Here are some screen shots from this past weekend's message from Week 4 Distant series in case you missed them!
Yeah, I admit it... Sometimes consciously (and often unconsciously) I actually tell the God of the universe to back off (which may be the dumbest thing I ever do in life). Does He respond with lightning strikes or infect me with some weird growth out of the side of my head? No, He typically gives me what I want... he leaves me to my own, second best, often stressed out free will.
As we heard in this Distant series, "God has a terrible insistence on our free will".
Do you wonder where God is? Are you shutting Him out or letting Him in?
We seem to live life with expectations that if there's a God, He is supposed to protect me from anything bad in this world and if He screws up, I can (and should be) ticked off at Him. Furthermore, the more He screws up the less I trust Him and actually expect Him to do anything....even to the point of questioning the actual existence of God. So what's up?
- Most of us drift into doing what we want to do when we want to do it. If God works in that plan... great... as long as it's my plan. We choose entertainment over purpose. We choose how we feel right now over what's the next right thing to do.
- The Bible says God has a perfect will for our lives. He knows us better than we know ourselves. (Romans 12:1-2 See below)
- God wants to take us out of our comfort zone. Boring, routine, stagnant, and lame are not in God's plan for you. Want to find God? What is the next right thing that has been on your mind that takes you out of your current routine?
- We all are dysfunctional. Whether in our relationships, our responses, our thoughts... we all have issues... We tend to want to shut God out because we don't want to deal with it... "God, we're good but I don't want to deal with that..."
- We think it's only about here...our short time on Earth. We actually believe "Life is short, play hard." We're not sure if it's worth handing the reins of our life over to God for fear we may miss out on something in this life. We want God around but we've got things we want to accomplish in our lives. God's plan is greater than ours. Do you ever feel that rub?
- We get desensitized to God. Like a wrist watch, we forget he's there and drift back into our busy lives.
Do you think there is a God? Do you think He is at work in this world...or does He seem to be distant?
Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)
1 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.2 Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
So God... where are you? Do you really care what's going on in my life? Don't you see the terrible things going on in our world? In my world?
We tend to ask these questions most when we've been affected by sin (or bad people or circumstances) in the world.
As I live a life of free will, surrounded by a globe of people with free will, there are times I wish God would just swoop in and take care of the mess. If I've lost my job... "God, get me a job!" If a loved one is hurt, "God, heal them!" If someone is dysfunction, "God fix them!"
If we don't have clarity on who God is, it's really hard to determine how God may or may not respond in our lives. If God is who we want him to be with no basis of who he may be, we'll probably be disappointed.
So what do we do then? Here are just a few things the Bible tells us about God and the life we live:
- God says He will be with us. Matthew 28:20 Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
- When times our good, we tend to live on our own strength without God... when they go bad, we wonder where God is... Job 35:12 People are arrogantly indifferent to God— until, of course, they’re in trouble, and then God is indifferent to them.
- We're going to have troubles in this world, even those who believe in Christ. 2 Timothy 3:12 Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there’s no getting around it.
The Bible gives us guidance on our decisions in life. Psalm 119:105 By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
Even people in the Bible felt distant from God at times. Psalm 55:1 Open your ears, God, to my prayer; don’t pretend you don’t hear me knocking. (This was David, the same guy who killed the giant Goliath if you've heard that story)
Questions about God and doubt are normal. You may have questions whether the Bible is really a worthy guide to life inspired by a real God. (Another good question worth exploring)
We're going to continue the path this week as we explore more of our questions about God. You don't even have to walk into a church building! We're going to be running (2) online test services at 6:30 and 8:30 PM EST tomorrow (October 18th) at idochurchonline.com. Jump on and check it out!