I posted some stuff on here a couple of months ago about by struggles with assurance and was encouraged by the caring replies I received.
However, since then, it seems as if I have hit a wall in my faith. In short, I think I hate God and Im really scared by that.
Its a weird one to explain but it seems as if hard scriptures (and writings and sermons) have made my heart hard. I cant seem to get out of my head that God is very severe, a very demanding kill joy who demands that I be holy and perfect yet doesnt seem to help me very much in that. Whenever I read stuff on hear about Christians needing to deny themselves more, or reject the world more, or be more holy or else judgement day will be dreadful, I seem to recoil and dislike God even more. In fact, I absolutely hate the prospect of final judgement when Im going to stand before Jesus and hes going to point out all the ways Ive wronged him and (even more) ways I havent loved him (yes I know people will talk about imputed righteousness but I really cant see it in scripture it has been called legal fiction).
A friend of mine said he reckoned I have some deep ingrained misconceptions about God. Perhaps this is true. I read recently a piece by AW Tozer called 'God is easy to live with' ( http://www.neve-family.com/books/tozer/root/03.html ) and realised that I didnt really believe any of it. (it does seem to contradict other stuff Tozer wrote but that aside for now).
I find scripture reading very difficult as it always seems to be condemning me. Even encouraging passages such as Romans 8 seem to have walking by the spirit as a condition for no condemnation which I dont think Im doing, nor do I know how. It really took the biscuit the other day when I read 1 Cor 16:22, where Paul says If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Thats exactly how I feel at the moment accursed.
So I dont know what to do. I cant walk away from the faith as I am convinced of the basic truths of Christianity. However, I really really doubt if they have any reality in my life. I have cried out to God many times yet I never seem to be answered.
Some thoughts would be appreciated.
| 2010/5/1 14:21||Profile|
| Re: Stuck|
hi,my advice is for you to stop reading books and read John twice and read the red and find out who Jesus is. then read matthew ... then john again etc. Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the father.see how merciful he is to the unreligious...get to know Jesus more than you could imagine you could thru the gospels.jimp He will show you that he loves jerks like me .
| 2010/5/1 15:21||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: Stuck|
I find scripture reading very difficult as it always seems to be condemning me. Even encouraging passages such as Romans 8 seem to have ‘walking by the spirit’ as a condition for ‘no condemnation’ which I don‘t think I’m doing, nor do I know how.
Of course you don't know how, this is the work of God. In accord with this, The Apoistle Paul's words in Romans 8 verse 4 about God condemning sin in the flesh, do not speak of the ordinance of the law being fulfilled by us, but rather in us "who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit". Note the evangelical form of the words! He does not write that the demand of the law is fulfilled by us if we do not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Such a statement would cast man back upon himself and disturb him with doubts and fears. The evangelical fact is that we no longer live after the flesh (v.9. See also 7:5), and therefore, thanks to the work of Christ for us, we do not walk after the flesh but after the Spirit. This method of expression avoids turning the reader in upon himself and makes him glad and confident as he walks in simple faith and confidence in the Lord. Everything from beginning to end is the work of God for him in Christ Jesus. That is the gospel!
| 2010/5/1 17:44||Profile|
| Re: Stuck|
I have had similar problems and wrestled with doubt, I will explain something that set me free from such things.
I encountered the Holiness of God and found I was unholy, I ran into the Justice of God which I found I was unjust, I ran into the Goodness of God and I found I wasn't good.
These things all ran into my heart that I deserve hell from these three revelations all left me condemned on every side of life I was very depressed and very humbled because I didn't know what to do. I was in this state for two months and went to a conference looking, seeking, and searching for what I didn't seem to have. The question on how could God love me and how do I deserve to even live took presidence in my heart.
With these questions in my heart I sent open to whatever God had for me. I asked for a reality of God and I heard the Holy Spirit speak to my heart and say if you want to know my reality serve at this conference in prayer. So I said okay I can do that. I struggled still with the Justice and Holiness of God but then the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart again, He said I am Holy and I am Just but My Mercy triumphs over My Justice because I desire to show all who will repent Mercy. I thought this is amazing if I am repenting of my known sins I can know the Mercy of Christ Jesus, This wasn't all of what I needed though I asked what it was and the Holy Spirit said Well I not only want to show Mercy to the Repented Heart but I love it and Love you, I want to show you Love. This brought me joy.
So I started wondering what do I need to do to continue in this Love and Mercy, and 1st John 3:3 came in "Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure." If you are in Christ Jesus you will not be instantly pure because of learned habits from your past sinful life but Christ Jesus inside you purifies those habits of the repentive and obedient heart. I am not doing the work but Christ Jesus is working in me. I don't know if this will help you or not but I will be praying for you brother Mark.
| 2010/5/1 19:27||Profile|
| Re: do you have faith|
What faith means to me have you heard that saying it is not found it is earned some people think that faith comes from god that is true but not only faith comes from god it comes from your heart do not think someone can tell you "here take this grain and put it in the ground wait and have faith grain can change its your choice do you want this grain to change or do you want it to stay in the ground and when the time is right faith will change your life will change your soul will stay the same but take that grain and hold it and tell yourself is god going to change me or is it a adventure that can be discovered or is god waiting for you and for an answer if you are reading this this is RedMud signing off peace out.
| 2010/5/2 13:07||Profile|
| Re: Stuck|
Mark, get on your knees and pour your heart out to God and stay there until you sense in your spirit what the next thing is you should do...hold nothing back, nothing, tellHim - He knows it but He wants you to say it!
| 2010/5/2 19:16||Profile|
| Re: |
Hi brother Mark. I know every sincere Christian has the accuser pay a visit in some way to suggest that God is unfair and harsh. Not every voice we hear is the Holy Spirit and not every voice we hear is our own. Satan sends messengers to plant thoughts in your mind and if they speak negatively against the Lord, it obvious where the source is.
Please simply ask the Lord to bind such thoughts from you and as others have suggested, find the promises of His Word that speak of His mercy and love. He will bring you through this. I would cry out for His love to be known, and He will be faithful to prove himself real to you.
We have an adversary and he is set on destroying your faith. Even if you don't fully believe or grasp the truth of His scriptures, quote them allowed by faith if need be. The enemy hates that! We're in a war brother Mark, and may God make you a stronger soldier through this. He is a faithful Creator.
| 2010/5/3 5:24||Profile|
| Re: Stuck|
If you are seeking to have God back up who you were outside of Him, He can't do that. He sent Jesus Christ to die our death, that we may live His life. But, it's not possible that we should live His life unless we also pass through His death. Have you ever honestly, on your knees, asked our Father to plant the death of Jesus Christ within you, so that the joy which was set before Him, can be set before you?
The death in Christ which proclaims Him Lord over your life, will bring you deep peace. After this transaction - which you may already have made - our Adversary does his best to remind us of every possible desire, failure, weakness and fallen hunger. Our human character is chiselled out in Christ's likeness, the more we so intend to let His death work in us, that we reject temptations of all kinds. Only then do we find His life. I say only then, but often, if our hearts are set like His was (to go to our 'Jerusalem'), the peace is fairly quick to confirm to us our heart's desire to follow in His steps.
Please be encouraged. It is gruelling. At the time, it seems thankless, but afterward... it brings forth fruit unto holiness and life everlasting.
| 2010/5/4 11:42|