Musings of a Christian Girl

I’ve Decided Something

This week I’ve decided that I believe in God.

“Now, Rosie, weren’t you already a Christian?”

Yes. The answer is a million times yes, and I’ve been a pretty strong Christian for a few years now. But this world and its distractions are so blinding.

Let me explain:I’ve lost faith in humanity. Now, it’s been coming slowly, and, to be entirely honest, it’s been dead for a very long time. In fact, I wonder why I ever had faith in them in the first place.

This has nothing to do with any recent decision made in this country. (Well, maybe a little.) But not much. This has to do with my beliefs and my standing with God. It has to do with the fact that I’ve been putting my trust in the wrong things, and it needs to stop right now.

Faith in humanity is contrary to faith in God. We can’t believe in both. You either follow man and the world with all your heart, or you follow God with all your heart. And even by criticizing man, you’re following them. You’re believing that they’re capable of doing the right thing. Well, just read Romans 3:10-18, and I think you’ll see that Paul took a very different view.

In church this morning, the high school service had a different speaker I’ve never heard before. His message was about the changing message of the gospel, and why we should stand firm in a dark world. That got me thinking–like, thinking a lot.

So, no matter what anyone else says, I stand alone on the Word of God. (Remember that song from Sunday school? Why are we so quick to forget it?)

None of my friends can take this faith away.

No one in my family can take this faith away.

No teacher or school system can take this faith away.

No scientist can take this faith away.

No government can take this faith away.

No one.

I don’t care if I’m the only Christian left in the world; you will have to pry the Bible out of my cold, dead hands. I will stand by its words until the end of time. God’s word stands true, and I’ve decided that I believe that.

I haven’t lost faith in humanity, actually; I never had faith in them in the first place. We mess things up, we choose dumb things, we ruin our lives, we ruin others’ lives. Yes, occasionally we do something amazing and video of a little girl giving money to a homeless man is plastered all over the internet. But God knows that both the little girl and the homeless man are sinners. They’ve both messed up . . . drastically.

God offers the redemption we need. If He left us alone without any hope at all, I’ve very sure we would entirely destroy ourselves and any remanence of society.

Man is full of sin. We are; it’s our nature.

God is full of justice. He is; it’s His nature.

God redeemed us by giving His own Son to cover our sins. There’s hope . . . but only because of God. So I will take Him at His word . . . quite literally.

Nothing anyone says will turn me away from God. Try whatever you want; I follow God first in my life. Not the government, not my friends, not any human being. I can still love them; but I won’t disobey the One who created them. The hardest thing about this is that I’m included on that list. I follow God first, not my desires.

I’m a prideful person. I’m an envious person. I’m a devious person. I’m an unmerciful person.

All sins. All things I’m not allowed to do.

They’re part of my nature; I can’t control them half the time.

Should I accept that? After all, it’s just who I am. Why should I change?

Because God says so.

The world says to “follow your heart” and “believe in yourself.” Let’s check that against the Bible:

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

– Jeremiah 17:9

Huh, that can’t be right. But surely if I believe in myself, I can do anything!

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

– Philippians 4:13 (emphasis added)

Whoops, that’s not what I wanted.

The Bible is uncomfortable.

The Bible is offensive.

The Bible is politically incorrect.

And I’m okay with that.

This outdated, offensive, crude, unfair religious text is my bread and butter. I could not live properly without it. I would die without it.

This world and its ideas will be outdated soon enough. I will not conform to this world. Go ahead, try to change me. Shape me into the person you want me to be. Shape me into the person your political party wants me to be. I can guarantee you it won’t work.

The Bible has a lot to say about going against the world. Jesus said we would be hated for what we believe. Well, I’m fine with that. Go ahead. Hate me to the extreme. See if I care. My God was persecuted and killed for what He taught. If I’m teaching His words, it’s no wonder if I face the same reaction. In fact, it probably means I’m doing something right!

This right here is my manifesto. And you can twist it around to be about the decisions our country made this week, but trust me, this is a long time coming. It’s about everything that’s wrong with the world; and by everything I mean everything. I’m not saying this because of one choice that didn’t even surprise. I’m saying this because it’s time people know that they can’t shut me up.

I come to preach a message of love and forgiveness; but you can’t have love without hate. Because I love people, I hate racism. Is it wrong for me to hate racism? No! In fact, it’s a good thing. So why is it so shocking that because I love God, I hate sin? Hating sin is the natural reaction.

I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do no obey your word.

