understanding God

Understanding God: Exhibit A; Falling Away

Understanding God is complex because we mostly don’t understand God to begin with. Mostly, we speak about what we’ve read from our elders who answered when God called them, repeating the claims they made without exploring the truth for ourselves. There is a God-driven lament; “my people do not know, my people do not understand”, which explains how far we are from the truth of God, even as we say we’re close to God. But, God in His wisdom continually guides our feet to keep the path he chooses for us, provided we are willing. Individual willingness being key to understanding; being merciful, God is not mocked by our lack of belief but is so happy that he reveals himself to us, when we give Him our whole heart = {go looking for him}. When God answers, it doesn’t take guessing to realize it’s Him, it takes paying attention until we come to the reality that he did, and that we heard what we heard or felt what we felt. Loving when we test the spirit of the word we hear by having faith and applying ourselves.

When most of those who fall away from God, after failing to understand that they need to apply themselves, they often make a declaration in one of the following voices (if you would only pay attention you would understand); angry God, if God were so good why would he allow atrocities, an unfair God to punish us for sins because we can’t help ourselves. Their argument often proves what God has lamented through the prophets that those called by his name do not know, they do not understand. They seek me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. With the many lies we grow up on and with all that life throws at us, it is hard to keep focus, specifically the focus on a God we’ve never seen with our own eyes, who seems aloof and hard to find. But this is to frustrate the wisdom of the wise and the intelligence of the intelligent because pride will not steal another soul from God after this.

I have had my ‘if you’re there’ moment. Those were days I truly didn’t know if God was hearing me or even listening, because I had not yet applied my whole heart to looking for him. To be fair, I prayed the prayers and believed the “belief” that I had always heard pastors preach about and my mother speak about. What I discovered when I put my whole heart into seeking God, is that there is a difference between praying because people we know say we should pray, and praying because we believe God is going to answer. I wanted to live life, like most, to ‘live it’ to the fullest. But, I went searching for God hoping he would answer because of everything I had to ask him. One of the things I learned when he answered and began to show me the truth, is that it is unfair to put God on trial without putting ourselves on trial, and then putting our collective actions on trial. Using the unfair God excuse is a lie – probably the worst excuse anyone can use to justify ramblings of unbelief in God. The same God who sent the Holy and Anointed is there with us during times we chase the lies we’ve been taught to chase.

It is better to say you don’t believe in God and leave the declaration there. Don’t add anything to it. The brothers and sisters you have all around you, the brothers and sisters who know what the battle is will all understand why. But there is something to consider when you elaborate on your whys out loud. “Woe to the one through whom sin comes” – while most of us read that verse and verses like it and look for the proverbial “man of sin” – it is a point missed as much as a God missed. Because it is also written; “If any leads one of these little ones astray, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven”. The reasons you don’t believe in God should be kept between you and God. But to drag his name in the mud and not understand why you’re doing it is unfair. It’s unfair because you didn’t take the time to apply yourself to understand. Blaming God as the aggressor in our atrocities or calling him angry without knowing what you’re talking about is wrong. But it is not right to take others with you from among those who trust you and look to you by elaborating on your whys out loud. If you should come back to your senses before your time ends, or time ends – why you shouldn’t elaborate will answer itself.

But for posterity let’s look at some of the arguments used when we join The Fallen:

Exhibit A – Angry God Argument:

I cringe when I hear people say God is angry because of the lack of understanding I hear in the reasons they give along with the lack of attempt to even try to understand what they’re actually saying. Without sounding like a zealot, and from a realistic POV of the same Bible or text you’ve read; I understand that God is angry for a righteous reason. His anger is about what we do to one another; the murders, enslavement, the conquests, to people even being heartless to children; the rebellion against good counsel to stop hurting one another and His jealousy when we choose another God (who is reading this and would be ok with their children calling someone else mom or dad?) over him.

