Bountiful Lies and Beautiful Lives
Truthfully, I’ve had more people than I can count ask me over the past 6 years, “Why can’t I feel God?” and “If God said that all things work together for the good of those who love Him, then why do things never go my way?” In fact, it is questions precisely like those that inspired this post.
Firstly, if you want things to go your way, as a child of God you have to understand that He actually tells you that things will not go your way if you are continually disobedient! Not my words! Look to a scripture I have referenced several times, JOSHUA 1:8, which very clearly says this; giving us a clear and concise instruction to “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” It then clarifies that it is “only then,” when you study His word daily and make sure to obey the instruction He gives in it, that you will succeed in everything that you do. Only when you do that will things “go your way.” Or more adequately, they will go His way. That is after all the goal for which we strive, to live according to His way and not our own.
That isn’t to say that we obey solely for the sake of receiving from God and being successful, but He is a Father that rewards His children! However, that doesn’t mean obedience isn’t required in order to receive from God, it quite obviously is or the words “only then” would not have been used! That is territory which often leads to a lot of debate, but the requirement of obedience is not lessened by anyone’s attempts to form popular opinions on the Word! We are required to be obedient, and to live lives that are visibly different from those who are not of God; even so much as not even doing the same things that they do, or taking part in the things of the world!
He isn’t being vague when He says, “Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.” in 2 CORINTHIANS 6:17, and “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” in ROMANS 12:2, and even so because “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (PHILIPPIANS 3:20) If our citizenship is in heaven, how can we possibly take part in the ways of the world, or in the things that the world produces and loves? We can’t! In fact, it is actually contrary to the Spirit Who lives in us!
As I had said, He wasn’t being vague when He said “Don’t touch their filthy things,” and “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world..” rather He was being quite descriptive! In other words, “Do not take part in anything that is not of God. Because you do not belong to this world, and those things like the world will perish and lead to death.” We should not take part in any thing, speak any word, think any thought, be a part of any custom, or act out any behavior that is not of God! Understanding that makes it very clear!
He goes even farther, though, saying to us “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” in 1 JOHN 2:15, making it incredibly apparent that those who love the world, its ways and things are absent of the love of the Father because none of those things can produce the love of God, but are contrary to it! 1 JOHN 2:16-17 goes on to say this very thing, ” For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” I love the end of this scripture in particular because it provides us with the very same answer that JOSHUA 1:8 does, when it says “but whoever does the will of God will live forever.” Obedience is not a suggestion, it is a required attribute of the children of God to have an obedient heart!
I’ve heard several people make the statement that “God doesn’t mind this. It isn’t like it’s that bad!” Of course one could always argue that things have changed since the time of Christ and that languages and technology are far different, and therefore the bible couldn’t have possibly said that some of these things would be bad!
That is an argument that I find extremely foolish and unlearned! If we find ourselves living in any manner that is contradictory to God then we are wrong; the year and technology have nothing to do with the relevance of the Word of God! This is why He made sure to say it in such a way that it covered the multitude of the ways, behaviors, customs, and things of the world! Or do you think that God did not know that cell phones, secular music and movies, and foul language and actions would exist? Truthfully, the only difference between now and then is that we have technology on a much grander and advanced scale than they did then.
Some will even say, about things as simple as speech, that “language today is different from language then, and foul words aren’t the same.” Foul is foul! That doesn’t change simply because we want it to! Others will say, “but language is different, because it’s all about how you perceive what is being said! You may think this word is bad, but I may not.” A foolish, ignorant, self-serving and self-exalting opinion in itself, because it is not about what we think but what God says! We don’t get to have a say, because we may not believe it is bad or not! If culture has used it as insult, or in any foul way, at any point in time then it is foul! We are told not to “copy the behaviors and the customs of this world.”
The truth is not hidden from those who seek it, but those who only look to the Word to benefit their own opinions will never understand it! Please, explain away the verse in EPHESIANS 4:29, which says “No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.” Explain that away and tell me how that does not relate to foul language today? Please tell me how that condones anyone’s opinion of speech? It doesn’t! It very clearly says that if it is not good for building people up, if it is not beneficial, then do not speak it!
Stop focusing so much on things going your way, and focus on His way! When we live according His way, we will see a dramatic shift in the way we see and live our lives because we will begin to experience His way, which by His words is good and pleasing and perfect! Words, by the way, that come immediately after He tells us to not copy the behaviors of the world!
There is a definite pattern here! “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think..” THEN “you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
If you are trying to justify foolish actions by arguing about opinions over what God says is okay and isn’t, but find things never working out in your favor, then perhaps you are standing on the wrong side of the board! What do you have to lose by trying it the other way? If things are never going your way, then you have already lost more to doing it your way than you have to doing it God’s way! Just saying..
Secondly, when it comes to feeling God, how can you expect to feel Him if you are not actively living for Him? Can you feel the warmth of the blankets when you leave your bed?
It is simple, so be careful not to overthink or overlook it! If you do not feel God, then you should turn around and start looking to God! You can’t see or feel what you have turned away from!
Now, many will say that there will be times that you do not feel God and that it is normal! That is foolish! We live continuously in the joy of the Lord when we actively, and with determination seek Him and His ways! How can you possibly not feel what you are reaching for? That doesn’t even make logical sense! Of course, they do have point in one way! There will be times that you do not feel God, if you have stopped actively seeking and obeying Him!
I don’t have to make too big a point of this, it is not me that any of you will answer to in the end! I will live out what I have learned, and have been shown by the Spirit, regardless of what anyone thinks! I don’t need the opinions of others to justify my life, because it is the righteousness and the grace of God that has justified me! It is on each of us, however, to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling! (PHILIPPIANS 2:12)
It seems that we have forgotten that God demands obedience, and replaced that truth with one that says God is okay with this and with that. Truly, the wrath of God will come upon those who are disobedient! (EPHESIANS 5:6)
If you want to feel God, stop paying so much attention to the things of the world and “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” (COLOSSIANS 3:2)
If you want things to go your way, let your way be determined by His way, and be obedient to Him because “God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done.’ To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. But He will pour out His anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.” To even try to argue an opinion, without having sought His truth with determination, is no better than hypocrisy because you give yourself over to opinions of a truth that you have no understanding of! Even worse, how dare anyone try to form their own opinion of what God commands and say “Well for you it may mean this, but for me it means that.” Blasphemy!!! The truth of God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow; it changes for no man!
Seriously consider, not only what it means to “change the way that you think,” but also the seriousness and the necessity of it! We are born again, of God and not of the world; because of this we should no longer think, speak, or behave like the world does!
How can you feel God, if you are seeking the world over Him? How can things go your way, as a child of God, if you are not living for the One Who instructs you to live according to His way? Truthfully, you will reap what you sow! If you are seeking the world then you will reap as the world reaps, but if you are seeking and actively obeying God you will reap what Christ sowed; power, righteousness, grace, love, peace, joy, hope, and you will succeed! It is literally that simple!
With that, I will close this post! I hope that you are blessed by this! Until next time, God bless!