Why? Part 2

Part 1 can be read by clicking HERE!

Recap-  no-questions

We have been taught to “Question Everything!”  Question parents, question teachers, question questions.  Question everything.  Nothing is sacred.  A few generations ago very few people questioned Christianity.  Most people just accepted things on blind faith.  If something happened it was just supposed to happen.  It was even considered by some to be a sin to question God.  Now, it’s a sin not to.  It is our responsibility to question.  It’s our right to question, isn’t it?  Shouldn’t we be able to question God?  When something doesn’t go according to our plans shouldn’t we be able to question God about it?  When something terrible happens isn’t it ok to question God and seek a reason?

Well the answer to that is yes and no.  Not much help is it?  You’re looking for definites and unfortunately I don’t have definite answers to give you.  Allow me to share an explanation of my two at odds answers.

The other day we discussed the why it is ok to ask God why.  Today lets look at when it is not ok to question God.  (authors note- neither of these answers apply to non-Christ Followers.  In all honesty the only prayer that God hears from a non-Christian is the prayer of repentance and acceptance of His free gift of salvation.  Then the previous and following apply)

No-

I believe we have to be careful with the attitude with which we question God.  I’m not sure it is a sin to question God out of anger but it sure is a big flashing caution light.  God is all about the attitude of the heart.  We discussed this a little in part 1.  Remember from part 1 when David was all upset and asking God why and then a chapter later his attitude had changed?  Well, I have experienced that first hand.  God knows we get upset and hurt.  He knows when we are angry at Him, so why try to hide it.  All that does is allow resentment and rebellion to creep into our hearts and sour our love for Him.  I guess what I am trying to say is that you should go TO God and ask Him why, not hold those questions in your heart and let them spread diseases of doubt and bitterness throughout your mind.

The second time when it is wrong to question God is when it is done after He has answered.  Remember our buddy Moses?  When God called him to lead Israel out of slavery all he did was ask why.  “Why are you picking me?  Why do I have to do it?  Why can’t you get someone else?”  Over and over God answers but finally you see a little annoyance creep into God’s replies.  You can read the whole account HERE!  Specifically look at the last few verses,

God got angry with Moses: “Don’t you have a brother, Aaron the Levite? He’s good with words, I know he is. He speaks very well. In fact, at this very moment he’s on his way to meet you. When he sees you he’s going to be glad. You’ll speak to him and tell him what to say. I’ll be right there with you as you speak and with him as he speaks, teaching you step by step. He will speak to the people for you. He’ll act as your mouth, but you’ll decide what comes out of it. Now take this staff in your hand; you’ll use it to do the signs.”  Exodus 4:14-17  (The Message)

Fist line, first sentence- “God got angry with Moses.”  He annoyed God.  Bad idea Moses.  Because of this he looses out on some of the blessings God wanted to give him.  When you ask God a question and He answers you, stop asking the question.  It may not be the answer you wanted, but it’s the only one you’re going to get.

That’s the main two times it is NOT ok to question God.  Anyone have any other times when we need to be careful not to question God?

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Why? Part 1

Questions: we all have them.  question-mark

We have been taught to “Question Everything!”  Question parents, question teachers, question questions.  Question everything.  Nothing is sacred.  A few generations ago very few people questioned Christianity.  Most people just accepted things on blind faith.  If something happened it was just supposed to happen.  It was even considered by some to be a sin to question God.  Now, it’s a sin not to.  It is our responsibility to question.  It’s our right to question, isn’t it?  Shouldn’t we be able to question God?  When something doesn’t go according to our plans shouldn’t we be able to question God about it?  When something terrible happens isn’t it ok to question God and seek a reason?

Well the answer to that is yes and no.  Not much help is it?  You’re looking for definites and unfortunately I don’t have definite answers to give you.  Allow me to share an explanation of my two at odds answers.

