We go through times and periods in our lives where we feel nothing but joyous, content and very, very close to the Lord, where our faith is rock-solid & unshakeable. But at other times in our lives, God/Jesus Christ can seem VERY distant.
And several questions start running through one’s mind: “is the Lord angry with me?”, “does the Lord hate me?”, “is the Lord unhappy with me?”, “am I being punished for something?”, etc.
We have a human tendency to think that Jesus Christ is distancing himself from US. But what’s REALLY going on is that WE are distancing ourselves from HIM.
It all starts out SO slowly & subtlety. “I don’t feel like reading any of the bible today”, “I don’t feel like going to work today”, “I don’t feel like cleaning the house today”, “I don’t feel like taking the kids to the zoo today”, etc. And then, it all branches out from there.
And then, before we know it, we don’t feel like doing most of ANYTHING, we start to forget what’s even in the bible in the first place, our faith becomes LACKING, and we’re not even sure what we truly follow anymore. And that’s a very scary place to be in, INDEED.
This is usually the start of the “justification of sin” phase that we Christians can easily fall into.
We try telling ourselves things like: “oh, it’s okay I took a small fountain drink from work without paying for it, the customer before me said I could have THEIR drink since they weren’t going to get the fountain drink that came with their meal” or “it’s okay if I take a penny from the communal change bucket to help pay for something, that’s not stealing, it’s ONLY a penny”, etc. But the truth of the matter is, Jesus Christ is ALWAYS WATCHING US (every move we make, every word we say, even every thought we do so much as “think”). And he uses such experiences to “test us” and to “test our character”.
I’ve seen customers at work that will try to pay for a fountain cup full of ice water because they don’t realize the ice water is free. I’ve also had other customers who came up to actually PAY for a fountain drink refill. And that’s pretty amazing since our fountain drink station is pretty much out in the lobby area, UNMONITORED by any employees at my work. Customers could very easily steal fountain drinks without any employee at my work being none the wiser. (And many do, probably). But the fact that THOSE few customers who were honest enough to actually try to PAY for fountain cups of ice water or for fountain drink refills taught me a VERY valuable lesson about the bible and the importance of APPLYING the bible to our lives directly by HONESTY!
Because lets face it, stealing is stealing in God’s eyes, it doesn’t matter if it’s a pen from the bank, etc. (even though many steal pens mistakenly/subconsciously — though it STILL doesn’t make it okay) or something as small as 1 PENNY!
And trust me, if it was the day of your final hour on this Earth (and nobody knows for sure the very “precise” moment when they will die) and the ONLY thing standing between you, the true, biblical Christian and eternal condemnation was just ONE unrepentant “stolen penny” from the common change bucket (for example), you’d repent and immediately place the penny back in the common change bucket, wouldn’t you?
But in general, we humans are prideful, arrogant creatures. We (for the most part) do NOT like hearing that we are sinners. We LIKE hearing about or thinking about how great we are or how talented we are. But the truth is, we are NOTHING without God, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
God/Jesus Christ is the author of ALL LIFE, and is also the creator of ETERNAL LIFE & ETERNAL CONDEMNATION. Without HIM, we’d have no life/existence, PERIOD, nor would we have any chance of eternal life & Eternal Salvation.
Romans 3:23 states: “For all have sinned & fallen short of the glory of God”. Translation? We’re ALL sinners. Not one of us is perfect. Not one. We are ALL going to sin at some point in our lives and we are ALL going to make mistakes from time to time. It’s how we LEARN from those mistakes that count.
And our spiritual walk with Jesus Christ is NOT always gonna be a smooth one either, so we need to remember that and keep that in mind.
In fact, Jesus says in John 15: 18-23 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also”.
In other words, Jesus Christ told us in the bible that we (as true, biblical Christians) would have to go up against much clamour and opposition from “the world” (who’s pursuits are greed, money, materialism, lust, envy, pride, sloth, hatred, godlessness, etc.) He also informed us in the bible that he would be persecuted by the Romans AND the Jews who were loyal to Rome. And because HE was persecuted by the “secular” world of his day, that we true, biblical Christians would ALSO be persecuted by the secular world of OUR modern day.
And because of this, some Christians will give up at the first sign of spiritual struggle. They will say things like: “I knew it was pretty hard to try to gain entry into God’s Eternal Kingdom someday but I never realized it was gonna be THIS HARD, sheesh!” And then, for them, that’s it. They don’t feel like being a “Christian” anymore. And quite frankly, Satan is DELIGHTED when that happens, for these poor people are “easy pickins” for him.