The anger you’re accusing or heard so much about, is no different than seeing our parents storm through the door when we’ve been fighting with our siblings – except, as adults, we’re using guns and bombs instead of “wicked fists”, even while we scream for justice. But there are many times I have to wonder, while listening to the fall-aways speak is if they’re speaking about anger, or about not wanting to do what’s right. Exhibit A is a realization that God isn’t just angry, it is that he loves us enough to get angry about what we are doing to one another because we are under the burden of sin. We have a choice to overcome and relent or continue until he brings the same justice you’re blaming him for not bringing. But that scale of justice, what will your weight be and how will you present your accusations? The outcome is that either you cared that much or wanted freedom to do something that you’re already free for you to do. Which weight will you be? I urge you to weigh it in your heart while you have time.

From what I have seen and heard, often in discussions; the argument centers around regulations men set up to limit our interaction with evil, ironically enough. In some cases, regulations God sets in place to limit the harm we cause one another. But we want to do the forbidden so we see God as being angry and use that as justification for doing what we want. Often what we miss is a Father trying to be a Father to unruly children and painstakingly pleading for them not to harm one another, or allowing your argument to cause further damage to others on the brink. Now here is the hard to swallow pill: Everything is permissible. Everything is permissible. The question you should ask, knowing about Messiah called Christ – are these things you want beneficial?

Then there are those who question why God allows atrocities to happen without looking at the human history unfolding from our actions, without realizing evil/wicked actions (sin) have been defeated by the resurrection of Christ. How would you treat siblings who are willingly hell bent on doing wrong to one another without harming one of them? “God doesn’t do anything”, The Fallen accuses. Human law throws people in jail or execute people for crimes. The Creator spent his own blood so we wouldn’t have to die and set up a day for judging. One day for punishing those willing to continue to do evil instead of continually punishing, and left a detailed testimony for us to study when we want the truth; why doesn’t detailing his plan and willing sacrifice for our evil actions, count for anything?

In the Law and the testimony are twice witnessed events of a parent showing his unruly children a paddle and telling them a day is set for when that paddle will reach their backsides. He has also taken the pain those children deserved and said plainly, just believe in the one I prepared to take the suffering for you. To listen to him. Hasn’t God done anything about the atrocities? He has wiped away sin, overpowered it and set his children free because of a love that takes applying ones self to understand. There is a day of judgment set for all the wickedness and evil done on Earth, his children free from that punishment. There’s no need to punish people who are set free and given two choices. God is determined that he will never lose another child to evil or death through sin. But you will not know until you study with the intent of understanding. Everything is permissible for us. Who does our actions benefit?

Freedom we have. But we use it to ask why God allows atrocities without asking why we freely commit atrocities while God has freed us from those actions. Freedom we’ve been given and the laws we have are based on the way we choose to live as a collective. Laws we make and break in effort to individually live out our fantasies and lie about in order to invite others to join in. God gives direction in how to live within this freedom without needing laws; to deny freedom and enslave isn’t the way of God. Instead it is to defend, to allow, to consult and to lead the willing, is the way of God, our Father. Destruction is reserved for those who commit atrocities and for those who willingly join them. We have that freedom. That is something to be understood.

For those who choose to understand God, one thing is clear; knowing God compels us to live as he says we ought to live; my peace I give you, he says. There is a manifestation of truth in accepting His peace, a life beyond life and the more we live this way is the more we will come to understand Him. We will want to live in his peace for his sake because of what we understand when we begin to see the revelation God. But we can’t do that until we’re willing and, that won’t happen unless we ask him and expect an answer from him. There is no father that will not want their children to know about them. None! Deliberate observation when God reveals himself is important because God doesn’t speak continuously without having something to add. That’s what I’ve come to understand. Today he may call, three months later he may have something to add to what he said. There is no time limit on his answers because to him, it is all one moment. One word. One interaction with details that he takes great care in underpinning for the benefit of those who love him.

This is not an attack on anyone’s faith. Just a word. Keep the reasons for your non-belief in your heart and in mind and struggle with God, if you are brought to this point for whatever reason. Because the day you come to understand, you want to be able to say – “Lord” without the fear of an enemy. And don’t ever doubt yourself about being welcomed back by God. If the worst of His children repent and call on His name God will hoot and howl over that one lost child. But everything is permissible to you. But the answer to the question of it being beneficial is Jesus Christ, His holy and anointed Messiah. He doesn’t require anything but to believe in him.

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