21/05/2012

God….Really?*

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:23 pm by The Water Bearer

Most people who know me know that I have faith. I often get called ‘religious’ which progressively makes my skin crawl. These days I am quick to correct them, stating that “I am faithful, not religious!” I love to share stories about the wonderful things God has done in my life, but sometimes my stories are simply laughed at and dismissed.  I am not surprised by this anymore and I try not to feel any offense. I realise the damage that has been done to the reputation of God through many years of worldly disagreements and disappointments, which led to war and doubt.

It saddens me that the God I know is getting a bad rap because His name is too often used as a front for ‘religious humans’ to hide behind. I believe most church goers mean well, but with all their influence, why are so many people increasingly deterred away from God due to their opinion of the church? For example I do not currently attend church and neither does many of my faithful friends and family. Ask yourselves honestly, how common is the reaction to want to run when someone introduces themselves as ‘A Born Again Christian’?

Is it simply that we may have had an experience with ‘religiosity’, or ‘crackpots’, rather than with the awesome and abundant love from God?

Isn’t it possible that someone who claimed to represent God to us may have let us down, betrayed our trust, or even caused us or someone we love pain? Therefore we may mistakenly apply the onus to fall back onto God and not the mere human using His name.

I personally would rather the onus fell back onto the enemy within the church, rather than blaming God for everything. So that we would continue to pursue His internal voice and build a relationship with Him, no matter what this world could do to us to try and cause lack of faith.

The Apostle Paul, wrote in the book of Thessalonians that the enemy of God would sit at the head of the church claiming to be God. (2 Thess 2:4 “The son of destruction, who puts himself against all authority, lifting himself up over all which is named God or is given worship; so that he takes his seat in the Temple of God, putting himself forward as God.”)

Are we searching for God and finding His counterfeit?

I believe this counterfeit is fooling masses. If this enemy is actually an ‘angel of light’, he is not quite the obvious “red-horned” ugliness which we imagine we should be aware of. Thinking about it, I believe the enemy knows God very well, he was the Lord’s right-hand man, His closest associate. Who else could portray our Heavenly Father so convincingly, yet destroy faith in Him in the process?

I believe we need to seek into our own hearts where the true spirit of God lies and ask Him to show us His TRUTH. We need to strive to not settle for anything less, refusing to allow ourselves to be seduced by an easier, more attractive, and yet less righteous path.

We can test it by reading the Bible and researching to see if what we are led to believe lines up with what we read in God’s word and be humbled under His authority and virtue. If nothing else it’s a good read and a great guide for ways to handle the ups and downs of life.

I used to read the headlines from the back cover of the Sunday Mail every week, and every week the title was too appropriate for what I needed to hear. There are too many for me to mention but you would spin out if I could remember them all. My Dad and I used to laugh and shake our heads at the level of coincidence that was beyond almost any understanding, except that of a divine message. One Sunday morning, my husband asked me to grab him a paper while I was at the shop. It had been many months since I had bought the paper or read any ‘headlines’ and at that time I was feeling particularly distant from God. As I drove I spoke to Him in my heart, “Lord, have I slipped away? Have you still got me?” The radio was playing in the background, and as I pulled into my driveway a new song was introduced, as it started the melody caught my attention, as music often does, and rather than turning it off I sat in the car for a moment to listen. While I sat there, I remembered the paper and the headlines I had once applied to myself, so I flicked the paper over to see “I WON’T LET YOU DOWN” sprawled across the back page in huge black letters. I looked up and smiled, the chorus of the song kicked in and the male voice sang in a country twang “I won’t let you down!”

If God wants us to be convinced that we have come into contact with Him, He can make a confirmation appear in any unlikely place, wherever 2 or 3 witnesses (signs) confirm a word from the Almighty, you then know you have struck something directly from Him!

Many can inspire us, teach us, and guide us, and the enemy is always out to trick and deceive us, I recommend we never stop testing the things we are led to believe, never stop asking God questions and let Him be the only one we trust to show us His TRUTH!

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48 Comments »

  1. Julie said,

    yes I believe we should never stop asking questions ??????