Yes-

I serve a big God.  I serve an all-powerful, all-knowing and all-present God.  At least that’s what the Bible tells me.  You may differ in your belief but what I read in the Bible says He is all of those things.  Since this is my blog we will use that statement as a statement of fact.  Holding to that belief I make this supposition.  If God is all-powerful, all-knowing and all-present then doesn’t it stand to reason that my questions would not; a) surprise Him, b) stump Him or c) anger Him?  I don’t believe they would.  I don’t think I can catch God off guard.  I don’t think He would be taken aback by the questions my mind can conceive of.  And let’s face it, I’m not asking Him anything He hasn’t been asked since the dawn of the human race.  I’m an intelligent individual but I am no where near Einstein or Freud or Darwin for that matter.  Stephen Hawking doesn’t have to worry that I will de-throne him as the top dog in the big brains department.

What is the favorite question asked by all little children?  Why?  Usually ad-nauseam until you get frustrated and say, “Cause that’s the way God made it, now stop asking me why!”  Children learn by asking “Why?”  And we learn by asking God “Why?”.  Here is a great post on this subject.  Take a look, it’s a quick read.  “Flowerdust.net”

So my first answer is, yes.  It is ok to question God.  It is ok to wonder why God allowed something to happen that we either don’t understand or don’t agree with.  However I would stress that you need to take a look at the reason behind your questions.  Are you asking to learn or are you questioning Gods’ ability to be God?  There is a difference.  Jesus questioned God, While in the garden Jesus prayed and asked God if He had to go through the punishment that was coming.  And again, while on the cross, He asked God why He had forsaken Him.  Neither question was directly answered by God but we never see Jesus questioning Gods’ ability to be God.  The questions were asked and the silence that followed was enough of an answer for Jesus.

David, who is called “a man after God’s own heart”, questioned God.  See if you can feel the pain and anguish in David’s cry to God for answers.

“God, God…my God! Why did you dump me
miles from nowhere?
Doubled up with pain, I call to God
all the day long. No answer. Nothing.
I keep at it all night, tossing and turning.” Psalm 22:1-2 (The Message)

God doesn’t strike David down, nor does He tell Him to shut-up.  God listens and deals with David’s heart.  Check out David’s tune a few verses later-

1-3 God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.

4 Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.

5 You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.

6 Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.  Psalm 23 (The Message)

God likes the questions of a sincere heart, a sincere heart that wants to learn about Him.  Just realize that you may not get the answer that you want.

Tomorrow- Part 2 The “No” answer…..


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The Letdown!

letdown-series-bulletin1Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines the word TRUST as an- assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something”.  I don’t know about you but I have trust issues.  It is hard for me to fully trust anyone or anything.  I trust very few people in this world, and even then I only fully trust about five of them.  I won’t name them but they know who they are.  It is hard to trust isn’t it?  I am pretty sure we have all felt the sting of betrayal, the pain of dishonesty and the slap of back stabbing.  People at work want our job, people at home have cheated and people at church, well, let’s just leave that one alone.  Our friends hurt us, our family hurts us and our co-workers hurt us.

Sometimes it even feels like God hurts us.  I have recently felt let down by God.  My Dad and I attempted something big for God and it ended up a failure, at least in our eyes.  Remember that definition from earlier- assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something”. We felt like we relied on God and His character and we felt let down.  While I don’t pretend to know the inner workings of God’s mind nor do I even understand His thought process I do know He is All-Knowing.  If He wasn’t He couldn’t be God.

Lately I have lost my job and I have had to move a few hundred miles from my family.  I am able to go home and see my wife and kids every other weekend.  I have put out numerous resumes and I haven’t received a single call or email in response to them.  I realize that in today’s climate I have it better than most, I have a job, my kids are well fed and clothed and we have a roof over our heads but I sure do miss them.  I miss seeing them every day and tucking them in every night.  I miss falling asleep on the love seat while my wife watches T.V.  I miss Momma’s home cooking (she lives next door) and I miss hanging out with my Brother-in-Law and talking football.  I miss spending time with my Dad and watching my nephews growing bigger.  I miss a lot.  I feel let down by God.  I took a leap of faith and landed on my butt.

