“Either God isn’t real or he’s not good”.
An atheist told me awhile back that when his mother died, so did his belief in God. This was someone brought up in a church and I’ve thought much about this tying it to some of my own struggles in the past. What makes us feel deceived?.. betrayed? LIES DO.
When promises are broken and someone doesn’t deliver what they say they will or they don’t show up when we expect them to be there for us, we feel betrayed. We stop believing in them. And in digging into this question further as it relates to God, I remember feeling that way so many times – particularly throughout my teenage years which were very difficult. And I did all things I was taught to. I prayed nightly. I was mindful of the commandments that I’m not supposed to break and in result I found out that if Jesus is real, he doesn’t love me.. he doesn’t hear me. he doesn’t answer my prayers and he even gives me dirty looks when I stroll into a strange church alone because I didn’t have anyone to go with me and I’m not dressed the right way or I’m wearing too much make-up or my hair is too blonde or I’m to fat or too skinny or my blue jeans didn’t measure up to the dress code.
I felt like there was this “blessed life club” that I didn’t belong to. And in that rejection comes a cynical desire to make sense of it all… and call it “fake”.. Ironically, that’s exactly what it is.
Today I can say that God is not fake, our RELIGIONS is fake. God himself said the only pure religion is to “visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” I know there are some that walk like this – compassionate and truly led with a heart of God’s love (not man’s silly counterfeit idea of love), towards these living here are that incomplete, lonely, burdened, hurting, getting their teeth kicked in by this world. But this certainly isn’t the walk taught by our society and this sunday thing we do called church in this country is a far cry from the demonstration given by God of what HE CALLS “pure religion”.
And God never lied to us! People lied to us.
Honestly it hurts my heart that I thought this way and so many others do too – like the atheist that expected God to heal his mom and then concluded that he’s no good or not real because things didn’t work out the way we were taught to believe it should work out. Because prayers aren’t answered according to our wants and our desires and our will, we conclude that God is a liar yet his word NEVER said our will should be done at any time, under any circumstance. “Well yeah, but God says he will give us the desires of our heart.” No, Psalms 37:4 actually says this…. “Delight yourself IN THE LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Which means that if HE IS the desire of my heart, he will give me my desire, which is HIMSELF. If HE is what I delight in, if HE is what I want, what I seek, what I long for, the object of my love and the GIFT that my soul longs for – my portion as David said, HE WILL GIVE ME THAT DESIRE. He will fulfill me completely, wanting nothing more, throwing my crowns at his feet because they don’t matter, nothing matters, but HIM. He’s the POINT. He’s the missing piece of the puzzle that satisfies the hole that was created in our hearts that only he can fill. And…. He is a jealous God, not wanting to share our hearts with anything or anyone, Jesus said LOVE GOD with ALL ****ALLLLLLLLLLL** of our heart, mind and soul. He is the first and the last, the completion of all that is called desire if we are indeed walking in the spirit and not in the flesh. He never lied to us. He has reserved something for us that is better than anything we could ever ask for. But people turn him into a vending machine. Ask God to give you a new car. Ask God to give you a big house and a beautiful family and a great job and ask him that all of your loved ones will be healthy and stay that way. We can ask him and we should ask him because we aren’t supposed to be walking through this journey alone, carrying the hurt of this broken world on our feeble shoulders. But newsflash, no flesh lives forever – we are born to die in this sand called our bodies, and if we’re in Christ that is supposed to be the best day of our lives – Paul said to live is Christ to die is GAIN. We aren’t supposed to set our hearts on the things of this world to satisfy us. I mean really, why would Jesus be led by the spirit to be tempted of the devil and faced with this scenario… “Look at this world… I will give you all this if you bow down to me.” and Jesus said no. Yet, our prize is to receive of the very things that Satan offered to Jesus and Jesus said no? That stuff is meaningless, but God would want us to desire it? My goodness, people are liars. All of us… our carnal minds are enmity with God because we don’t know him and we don’t know him because we don’t chase after him and make him the one, prominent, above all desire of our hearts, to know him. And that’s so hard…. every minute of everyday that’s so hard.
Father please unravel this web of lies that we’ve been taught Lord, that we’ve taught ourselves out of the ignorance and foolishness of our carnal minds. Teach us our your ways and show us your mercy as we struggle and claw and fight to understand the things that are declared by you to be a mystery to mankind. Silence the noise and be our eyes and ears – fill us with the seed of your son Christ and the Holy Spirit to comfort us and guide us and convict us as we walk through this haze and struggle to find our way back to you, where we belong, from which we were made for… we were made for you.
You are good God. We are the ones that are lost and confused and filled with things we can’t combat by our own might. Please help us and have mercy on us Father.