– Psalm 119:158

Don’t be surprised when I go against the world’s ways. After all, it’s what I’ve been commanded to do. Because I love God, I also hate the world.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

– 1 John 2:15-17

At the beginning of this post is a link to the song “What I Believe” by Skillet. They did a good job portraying how I’m feeling right now: The world’s a mess, and all I have is God. He’s all I’ll ever have. Forget everything else, because I follow Him first.

There’s another Skillet song that also perfectly reflects my feelings at the moment. It’s a song called “Awake and Alive,” and right now I’m understanding the message very, very well.

Take a good look at the lyrics, and you’ll know how I feel about the world and my relationship with God:

I’m at war with the world and they
Try to pull me into the dark
I struggle to find my faith
As I’m slippin’ from your arms

It’s getting harder to stay awake
And my strength is fading fast
You breathe into me at last

I’m awake I’m alive
Now I know what I believe inside
Now it’s my time
I’ll do what I want ’cause this is my life
here (right here), right now (right now)
I’ll stand my ground and never back down
I know what I believe inside
I’m awake and I’m alive

I’m at war with the world cause I
Ain’t never gonna sell my soul
I’ve already made up my mind
No matter what I can’t be bought or sold

When my faith is getting weak
And I feel like giving in
You breathe into me again

I’m awake I’m alive
Now I know what I believe inside
Now it’s my time
I’ll do what I want ’cause this is my life
here (right here), right now (right now)
I’ll stand my ground and never back down
I know what I believe inside
I’m awake and I’m alive

Waking up waking up
Waking up waking up
Waking up waking up
Waking up waking up

In the dark
I can feel you in my sleep
In your arms I feel you breathe into me
Forever hold this heart that I will give to you
Forever I will live for you

I’m awake I’m alive
Now I know what I believe inside
Now it’s my time
I’ll do what I want ’cause this is my life
here (right here), right now (right now)
I’ll stand my ground and never back down
I know what I believe inside
I’m awake and I’m alive

Waking up waking up
Waking up waking up
Waking up waking up
Waking up waking up

Yes, I’m at war with the world. But I’d rather be at war with them than at war with God:

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

– James 4:4

Perhaps you’re a Christian realizing for the first time that you’re a friend with the world–and thus an enemy of God. Maybe you realize that you’ve compromised your faith in order to fit in with everyone else. Look, the Word of God is uncomfortable. It means denying ourselves, and sometimes even other people. So now you have a choice: Accept God in all the uncomfortableness and offensiveness that comes with living for Him, or choose the world and live a pleasing life that ultimately ends in destruction. You can’t stay in the middle forever. At some point you have to choose one or the other. So . . . God, or the world?

For those who have decided that they believe in God, would you pray with me?

Dear Lord,

We know that we’ve messed up quite a bit. We also know that You can to save us. We believe in Your Word, God. Let that Word transform our lives! We can’t live in sin any longer; we can’t live parallel to the world and its desires anymore. Change us from the inside out, God. Don’t let this faith grow stale or weak. Keep us from staying lukewarm. You want us to be on fire for you!

For our brothers and sisters who are still lukewarm–Lord, I count them even among my friends–show them Your Light and Your Truth. Show them Your glory. Lord, have mercy for those who do not understand that friendship with the world is enmity with you. Lead them away from selfish desires and sinful natures.

For those who don’t want to accept You because You are offensive and uncomfortable, I pray You would again show them Your truth. God, let us be Your light to this dark world. Help them to see that there is more to our message than condemnation and anger. Help them to see that receiving you means joy and life, and the only ones keeping them away from that life are themselves.

God, I’ve decided that I believe in You. I don’t believe in any man, in any government, in anyone but You alone. Help me, Lord to stay grounded in Your Word, that no matter what happens around me, I know where I stand.

It hurts to see Your Word so vehemently denied; help all of us to remember that we should expect that. You said the world would hate us because of what we believe; because we follow You. And You said to remember that the world hated You first.

So, Lord, as we enter an era–and have even already entered an era–of hate and suppression of Your Truth, help us to cling onto our beliefs, even when it’s hard. Help us to remember that this isn’t the first time Your Word has been tested; the first Church went through the same thing we’re going through now, but even worse.

We won’t deny you any longer. We won’t stay lukewarm on topics we know you’ve clearly stated your mind on. We won’t be “politically correct” or anything else the world wants us to be. We will be Your children. We will be different, and we will be full of love when those around us–even our own friends and family, maybe even fellow believers–aren’t.

Help us, God, to stand up to the world. Give us strength and courage. Help us reflect You. Use this–use the world, our circumstances–to Your glory. May You be forever praised, Lord.

Amen.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke you to: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’

“When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

“All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you.”

– John 15:18-16:4a

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