Choices, circumstances, and spiritual agony can leave us asking God:
Have you spoken, Lord, and I have not heard you?
Have you shown me, and I have not seen?
Let me encourage you- this could be a beautiful place to be; it depends on what we do with it. Do we:
- Condemn ourselves?
- Doubt God and His Word?
- Give up?
- Make excuses?
- Courageously move forward?
- Uncompromisingly continue to follow God?
- Repent and stay in the Word?
- Make no excuses?
If you find yourself in such a place, take heart. You might be fully aware of your sin. Paul was, too (Romans 7:22-25). You are aware of your dependence on God Almighty, and your willingness to repent speaks of your love for God. We show our love for Him by obeying His commandments (John 14:15). Our sinful nature must be so flooded with the Word, and prayer, that obeying will become second nature to us. Yet, it is a lifelong process. Still, we cannot begin that process if we refuse to repent, and there is no remorse.
Your remorse says more than you realize. Hold fast, and know that there is hope.
Self-destructive behaviors that should be avoided are any that keep us from God. It is critical that we do our part to keep our faith not only active, but growing. While it is certain that we will not have every question answered, many of our questions do have answers. Sometimes it takes further study and diligence to get them. We have no reason, no valid excuse to procrastinate our studying of God’s Word. Dig deep, and you’ll find answers that will deepen your faith in Him.
Guard your thoughts; triggers, process, and results. Do they speak of your desire to keep the faith?
Guard your actions; motives, conscience, and self-discipline. Do they point to the One you serve?
Doubt, fear, and excuses may be pointing to a starving faith. God wants to be known. It is when He is known that all glory can be given to Him by His creation. Nature knows Him. It speaks of Him. So does His Word. Even if you’re doubting the Christian faith, I suggest you don’t take it lightly. Considering it has everything to do with your eternity, I say it’s worth investigating.
To know God is to know yourself; where you come from, your purpose, and where you’re meant to go.
We are to read the Word to become imitators of Christ, not prideful theologians or enablers of sin. Neither pride in our knowledge, nor political correctness will benefit the church. Passivity and fear of losing support will cripple us, and when we embrace them, we choose to live without the power of the Holy Spirit.
We must call sin what it is; we must call indifference, idleness, and slothfulness what they are- godless, inexcusable barriers that separate us from the Father, and the work He has planned for us when there is no repentance.
But you are likely not ignorant of your weaknesses. You love God, and believe in His forgiveness. You struggle through life, strategize, and sidestep a few potential obstacles, but you quietly might be struggling with something deeper; a spiritual agony that finds no peace in the popular Bible verses we constantly hear. You want more of God, and don’t know how to get it. You are aware of your wretched, sinful nature, your unworthiness of God’s grace, yet you are willing to fall on your knees, and kneel silently before Him in grief. Your spirit is broken.
You are not alone in this experience. God does not reject a repentant heart (Psalm 51:17).
Find the cause of your struggles. Is there unconfessed sin, or lack of obedience in an area of life He has already opened your eyes to through Scripture?
Don’t delay. You can rise up above your obstacles.
Be courageous, not ashamed. Use that conviction God has blessed you with to take responsibility of your actions, or lack thereof. Do your part to draw closer to God, walk humbly in obedience, and trust that He is there.
We don’t have to search long to find those in God’s Word who struggled through depression, oppression, or lack of faith. Our perseverance depends on our reliance on our Creator. If you are in a desert, you have the potential to hear God’s voice clearer than if you were accustomed to mountaintop experiences.
Use these moments of life to cultivate your faith. You are brave. Never forget God’s mercy is greater than anything you allow Him to cleanse you from. Rejoice in Him, and let Him take you by the hand. He knows you by name. Bring to His feet the sacrifice of your broken spirit.