For so long, I accepted the religious mis-interpretation of “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away”, I absolutely loved the song that sang “He gives and takes away, He gives and takes away, but blessed be His name”….& when I felt He did “take away” after some really hard years, my faith was so greatly shaken not thinking I could trust in the One that’s always been the only One I could always count on. It’s taken me years & some crazy revelation to get to the point that I actually can’t even sing that song anymore in good conscience. It took a hard miscarriage & an amazing friend who went through the unbearable praying over me after my miscarriage to realize just how much I thought deep down that maybe God did “take away”, that my beliefs that “God is always in control” needed to be uprooted with how easily Satan uses those religious misinterpretations of scripture to bind & twist God’s truth & allow us to take his bait in some of our most trying times. The world is asking us, “If God is a good God like we say He is, then why did He cause this to happen?” The church is asking, “If God is a good God, then why did He allow this to happen?” If we believe He is in control of the outcome & will do what He wants anyways, what’s even the point of us as Christans?
If God’s own children don’t know who He is & don’t feel like we can fully trust Him, how in the world do we think that we can get others to turn to Him? If we’re not entirely sure He’s always good, then how can we get others to repent? His goodness leads people to repentance. If we don’t know who He is, how can we represent Him to a lost & dying world? If we don’t know who He is, how are we supposed to imitate Him? How do we know who we are & what our assignment is? What is our purpose for being here?
The biggest move Satan has ever made, the biggest lie he has ever said, & continues to make & say is for God’s children to think that maybe God isn’t good, maybe He’s holding out on us. It happened with Adam & Eve & it’s still happening today. If “God is always in control”, what’s the point of even praying? Why would He tell us to pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven if the world is just going to keep getting worse & worse & He’s going to rescue His church as though we’re a damsel in distress? Why would He say that Jesus is the first of many brothers & sisters & we’re going to do even greater things than Him if He didn’t even mean it? Can we trust some things that Jesus says, but not all? Do we actually believe what He says or are we the unbelievers?
It says all of creation is groaning and waiting with birth pangs together until now for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God. Sons and daughters of God who are “the brethren of Jesus who can do even greater things than He did? Where is our faith? If we believe in God, are we not His children? If we’re God’s children & Jesus’ brethren, are we not the church which God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles (the unbelievers), the glorious riches of this mystery which is Christ living in us, the hope of our glory? In Jesus’ name, the nations/the Gentiles (depending on your translation) will put their hope. Jesus is the desire of the nations. If this world is not desiring Him, maybe it’s because we’re not giving them Him. The problem doesn’t lie in the world, it lies in the church forgetting our first love & how desirable He is. When we forget His goodness, we don’t desire Him, we don’t seek & find Him, & we can’t accurately represent Him. We can’t represent the hope of our glory. If we don’t have hope & peace when He Himself is our peace, then we’re just going to be making useless suggestions. We don’t even have any glory to represent. We just start going through the motions, singing the same old songs, displaying the same old “worship” if you can call it that, turning to Him only when we’ve hit rock bottom. We don’t even have the signs that follow those who believe. The Bible says in Mark 16:17-20:
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.”
I have a hard time writing this because I know I’m part of the problem. I am one of the worst people when it comes to trying to be self-sufficient. I’ve had so many times in my life where God has come through for me, where He’s shown that He can do what I deem impossible by even my own hardworking perfectionist standards, yet the minute there’s a problem I find difficult, I immediately try to have a go at it out of my own strength first almost every time. Somewhere along the way, I’ve lost my childlike trust in Him and started embracing the religious effort that comes through my inability to let go & let God. I’ve lost the ability to fully trust in Him, so I try to take the reigns because I think I can do a better job than He does. It sickens me typing out such an explicit truth, but that’s exactly what it is & I need to call it what it is if I’m ever going to get freed from it. It’s a lot easier calling things for what they are after you’re already freed from them & much harder when you’re still going through them.
