Recently I read a comment on Facebook regarding how people give credit to God when they succeed but don’t blame him for their failures. He was pointing out how hypocritical it is that they give God the Glory when they succeed yet wont blame him for their failures.
The act of thanking Jesus in a public venue sometimes is cultural and sometimes it is a true expression of ones faith. The issue as I see it is not necessarily in the outcome but an expression of thanksgiving. We all have faith and we place it in whatever paradigm we are willing to accept.
Faith is a substance and it manifests itself in whatever it is invested in. Some just don’t believe invest it and don’t see any thing
A fundamental difference for a Christian is that they have encountered the living God.
That encounter has changed their lives forever. Now some have encountered God but yet their cultural construct of what is real or what is not real may prevent them from accepting that it was a God encounter.
The existence of God is not dependent on your acknowledgement or not.
As fundamentalist as this may sound there is a living God who interacts with his children every day. He is not dead and buried somewhere or a simple construct of peoples imagination. His language is not simply English and he communicates in a variety of ways.
He makes himself known in all of his creation yet his creation does not contain him (by that I mean restrain).
A persons faith no matter how small or large is not dependent on my interpretation. If he chooses to express his thankfulness that is his choice. One important thing to consider is we are all a work in progress and some of us are further along than others. It is not for me to decide what is and is not acceptable for someone to do because on my best day the most I can do is control myself.
Spiritual realities are as real as natural, the manifestation of these realities in the natural real comes about when activated by faith.
Heidi Baker in Mozambique is an example of going to the poorest of the poor. Taking what she had and God multiplied it. She has seen blind eyes healed, dead raised, food multiplied, and much more. She is passionately in love with God and she sees miracles every day. She has a book Always-Enough-Miraculous-Provision-Children which is a collection of the miraculous stories and encounters they have had. I can go on to list a whole bunch more people who have seen miraculous interventions of God.
The biggest problem is not on Gods end it is on ours. Unbelief is what restrains him. He has done everything possible to get us to co labor with him yet we act as spoilt children demanding our way, despising him because things go wrong. He asks what do you want me to do about it I left you in charge. When we come to the realization that we can do very little without his help and start co laboring with him listening to his instructions and doing it we see his miraculous interventions.
To a man who denies the existence of God he has no framework within which God can begin to work in his life. He will consistently look for another plausible reason not to believe to put his faith in the natural created realm. The denial of the existence of things beyond our reason is one of the greatest paradoxes I see in the scientific community because they are using what is known to explore that which is unknown yet deny some of the fundamental tenants that hold the unknown together.
Contrary to cultural opinion there is not a ying and yang equal and opposite power struggle. The struggle is on the earth granted but in the heavens it is decided. God has limited his power on earth to the will of man. Its the free will thing I mentioned earlier. He is not looking for clones he is looking for sons (and daughters) who will capture his will and his heart for people and release it on earth. Faith in the negative invites the negative to manifest. Evil will show itself when you place more faith in it and act upon it. Faith in God will manifest itself in signs and wonders.
Free will is one of the biggest values of the kingdom. If you look at the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis there are two trees in the garden. Have you ever asked yourself who put them there and why? God did. Why? He gave man dominion over all the earth but had one stipulation not to eat of the fruit of one tree. Man was completely free to choose.
He chose to listen to a serpent instead of God who had given them everything. The serpent lost his legs apparently (figure that one for evolution). Who created the serpent? Why?
God give man a choice and waits for man to ask for his help, to believe what he says so he can work on his behalf.
There are many seeming inconsistencies in the bible but the bible is Gods word not God. The knowledge of the book without the encounter only makes people religious (having the form without the substance.) If you read the bible and do not encounter the living God you are simply reading a story.
When you read the bible and encounter the living God, it inspires you, it builds you up, it becomes the resting place for your faith to grow. The more you encounter Him and his love the more you become like him, the more you become like him the more you do the things he does and the more of heaven is released on earth.
God is not angry at men, he poured out his wrath on Jesus on the cross to bring men back into relationship with him satisfying his being a just and true God. He even says in 2 Peter 3:9 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
He also says
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (HCSB)
11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end.
John 17:3 (HCSB)
3 This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent —Jesus Christ.
Life is a journey of discovery. Discovering who you are and who you are meant to be and the fullness of that is found in Jesus. The more we get to “know” Jesus the more we become like him. To the word know used in that verse does not simply mean to know about, it is fuller than that. It has many implications such as to; follow, allow, be aware (of), feel, (have) knowledge, perceive, be resolved, be sure, understand.
Do I have perfect theology, no, but I do have the perfect God who happens to be my best friend. He tells me things about people and lets me share his heart and goodness towards them, yes even those who don’t like me.
Just some thoughts.