Faith as a matter of fact
Do we really believe God?
Fellow Christians, lets get serious about our faith and believe that God is in our lives and that our savior is truly the way to life. The only way we are going to make non-believers start paying attention to our message, is by the connection we have in our lives. If we continue to live the way the world lives, and ACT like the world lives I.E. without love and forgiveness, people who are searching for answers don't want a part of what we represent.
So why has the Christian church failed? I think there are many reasons for this, the most dominant is that we really don't spend as much time with God as we should, therefore we don't have the daily guidance needed to live our lives. Without knowing the will of God in our life, and spending time in prayer, we therefore live our lives like the world, the only difference is we have the confidence of ever lasting life. If you don't believe me that the church has failed, my question then becomes, "why is the divorce rate higher among Christians, than a secular society?" Thank you very much.
Now don't get mad at me when I point these things out, this also happened to Jesus in the Bible when he pointed out the truth of the law to the traditional religious leaders. Ok, still with me? The point I am making, is that in life and especially our lives now, is so busy with living in the world, that we expect instant gratification in all areas of our life. As we are busy and prosperous, we spend less time thinking about God and our time in prayer may not be heartfelt and if we don't have time for God, he doesn't have time for you. My point is that we start relying more on our own ambitions, because we have figured out how to satisfy our desires through our own means, and we rely less on God.
What is the turning point? I think as death approaches we start to consider who God is, because God and his love is the only answer to what happens to our souls when we die. Do you think this is what God's will is? Absolutely not, he has plans for us to further his Kingdom through us, while along the way he wants the companionship of his children...isn't that why Adam came along, for God to enjoy man and have this relationship of a Father to his children? And what does a loving father do with his children? He takes care of them and supplies their needs so that they don't have to live the way the world does, but to live in a "land of milk & honey".
So what holds us back from living entirely for God? Throughout the Bible the living by faith has always been the challenge, and what makes this more challenging today is that we expect our prayers to be answered in 5 minutes. If we don't get the answers or our prayers manifested, we start relying less on God and his provisions, and more on our own doing. Let me say something about this, with myself living under my own ability for 40+ years, and I didn't get very far. Once God become the total reason for my life, things changed, doors opened, prayers were answered, all this with peace and in many ways, above all I could ask or think.
What else would limit our faith? I want you to spend time with God right now...stop reading and think about talking to God in prayer, and ask him what his will is for your life. If you are born again, you will experience something in your life that is beyond the normal sensory input, and just meditate with that for a minute or two. Ask God questions about your life, you will find the answers to be very interesting. I recently asked God why something that I had prayed about, wanted, and believed for never came into my life...because in my heart, I knew it would have made me happy. The answer brought back memories and truths that I had forgotten...his plans were higher than my plans AMEN!
So why don't more Christian people believe in answered prayer...aren't we taught to pray? I think the answer is that we don't really have the faith in God that we should have. Why? Often we pray a prayer that is going to take some time to manifest, and that being the case, we REALLY don't believe it will come into our lives, so in reality, we really don't have faith in God. I am not saying we shouldn't have faith for the supernatural, I.E. those things we cannot bring into our lives, and we need to rely on God for the miraculous. Limiting our faith limits God, and this is because in our time of prayer...we try and figure out how God is going to do this!
A lot of our faith is stopped in our minds, because we try and reason in our thoughts how events can happen, and we talk our way out of experiencing our miracle or answer. If our thoughts aren't believing that God can do this, our expectations on having our prayers answered becomes very little, and that is when we limit God in our lives. It is in some ways, a self fulfilling prophecy when we make the statement that "God doesn't care about me", because we start living like God doesn't care and we go about to prove that thought by demonstrating it in our lives. This is why Satan has the way the world says it works (living in the flesh), while God works in the supernatural by FAITH.
I encourage you to live in faith by starting to believe for things in your life that you believe God has provision for. In other words, something you really believe God will do for you in your life, and just watch your world change...because you are actually using your faith and God will respond. An example would be a desire of an event or a change in someone that you really feel is in your heart. You may work with someone that is rude, or have a relationship with someone that has a drinking problem, etc. and you are wanting something that will change this. The truth is, you have to really pray this to God knowing he is hearing you, and that you really believe that he can do it. If you have that ingredient, it will be done.
If you start to question your faith and am not sure that the prayer can be answered, find something easier for you to believe in. Does God care about you? Does he care about the little things in your life? You are the one that needs to answer these questions, but the answer is Yes to both. You need to believe this as true, because it is in the Bible and is the spoken word of God. I have an example regarding the little things in life and what importance they have in our lives. I believe God cares for me in all areas of my life. I had lost a pocket knife and although not a big deal, I tried to figure out where I had misplaced it because I really didn't want to go and have to buy another. I prayed to God that it would turn up...no time limit, but that I would find the knife. The strangest thing was that I had a pair of pants on that I had worn the day before. I always carried the knife in my right pant pocket, my wallet in the left side. After spending the previous day looking for the knife, I pulled my wallet out while looking for something, and felt something else in my left pocket...it was my knife!
Where it came from I do not know, but I do know that I looked there before and NEVER put the knife in my left pocket. Nonetheless, the knife was found and I didn't have a clue on how it got there, but my only answer was that I had put the event in God's hands and left it at that. As long as you believe, God will do miracles among us, but if you scoffed at my point here...well, you don't have to believe God had anything to do with it, I was personally blessed and know where the blessing came from and I will continue to believe that God answered my prayer.
Bottom line...there is magic in believing, and if you have faith in God, you will experience God in your life on a daily basis. Once you build your faith, live in that faith, you will be a much better example to those who are unbelievers. The first question they will always ask you is - prove it! It will be with your faith that they will experience something in their lives by bringing faith in believing to their lives. Hope this helps! :)