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  2. Tamara said,

    Beautiful and right on the mark 🙂 keep writing as you have truly found your passion xxxx

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    • Thanks you for your comment Sweetheart. And thanks so much for taking the time to read some of my stuff. Means so much xoxo

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  3. Wow, I love feeling the faith that exudes from this post. My husband and I struggle to find a church to attend that we both agree with. It’s hard to belong to a church that you just get a righteous or deceptive vibe from. Good to know we aren’t alone feeling this way, and that we can still keep our faith where it really counts and where God wants us to keep him anyway… In our home and our hearts! 🙂

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    • Awesome! Thank you so much for visiting my blog, and for your encouraging comment. It is so nice to know that someone gets some benefit from these posts…..That is the whole point after all. Thanks Again and Blessing to you and your family

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  4. Thanks for deciding to follow my blog…I hope you enjoy the trip.

    Be encouraged!

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    • My pleasure, and same to you. Thank you for following my blog also. That is such a nice compliment in itself. 🙂 I hope you like it here.

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  5. Great post! You’re right. I do like your blog and I like you. Let’s be friends. 🙂

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    • Haha Great! Thanks for stopping by and for following my blog. So very encouraging of you. Im glad you liked it. I could tell we were to be mates when I read your stuff. 🙂 Bless you!

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  6. Reblogged this on Inner Angels & Enemies.

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  7. I haven’t been to church in well over ten years mostly for the same reasons that you write about above. Lately, I have felt that maybe…just maybe I’m copping out…bear with me: God chose the church to be His bride despite her imperfections…there’s an old saying I used to hear when people said they didn’t want to go to church because it’s full of hypocrites, people used to say yup, but there’s room for one more! So, maybe the ones who want to keep it ‘real’ are the very ones who should be there challenging the way things are…Having said that, I still don’t want to go! 🙂 Good post – got me thinking anyway…

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    • I understand your point,and have been there done that, until God directed me elsewhere. I am now working my way back to ‘challenging’ through His plan with my writing. I have come to understand that the Church described in the Bible is not necessarily the buildings or congregations we have limited it to mean, but a metaphor for much more than we can define in our human intelligence. I feel more connected to the ‘Body of Christ’ since I began blogging than I ever did inside church walls. Thanks for your humbly honest comment. Blessings to you!

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      • and blessing to you! One of my most favourite signs I saw once was driving through a small town. The sign outside the church read: The church has left the building!

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      • Hallelujah! Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

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  8. graciehill48 said,

    To identify the counterfeit you need to study the genuine. Good post. Stay close to the Lord and study the genuine one, the One who knows you because He created you.

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  9. Sandra C. said,

    the name god need to be changed …use the word heart in each sentences…and something will change about the people around ….

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  10. Amen to that..perfectly said!

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  11. Interesting post! I find a lot of people today that don’t want to attend church because they have been hurt by some one there or someone was a hypocrite. I heard an interesting statement in a movie once ” the church is flawed because people are flawed” I think that sums it up. We all struggle in our Christian life and don’t always say and do the things we should. The Bible tells us ‘Not to forsake the assembling of ourselved together” because in spite of its faults the church is our true family of believers. They can help us, encourage us and pray for us. And you are so right satan gets in there–he is described in the Bible as an “angel of light” after all and I think the church becomes his playground. First of all many people we think are Christians aren’t. They are the tares that will grow up along with the wheat until our Lord’s great harvest. Yes religion is not the same as having a true relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I have been hurt many times in church by other believers. I know how it feels. But I still want to set aside that time to go to church and worship HIm on His day of the week. I like to think that that is what He would want me to do. Not all churches are for everyone and sometimes you have to pray and seek and look for the right fit so to speak. But it is well worth the effort. God Bless:)

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    • Thank you for your honest and detailed response to this post. I agree with many of your points. It is definitely a subject to get much discussion flowing.
      I guess I should mention that when I wrote this post and began this blog, it was aimed at those who have chosen to reject ‘God’ because of what religion has done to destroy any childhood faith they may have had, and also to inspire those who have had little experience with any type of relationship with God. I have a lot of friends who are curious about God yet are uninspired by churches in general. I am glad for you that you have found a church where your spirit is not assaulted. What a joy that must be. 🙂 You mentioned that it is what you’d “like to think that is what God would want” you to do, I have come to require more certain directions as my assumptions of what God wants are often misguided.
      It’s not that I don’t want to attend church, I accept that God can use those inside the church or outside the church for His purpose. It’s that He has not called me into one for a while. I feel something is stirring in this area though, so I will pursue His guidance in regard to this and await His direction.
      My main point, was to consider that the enemy pretends to be God ..A LOT! His intention is to subtly use ‘believers’ to pollute the faith of others so that when life hits hard many will fall away and blame God. Or even be encouraged to develop self-righteousness rather than actual Godly righteousness. I want to encourage anyone, whether they are a church going believer or someone in the ‘Highways and Byways’ to choose to ask God and trust God alone, not just a man claiming to represent Him, and to keep their faith no matter what the world does to cause doubt.
      As I mentioned in an earlier comment – I have come to understand that the ‘Church’ described in the Bible is not necessarily the buildings or congregations the world has limited it to mean, but a metaphor for much more than we can define in our human intelligence. I feel more connected to the ‘Body of Christ’ since I began blogging than I ever did inside church walls, because I have found a place with more faith and forgiveness, less misguided interpretation of scripture and less judgmental manipulation, which after all, is what Jesus came to achieve. Amen! Blessings to you and thanks so much for sharing your heart here.