But for those Christians out there who STRIVE their very hardest to try to gain entry in God’s Eternal Kingdom someday? That’s who Satan wants to overcome THE MOST. And he will stop at NOTHING to try to make that happen! He will try to throw just a little tiny bit of DOUBT into a Christian’s mind OR make one OVERCOME with feelings of shame, guilt & fear.
And once Satan manages to harvest some of those negative emotions into a Christian person’s mind, they become “easy prey” for him! He can THEN try to make them feel lazy or depressed or doubtful and from there, getting them to not read their bible every week, and neglecting their house/kids/marriage/self is a walk in the park for him!
And then, once Satan has someone neglecting their house/kids/work/marriage/self/LIFE, getting them to doubt their faith & slowly turn away from God is “no problem t’all”.
But there’s one thing that Satan is VERY, VERY good at and that’s THIS: getting people to get mad at God/Jesus Christ for the actual spiritual havoc, that he, Satan himself, is causing in their lives in the first place!
People will say things to themselves or to close friends like “why does God/Jesus Christ seem to have it out for me right, now?”, “why does God hate me?”, “what does God have against me? I didn’t do anything!”etc. And the sad part is, it’s actually SATAN who hates them, it’s SATAN who “has it out for them” and quite frankly, it’s SATAN who’s punishing them for having previously tried to live a Christ-centered life.
But AS SOON as people start blaming God/Jesus Christ for the spiritual havoc in their lives, Satan is having a ball, while reeling them in on his fishing line in one quick, swift motion! And before a person realized what’s hit them, they haven’t read the bible in 6 months to a year, they couldn’t tell you who Joshua or Caleb was, they haven’t fellowshipped with other believers for quite some time, they’ve quit preaching to others about Christ & Eternal Salvation, they don’t even remember the last time they prayed for forgiveness of their sins or the last time they had an actual date with their spouse or took the kids to the park or the zoo, etc.
And then, some Christians will oftentimes think: “well, I’m already this far gone from God, might as well stay here”. They come to a place of lukewarmness where they are TOTALLY forgetting the fact that Jesus Christ is the author of all life and that he has the power to change any negative thing in their lives for the better! They forget about the miracles of the Lions’ Den, of the parting of the Red Sea, of the turning the water into wine, of bringing back Lazarus from the dead, etc.
In their minds, Jesus Christ is not a God of miracles and of all life. In their minds, Jesus Christ becomes this sort’ve “burdensome taskmaster”. They tell themselves: “it’s too hard being Christian these days………besides, Jesus Christ’s not gonna send EVERYONE to eternal condemnation after they die, right? Only the MAJOR evil people like Hitler & Stalin, correct?” while totally forgetting the fact that EVEN Hitler & Stalin could’ve been saved had they TRULY repented of their deeds right before they died.
And yes, it’s true. The “path” to eternal life & eternal Salvation is a very “narrow“ path, INDEED!
Jesus Christ said in Matthew 7: 13-14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for WIDE is the gate, and BROAD is the way, that leadeth to DESTRUCTION, and MANY there be which go in thereat: Because STRAIGHT is the gate, and NARROW is the way, which leadeth unto LIFE, and FEW there be that find it“.
In other words, it’s a hard and narrow path to find AND be/stay on but with the HELP of Jesus Christ himself, is NOT an “impossible” path to find or be/stay on.
This guy says it best when he mentions we need to read the Holy Bible, King James Version, DAILY. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Not just SOME days of the week but ALL days of the week. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
If you’re struggling right now in your spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ and are not sure where to turn, turn to a verse in the King James Bible, ANY verse, and start reading. Even if you don’t FEEL like it. And then sooner or later, you will have a desire to keep reading and that’s exactly how Jesus Christ feverishly works to restore us to HIM!
Then again, sometimes the important thing is just letting Yeshua/Jesus Christ know how you feel. TELL him you’re feeling doubt, TELL him that you feel like he’s distant from you, TELL him whatever it is you’re struggling with in life right now, faith-wise or otherwise and he’ll be glad to answer you. You can even PRAY to have more faith and more trust in him!
What do you think the Lord’s gonna say if you pray to him to have more faith? Do you think he’s gonna say NO? If you pray to have more faith, he will GIVE you more faith. He’ll give you situations in which your faith starts to build up bit by bit and little by little. We just got to learn to trust him.
And think of it THIS way: he created the universe and the heavens! So don’t you think he knows what he’s doing in YOUR life? Cause afterall, it’s not like he’s gonna be a type of creator God that creates the Earth and the heavens, and then scratch his head in confusion over how to deal with a mere human’s lifetime! Nothing in our lives will have him “stumped”! He is the author of all life!
I pray that all souls that read this blog and/or this very post will either come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ or come BACK to the saving knowledge/restored spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ before it’s too late and before their souls become on the path to be lost for eternity. In Jesus’s name. Amen.