Today in the Blogosphere….
I came across a response to a person who was starting to feel that Christianity is not for them. They were praying, but did not “feel or see anything happening”. I believe many people have been there, but the answer is NOT in looking to new religions or other alternatives. Here is how one person responded:
It’s called the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, poetic term for when someone raised in a particular belief starts to have serious doubts about it.
2 things can happen:
1. you’ll decide that Christianity is for you after all and go back to it;
2. you’ll reject Christianity and move on to something else.
If someone doesn’t believe if any religion this could mean they are atheist – someone who doesn’t believe there is a God – or agnostic – someone who is open-minded about whether there is a God or not. There is a lot of debate (some of it on these pages) about what these words mean exactly, whether you can be atheist and still be religious to a degree, etc.
Prayer alone may yield results; however, those results will not be the same as if we were in a committed relationship. In a committed relationship, you spend time with one another, you communicate – talking and listening, and you begin to understand the intent and the purposes in the other person’s heart. That’s how God is with us. He created us with purpose in mind. He knows the thoughts He thinks towards us, thoughts of good and not of evil to bring us to an expected end (Jeremiah 29: 11). We come to the table with our own thoughts and purposes for our own lives and this doesn’t always line up with his plans. (How many people have ever said “I never, ever though I’d be doing THIS”?) Because God desires our best, sometimes the answer to our prayers is “NO”. Does that mean God doesn’t love us? Not at all. We have to recognize that God is not Santa Claus or a genie in a bottle just there to grant our every wish.
Christians need sound Biblical teaching which is found in a local church where you hear the Word. Reading and studying the Word is a part of discipleship, also known as studying to show yourself approved unto God (II Timothy 2:15). Meditating on what you have studied is also a part of that equation (Psalm 1:2). It’s only after you have heard, read, studied and meditated on that Word that you can memorize it easier. After you’ve heard, read, studied, meditated and memorized the Word, then you can apply it to your life fully. (Notice how you usually only hear and read the Word on a Sunday morning, but everything else requires a deeper commitment.)
Is there any wonder why praying alone seems ineffective for Christians? Why study other religions when you don’t know the one you’re in very well? Is Christianity your lifestyle or just a title that you keep?
Posted on 11/06/2010, in S.T.A.R.S. and tagged Bible, Christian, Christianity, Christianity for Seekers, discipleship, Evangelism, God, Jeremiah, Prayer, Religion and Spirituality, Santa Claus. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.