But here is what I am learning, trust is hard.  Trust like love, is a decision not a feeling.  I have to decide to trust God.  Faith means believing in something before you see it.  Trust is relying on something or someone before something happens.  I trust my wife to be there for me if I am ever in an accident.  I trust the chair I am sitting in to not collapse.  I trust my van to get me where I am going.  I trust all the time, why then is it so hard to trust God.

The good news is that I am not the first nor am I the only one who has ever struggled with trust issues.  Two prominent figures in the Old Testament had issues with trust.  The first was Moses, yes Moses.  Whole studies have been done on the life of Moses; “Experiencing God” is probably the most well know.  It is a wonderful study and I encourage you to read it but before Moses became the leader of Israel and the tool God used to deliver His people from slavery Moses had trust issues.  Read through Exodus 3 & 4.  Moses doubts Gods call to save Israel.  Moses says, “Who am I?”  Then in chp.4 Moses again distrusts God when he asks, “What if the Israelites don’t believe me?”, and by using the excuse that he is not eloquent enough to be God’s voice to His people.

The second person is David.  God calls David “a man after My own heart” yet still he had trust issues.  In 2 Samuel 24 God tells David not to count his army.  But David, in a lack of trust, counted anyway.  God wanted David’s army to be the size of his faith, not his faith the size of his army.

In the New Testament the disciples are recorded as having several lapses in trust.  Here is one such occasion Mark 4:35-41.  Take a few seconds and read what happened.

So we are not alone.  We are not the first.  And we will not be the last.  We all have trust issues.  We all feel let down.  Thetrust_fall struggle, the battle, the mark of strength is to keep going.  To fight!  Don’t give up.  We need to decide to trust God, even when the world is falling apart, even when OUR world is falling apart, decide to trust Him.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.  Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Message)

Trust is a decision, make the decision today!

Support the Troops?? Part 3

Me    This post is the final post in response to ATW’s comments on an earlier post of mine.

You can read it HERE as well as his comments.

You can read the first posted response HERE.

And the second posted response HERE.

3.   Do you mean then that you hold a gun in one hand and the bible the other? How is that different from the Bin-Laden-like terrorists who use religion to justify – like you – their ways?

I must admit, this is the one that really gave me pause.  How do I justify holding a gun and a Bible at the same time?  Here is what I do know, David, in the Old Testament, was considered a man after God’s own heart.  However he was also a mighty warrior.   In the New Testament Jesus never once spoke evil of soldiers, He even healed the servant of a soldier who had faith in Him.  Matthew 8:5-13.  There are many other references in the Bible that speak of war and fighting.  See the previously mentioned article on Christians in the Military.

I think that everyone must decide for themselves.  We are told in the Ten Commandments not to murder but God not only allowed but also commanded wars to be fought so there must be a distinction between murder and killing in battle.  Our own government recognizes the difference as well.

My opinion,  and that is what it is, an opinion, is this.  I have no problem with Christians being in the military.  It is the same for any job or circumstance of life, if you are asked to do something that you feel would be in violation of God’s law then you should refuse and accept the consequences.  Had I been asked or commanded to kill innocent civilians I would have refused.  I see great honor in serving in God’s army as well as in the armed forces of the U.S.A.

However, I realize that not all people will agree with me, and while I have no issue with that, I still believe we should support our troops and pray for them.  Jesus supported the enemies soldier when He healed his servant.  Soldiers are real people, they have Dad’s, Mom’s, siblings, souses and children.  And just like any other person they are in need of our love, the same love that Jesus demonstrated when He died on the cross for us.

Am I the same as bin Laden?  No, I have a conscience, I have morals, I would never knowingly harm innocent people.  And that is the difference.  The difference between murder and killing.  The difference between war and terrorism.  I may not always agree with who we fight, and if it came to it I would refuse if ordered to fight an unjust war, but I do believe in fighting for what matters, my family and my country.

Remember- Right or wrong, just or unjust, good or evil, our soldiers need your prayers and your unconditional love.

P.S.  Twins separated at birth or two completely opposite people?  You decide!

bin Laden          Me