When God healed my broken collar bone when I was a young child after my dad thought I was making a big deal out of nothing & moved it & the dr. thought it was so broken, it might never fully recover, I saw a video where a nation had turned to God & God healed the land during a famine. There were fruits & vegetables the size of people’s arms. I remember immediately thinking that if God can do that, surely He can heal my arm & as soon as I thought it, He did. I didn’t ask a ton of people to come around me & pray a specific prayer. I didn’t do anything but have a revelation of His goodness & strength & believed it. I felt my collar bone being healed as I was able to move it freely, & I didn’t call for anybody to come around me, but as soon as I was healed, the entire congregation came around me praising Jesus. That’s part of the hidden riches of His glorious power that is in us, our hope of glory. We have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead living in us. We have a solution for every problem that is in this world. When are we going to start living like it? When are we going to humble ourselves & pray & seek His face & turn from our wicked ways? When are we going to pray for & heal the sick? The insignificance of who we are is usually just the type of people He is looking for so that is of no excuse (that freaking lie popped up into my own head so I had to combat it with truth)- David was the smallest of all his brothers & God used him to kill a lion, a bear, Goliath & his 4 almost as tall brothers & committed adultery & killed her noble husband yet God said he was a man after his own heart in every area but that one, Moses stuttered & God used him to lead all the Israelites out of Egypt, Abraham was a coward & lied about his wife being his sister not once but twice because he was afraid he’d get killed over her beauty & listened to his wife & slept with his servant to bear a child after he didn’t trust God, yet God used his lineage to bring about Jesus & blessed all the nations through it when he & his wife were too old to theoretically even have babies, I could go on & on. Just know that our weakness is the soil that God likes to show His strength. There is no partiality with God & the fact that we are insignificant without God & that our goodness is nothing apart from Him makes us all the more desirable for Him to use us & that gives me hope, & I’m hoping it gives all the people who read this hope.
To be honest, this is coming from someone who has always dealt with depression on & off, who actually ended up in the emergency room for over 10 hours after attempting to kill myself after I lost trust in God & didn’t see a point in living, who honestly wished for a few people to die who I felt hurt me so badly I didn’t feel like I could forgive them & thought it’d be easier if one of us would die. The problem with this world is they don’t have hope when the people who should be the hands & feet of Jesus & the representation of Jesus forget how good He is & that He is our hope so we no longer look to Him first as our solution. The problem is that we as a church are not a light on a hill that cannot be hidden. The problem is we’re pointing to the problems instead of offering a solution. The problem is that instead of being the salt of the earth and the preservers of men like Abraham was when he asked God to please not destroy Sodom & Gomorrah if there are at least 50 righteous people all the way down to 10, we are looking for a way out & only caring about ourselves. The problem is we’ve forgotten how much God saved us from so we lack any compassion for those who are “in sin” as we once were. The problem is we actually somewhat believe that we are missing out on some of the fun when we see others sinning because we don’t truly believe that God knows what’s best for us & we’re jealous that they’re “getting away with it” so to speak. The problem is that those with problems don’t want what we have to offer, & for good reason, because we clearly aren’t offering what they need & we don’t have much to offer. The problem is we aren’t healing the sick & we’re not casting out demons & where the heck are the sick & the demon-possessed supposed to turn to? The problem is they’re turning to psychiatric drugs that actually can worsen their symptoms when we should be offering them Jesus. The problem is we aren’t salt, we aren’t light, and we aren’t love, & we’re nothing but clanging cymbals in the world’s ears. People give up their lives for those they love, yet we’re too busy as a church caring about ourselves, looking for a way out, giving into a spirit of fear of what might happen, when we should be the ones running towards the fire risking our lives for others, unafraid of the outcome because we know where we’re headed & we shouldn’t have any fear of death.
Taking away freedoms won’t solve the problem. Putting guns in the hands of those in authority might control it somewhat, but it’s still masking the symptoms & not getting to the root issue. Only Jesus can heal the hurting hearts of those who are hurting enough to hurt others. When are we going to love Him enough to seek Him? When are we going to become desperate enough to turn from our wicked ways & pray? When are we going to realize He’s so good that no perverse thing even pails in comparison? When are we going to be & offer the solution to the problems rather than just cause more noise in the midst of all the fighting and arguing? When are we going to offer the Truth & Love that sets people free?
“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
-2nd Chronicles 7:14
“Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”