Skip to main content

Borderline Blasphemy

As I was listening to the radio on my way home today I heard the song "God's Not Dead (Roaring Like a Lion)" by the Newsboys. The song reminded me of two things.

The first was that I recently heard that one of the founders of the Newsboys has come out and said that he is an atheist. He had left the band in 1990 and professed atheism in 2007, so this is not flashy news by any means, but still...

The second was the movie "God's Not Dead", which featured this song at the end of the film, along with the band backstage. I was reminded of some of the atheist friends I have who disbelieve that God is real or could be real.

And I realized that I, too, feel like God is not real sometimes.
In fact, usually I feel this way.

It is the rare instances in which I feel like God is real, that He is present, or that He is speaking to me.
But I don't think that this is because God isn't real, that He isn't present, or that He isn't speaking to me. I think it's because I get distracted by living my life the way I care to or by crowding out the voice of the Holy Spirit with my own soundtrack to daily living. I don't take the time I need to to meditate and seek out God's voice. And therefore I miss that feeling that God is real.

Don't get me wrong--I don't doubt that God is real, because I have felt His presence before. I have seen Him move in miraculous ways through my friend's lives, through healing, and through impossible situations that have turned out for the best. I have seen God intervene in my own life. I've felt Him guide me and direct me as I have sought Him in the past. And I did my best to memorize how those moments felt so that I can revisit them as affirmation when I am wandering away from His presence.

Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is deceitful above all. And yet so often we implore each other to "follow your heart," "what do you feel like your heart is saying?" or "how do you feel about that answer?"
We fall into this rut of listening to our hearts to be the soundest advice we can get, when the truth is that the heart can be the most deceitful counsel we can seek. Just because I don't feel like the Reds will win the playoffs doesn't mean they won't. Just because I don't feel like I love Katie anymore doesn't mean I should leave her and my children to pursue that elsewhere (hypothetically). Just because I feel like God isn't real doesn't mean He isn't.
Indeed, I'm afraid that God-followers have been susceptible to this wayward feeling for centuries upon centuries. A quick glance through the Old Testament shows several accounts where the Israelites gave up on God just weeks after witnessing some miraculous event (see Exodus 32 for a prime-rib example). The people saw God move, they felt His presence, they were terrified by His existence, and yet...when they woke up the next day (or days) they forgot all about the experience.
This is why there are 9 accounts in the Bible where God commands for someone to write something down. He is saying: don't forget about this!
We humans are so fickle that we move on from a life-changing event within a few short days/weeks/or years just because it isn't in our face anymore.

We need to write things down so that when we don't feel a certain way anymore, we can remember the truth! So take up journaling, blogging, or note-taking. Write down the mountain-top experiences so that when you venture through the valley, you will have something to bring you hope and joy of the better days to come.


Popular posts from this blog

Protesting ChristMass

During a meeting with several other Cincinnati area worship ministers last week we got to talking shop about Christmas/Christmas Eve services; who was doing them, who was not, how many and what time. I was intrigued (neither positive nor adverse reaction) to find that roughly a third of the churches represented were not having any kind of Christmas Day services, even though Christmas morning is a Sunday this year. Yet there was one leader (Reggie) who said that their church has a Christmas morning worship service every year regardless of whether it falls on a Sunday.

Initially this shocked me. How could this be? Why would this be? Why have a church service every Christmas? Why not stay home and eat cinnamon rolls and open presents like the rest of America? Reggie said many of the people who expect this from his congregation are not native North Americans. Initially Reggie was against the idea, but once he realized how many people from his congregation wanted to have a Christmas mornin…

The Home School Game

Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas. Our family has started a tradition of celebrating this day by opening gifts from our stockings on this day and remembering the historical figure of Nicholas, who was a humble and generous person. It is a wonderful compromise for our family backgrounds to both celebrate Santa Claus and at the same time keep Christ-mas about Christ. It has become a tradition I look forward to every year.

This year, we decided to add an element of teaching our children to be generous by choosing toys they want to give away to other girls and boys who are less fortunate than our children. Katie lined up two dozen toys they had not been playing with for some time now and laid them all out on a table. One by one, our kids examined the toys on the table and were instructed to pick out onetoy they wanted to keep for themselves. After each kid had picked out a toy to keep, they were told to go back through the toys and pick another toy they wanted to give away. It was heart-…

Imitation: Diets, Houses, and Faith

There were 3 options for my preschoolers to choose from: Honey Bunches of Oats, Cocoa Pebbles, or Raisin Bran. I set all 3 on the table and asked each child which cereal they would like to eat for breakfast; all three chose 'Honey Boats.' After pouring their cereal and getting each kid situated, I poured myself a bowl of Raisin Bran and we all got to munching.

When Isaiah (my oldest) finished his cereal first he asked if he could have more. Sure thing, which one do you want? 
"That one" *pointing to the Raisin Bran*
Surprised I pour him a bowl of Raisin Bran, surprised that he ate the entire bowl.

As we were cleaning up our bowls from the table after breakfast I realized that the Cocoa Pebbles were not touched this morning, not even mentioned. Odd, I thought, typically the chocolately-sugary cereals don't last a week at our house. And yet this is the same [big] bag of Cocoa Pebbles that we opened over a month ago. Why the sudden lack of interest?