Where is the strength?
Where is the change in life?
Where is the ability to live this impossible Christian holiness in actions, in words, in thoughts, in motives?
Why are Pastors giving up on the possibility that God can change lives?
Why are Christians failing? Falling?
Where is the Christianity of the Bible?
Some say it is lost and gone forever. 'It was a new testament thing.'
Others say 'It never existed in the first place.'
White lace curtains are blowing in the biting wind and flapping over my balcony.
Leaves float lazily by and lay sprinkling the ground. The sun is beginning to rise out beyond the field and the lacy, cold mist is beginning to burn off, and the day promises to be blue and beautiful.
It is beautiful, bracing.
Why is my heart so heavy? Where, America, are your true Christians? And why are there so few?
The elephant in the room is this: Is God a liar?
Or are all the promises of the Bible to be 're-interpreted' to 'align with our experience and culture'?
No! No No!!
"May God be true and every man a liar!!!" (Romans 3:4)
So I have to ask myself, openly and honestly, three questions:
1.) Who am I calling "God" ? What am I hunting for?
Is my God the God of the Bible? Does my god give me what I ask for, and do what I tell him to do? Do I really know who God is? Have I studied Him? His likes and dislikes? what He says and does in certain situations? Do I know His heart? The things He loves? Have I seen Him work? If I do not know who God really is, if I believe a lie, if I do not see Him as the Bible shows Him, then I am not seeking God. How can I ask to see Him, how can I ask why He is not here, when if I am not seeking Him, I probably truly don't want Him. I am the one who is woefully lost, not God. I want help. Real help. That help only comes from Someone who is in control of everything, stronger than anything, knows everything, and has a standard and holds me to it.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
2.) What Gospel am I believing?
Could it be that the treasure that I'm looking for (the Kingdom of Heaven) is not lost or non-existent? Could it be that we, in our churches and culture, have tampered so much with the 'jots and tittles,' the Map, the Gospel message, that we can't find the treasure any more?
Does the Bible preach the 'over easy' soft, health wealth and prosperity gospel?
Does the Bible teach a grey, gothic legalistic gospel?
No? Well, why do I find myself giving it as 'the easy version' to a three-year-old? Why are we giving it to the struggling college student in the parking lot?
The Gospel I read says a lot about 'sin' 'sin nature' 'hell' 'holiness' 'repentance' and 'humility' and 'obedience' that our culture has taken right out of the pages of Scripture. So, am I using a map smeared with human reasoning, scribbled over with 'tolerance', and with the 'offensive' parts ripped off? If so, I think we've ripped of the 'X' folks!
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
3.) Am I forfeiting the promise in scripture because I am not fulfilling my part?
Am I honestly DOing what He has asked me to do?
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James 1:22, 25
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. James 2:14, 17
4.) Am I asking? Not, "Lord Jesus, help me today," and wondering why I failed, but "Lord Jesus, keep my tongue from saying anything negative, sharp, or hurtful, and use my tongue to make other people joy, strength to continue, and bring glory to You." As you pray for specific needs, are you watching expectantly for His help? Are you praying silently throughout the day and leaning on Him to make those conscious decisions to 'do it His way'?
2[b]Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.James 4:2[b]-3
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. James 1:6-7
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. James 5:16-18
God, shape me into a true Christian!!!