, we would keep his commandments. Actually, that’s what Jesus said.(John 14:15) Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Mediator, summed up the Ten Commandments into just two commandments, which makes it easier to remember.
“Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Matthew 22:37-39 KJV
Yes we are commanded to love God. That is our response to his love for us. We know that we are no longer our own, we belong to him. (See I Corinthians 6:19-20).
Do we believe God? Do we hesitate and count the cost before we sin? Do we take the escape route so as to not yield to sin? When we do fail and sin, is there immediate guilt and repentance? Even for a little white lie? Is there an overwhelming sorrow that we have grieved him? Do we see ourselves becoming more like Christ? Is there incriminating evidence that we are true believers?
True believers follow Christ. They sorrow when they sin because they live to serve him. They live to please him. They live to glorify him. They recognize that he sees all and knows all, so they readily bare every secret thought or sin, and confess it before him, seeking deliverance and forgiveness.
Sadly, most of us don’t live to please God, because we don’t believe God.