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  12. Wow. I love what you write. I look forward to reading more.

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    • How kind of you. I’m so glad you liked it. Thanks for dropping by. And for your comment. Blessings to you!

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  13. debbonilla said,

    Great post. It saddens my heart too when I hear God getting blamed so much. I’m sorry I’m not able to read the blogs I follow as much as I wish I could. I get on here when I can and I wanted to let you know that I enjoy and appreciate your blog! 🙂

    Blessings,
    Deb

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    • Thanks Deb, How lovely of you to say. Yes I understand, there are so many fantastic blogs out there and I have found more and more to follow, It is hard to keep up. And I have a feeling that some don’t show up in my reader even though I have adjusted the settings. Blessings to you!

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  14. I love stories like this! I’m a big believer in God showing us signs. I agree with what you say about seeking God’s truth for ourselves. I know that when I seek my own answers, I take more responsibility for my thoughts and actions. Great post!

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    • That is so true, and we can’t rely on other people for the truth as God sets aside so much to make it personal between Him and each of us, why would we ever think someone else can understand His truth for us… Thanks for your comment, Great to share with you again, as always 🙂

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  15. Very beautiful and relevant post. Thank you for sharing.

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    • I’m so glad you dropped in to read my post and thank you for your kind comment. Blessings to you!

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  16. Bird said,

    I agree completely!!

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    • Thank you, I’m so glad you dropped by! 🙂

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      • Bird said,

        🙂 It was a beautiful piece! How often do we find ourselves writing to the lost to show the difference between the religious and the spiritual? I shutter to think how God will deal with those who use His sacrifice for their own gain!

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      • Oh Bird I know exactly what you mean… I am so very very thankful that the Lord revealed this to me, for It would be too easy to fall into the ‘other’ when pursuing God….Praise Him AMEN!!

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  17. How utterly captivating that you spoke words I have always thought and believed. You are rare.

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    • That is a lovely compliment for an age such as this. I appreciate you dropping by. Blessings to you!

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  18. […] be checked back with Him and await confirmation, before anything can be known for certain. Read here for more on confirmation and […]

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  19. […] God…Really? – Sometimes it is hard to tell whether we are being directed by God, another ‘human’, the enemy, or our merely our own thoughts. This post shines a light on these issues, and the falsehood often found in religiosity. […]

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  20. harasprice said,

    Great post…I truly enjoyed reading it. Thanks stopping by my blog and visiting, and for sending me the link to this. I was “faithful but not religious” for many years, and only recently decided to officially align with a church, a very different one from that in which I was raised. I think the two can be aligned, but so much dogma and privilege (not the stuff of God) gets in the way. We are people of faith first, which is why even now I don’t like to label myself. Thank you for your writing and your sharing, which is its own form of spiritual community!

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    • Oh Yes I agree completely. I still drop into various churches from time to time and go where God directs me. Yet here in the Blogosphere is where I have had the most experience of the ‘Body of Christ’ than I ever had in church, I am so glad to be hear and thank you for blessing me by reading and leaving this wonderful comment! Blessings to you!

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  21. Corbin said,

    You have touched a lot of people with this post, as you have touched me. You are honest and vulnerable in a cruel and cynical world. It is refreshing to see that there are still people like you in the world. It is a rare virtue to always be seeking the truth, as you said, “I believe we need to seek into our own hearts where the true spirit of God lies and ask Him to show us His TRUTH”

    So few people do this. They shut themselves off to the possibility that the PEOPLE they take their religion from may be wrong, may be flawed. Is this because people are lazy and don’t want to do the work themselves? Or is it a fear of even thinking that they might not have been right?

    And I think this is the root of the problem you spoke of: people blaming God for what others do. When people take their religion from other people and do not verify it with the original texts sent to us from God, they will be let down every time. To me this is worshiping people, a sad substitute for worshiping their creator.

    Once I spoke with a young man who told me he was an atheist. When I asked him what had made him lose faith in God, He said because his preacher had retired and he didn’t like the new preacher. I was shocked by the narrow mindedness of his decision. But the more I though about it, I realized that he had obviously taken his preacher as God and when he was let down he lost faith.

    I read a quote by Oscar Wilde that affected me deeply and I think it applies here. “We are all stuck in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” It is easy to be disillusioned if you don’t look up. Keep looking up because the stars are shinning on your face and it helps others remember there is more than the gutter.:)

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  22. Hi Corbin, Thank you so much for reading my post and leaving such a wonderful comment.
    I am not sure if it is laziness, or pride as you have asked, I believe it is both, plus many other reasons including the weakness of the flesh. Even those of us who are diligent in developing a true relationship with God are effected with doubt, deception and pride and so those without are easy picking for the enemy. You are so right when you say worshiping people is a sad substitute for the Creator. I hear you loud and clear!! And that goes for anything that we put above Him is a sad substitute and yet we are tempted by worldly idols daily.
    I think your assessment of the young man you speak of is right on the mark! That is jaw dropping and mindless, it doesn’t seem like much genuine thought or heart or faith was given to his relationship with God at all. (Idle hands are the Devils plaything and Idle minds his playground)
    That quote of Oscar Wilde is profound. I will keep trying to look up, my neck gets sore from time to time and I look down again, but then I remember that looking up strengthens my neck, and everything else. 😉
    I am interested in how much recognition of the enemy and this type of counterfeit is focused on in the Islamic faith? Can you expand at all on this?
    Once again I appreciate your insights and perspective so much. Sending many blessings your way! 🙂

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    • Corbin said,

      Sorry for the delay in response. You are right, there is so much in us that makes us weak. As you say, the flesh is weak. May God grant us the strength to overcome our nature. To me that is the test of this life. That is what give us access to heaven or damn us to hell. Can we overcome our own desires and the weakness within? To me, this is what makes humans amazing or wretched, that we do have the capability to overcome and the capability to sink very low.

      As for your question “how much recognition of the enemy and this type of counterfeit is focused on in the Islamic faith? Can you expand at all on this?” Where to start? Volumes and volumes have been written on the subject, enough to fill libraries. There are so many supplications to protect us from the enemy. We are also prescribed to steer clear of certain things that will make us vulnerable to the enemy, and to engage as much as possible in things that will strengthen us against him.

      Also, Islam puts a huge emphasis on authenticity of religious texts, so that we can avoid following the counterfeit. An entire science was created and volumes of biographies have been written to determine whether the narrated sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) really happened or was fabricated by man in order to mislead people to do what they wish.

      As for the divine revelation (the Quran) the original still exists in its original language and not a letter has been altered. Many people have memorized every word and the exact pronunciation of the entire text. Muslims believe that the Bible in its original revelation was divine. But we also know that it has been changed over and over by man. And we believe in the prophethood of Jesus (peace be upon him), but the sayings and actions of him have been lost. This is why God sent another messenger to humanity (the Prophet Muhammad- Peace and blessings be upon him) to bring the message of Jesus that was lost.

      There is so much to protect people from the desires and manipulation of men in Islam it is truly amazing.
      I hope this answers your question. You might have had something else in mind, if so let me know, but I hope this helps. May God guide us to his truth. Peace be with you!

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      • Hi Corbin, Thank you so much for that great answer. I agree with how much truth has been lost through interpretation and I am grateful to God more than anything for the discernment He gives me to seek out the truth. Peace be with you also Sister. Blessings to you!

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  23. Sarah Tun said,

    As we search the scriptures we so often find they don’t jive with what we’ve been told to believe. He wants us dependent upon him and time with Him surely develops the trust we need. Bless you in your search and may we all draw a little closer to the master and look a bit more like Him day to day.

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  24. […] blog as I share more of these types of experiences. I have written others on this subject Here and Here, Here and Here and Here. I hope they bless you all as much as they have […]

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