All types of people live on the earth, both Christian and non-Christian. Christians profess to serve a God that loves them, cares for them, protects them, prosper them, and above all, saves them. It is even said that the salvations that Christians obtain from God through Jesus Christ includes salvation of the spirit-man, the soul, and even to some extent, the body. However, if you look at the world today, you do not see an indication among most Christians that the God they profess actually exists or is actually doing something for them. Christians are sick like the world, financially challenged like the world, have bad relationships like the world, hates like the world, and on and on.
Does this lack of evidence of a caring God mean that perhaps God does not care? Does the fact that Christians suffer the same ailments as the worlds with the same resources of the world to cure them mean that God is not here healing them? It is easy to come to the conclusion that we are all on our own or that God responds to only a few people if you negate the word of God from the equation so to speak. Our experiences and worldview based on those experiences do not dictate who God is, what he does, and our condition for the most part. Yes. I admit that our experiences will have an impact on what we do, but they do not define who we are or who God is.
Therefore, we need to focus on what the Bible says about God and how He interacts with His people. Does God heal His people? Does God protect His people? Does He provide for them, care for them, direct them, etc.? I have found through my studies of the Bible that the answer to all those questions are “yes,” even though sometimes my experiences beg to differ. So why do Christians suffer? Why does it seem that God is no where providing help or restoration? Why does it seem that God does not care? The answer is knowledge and faith, or should I say, a lack of it.
The Bible declares that it is impossible to please God without Faith (Hebrews 11:6). According to the revelation of the Bible on the topic of faith, all things are possible if we believe or if we have faith in God. So why aren’t Christians doing all things or is the Bible not applicable for today? Let’s assume that the Bible is true and what it reveals to us about faith is true. If that is the case, then how do we reconcile a lack of God’s power in the life of the typical Christian? Why is not the world envious of the fact that our God takes care of us? The answer is that we simply do not have faith. We have little confidence in God because there are so many other resources that we’ve learn to confide in. We don’t need to have faith in God because the world has all that we need.
We all know that the latter is not true. The world does not have all that we need else many would not be in their current situations financially, health-wise, etc. Even medical science has a limit and our condition may require something beyond that limit. What then. The problem is that we have not learned to have faith in God. We don’t pursue God for hardly anything unless there are no other alternative. Even then, we are not really putting our faith in God, but coming to the last possible resource that we can think of to solve our dilemma. God is just another pill that we try to get relief, so to speak.
Before we can have faith, however, we must have knowledge. It is difficult to put your faith in something that you know absolutely nothing about. How can I put my faith in God unless I know to put my faith in God? When I have a pain in my body, then how can faith in God relieve me of that pain? What does putting your faith in God look like anyway? The Bible says that we are destroyed because of our lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). The knowledge spoken of in that scripture is not the same as we think of book knowledge or knowing how to do something. That knowledge is referring to a relationship and in this case a relationship with God. It is the same as when some Bible translations use the term “to know her” with regards to a man having sex with a woman. It is a connection…an intimate connection.
Many Christians do not have an intimate connection with God. To most, God is the object in the background that they purportedly worship on weekly services. They don’t read their Bibles. They don’t pray earnestly and seriously expecting God to answer. They don’t even pray for each other, but rely on medical science, legal services, etc. to resolve their ailments. We lack knowledge of the Holy one and we suffer the consequences just like the world because of it.
The Awakening of Some
There are some Christians who realize they are ignorant of their heavenly Father and that they don’t have faith in Him. Some of this group of Christians may begin a journey to gain knowledge of God and to gain confidence to trust Him for their lives. However, these Christians will discover a very huge mountain in front of them so to speak.
Where do these Christians go to get help to become intimate with God and to have faith in Him? Where do they go to learn how to receive healing from God or how God can get them out of a financial situation? More than likely, most will not be able to go to the leaders of their churches because those leaders are just as blind as they are with regards to intimacy with God and the power of God operating in one’s life.
Getting Help Escaping from Religious Impotence
I have faced the aforementioned challenges for many years. I had decided that the Bible was true even if it contradicted with my experiences. However, there was no one that I could go to for guidance. The internet became my pathway to resources and ministers that I believed could help me. The challenge here is that I wasn’t always sure that my interpretation of these resources, even the Bible, were totally accurate. Even more than that, there is a huge challenge of getting a response from a ministry that I may contact online. A few got back to me within a few days, but most would take a week or two or more to get back to me. Many times, the responses were generic answers or what one might call, textbook answers.
How would you know if you are applying your interpretation of the Bible correctly to your life? Ideally, it would be great to have a person that you could call on the phone or otherwise meet for relatively immediate assistance. Ideally, this would be a leader in your church or a minister in your church. However, you will soon find that church leaders are many times not qualified to help you from a biblical perspective. They are as devoid of the word of God and the power of God as you are.
What makes matters worse is that you can listen to, watch, or read the teachings of several ministers on a topic only to find that they give different answers or interpretations. Which one should you believe? Which one is right? I remember many years ago I was preparing to give a financial all-day workshop that two prominent ministers gave two different answers with regards to Christian finances. I prayed and asked God which one was right. After many minutes, God simply said to me, “Believe me.” Therefore, I relied on the word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to teach me.
The key is to pursue God for yourself. The late Pastor Effie Bluementoe, the pastor of my youth and my mentor, used to say, “Eat, drink, and digest the word of God. Know God for yourself.” That is the key. Don’t base your knowledge of God on religious dogma. Pursue God through His word and prayer. Don’t rely on your religion to help you know God. As a matter of fact, religion will tend to keep you from God. Religion is filled with rituals, rules, special days, etc. and have little to do with seeking a personal and intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Fellowship is Important
Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV) —  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Fellowship with other Bible-based Christians is very important, even if the fellowship is virtual. The important thing is to have like-minded Christians that can encourage you and be honest with you about your interpretation of scripture. By fellowship, I do not necessarily mean a church congregation. I mean being a part of a group who are pursuing God, operating in the power of God, and base their doctrine on the word of God.
This could be a ministry that has an online presence that you can send questions too. It could be a local church that is a Bible-based ministry (ideally it would be great if this was the church you attend, but chances are, it is not).
Depend on the Word of God
I recently learned of a man named George Muller who totally depended on God for himself and his ministry. He did not rely on commentary, but rather simply read the Bible and expected the Holy Spirit to teach him. He had a very successful ministry to the orphans in Europe in the 1800s. The stories of his acts of faith are astounding. The thing that impressed me about his ministry was his dependence on God to provide for him and the children that he housed.
Likewise, we have to learn to depend on the word of God, which means that we have to read and study the Bible. Don’t fall into the trap of relying on other ministers to guide you to the truth. Jesus is the truth (John 14:6) and all we need do is seek that truth. It is interesting that learning to trust God means that we have to trust Him to teach us to trust Him. This is where faith comes in. We don’t trust God because we have gained a certain degree of knowledge or experience, but rather, because the Bible says so and we stand on that.
When we obey the word, we will begin to have experiences with God that will give us more confidence. We will also have experiences that will attempt to wane our confidence. We have to stick with it and remain faithful to God. Things happen that we simply do not understand. Things happen that looks like God doesn’t care. However, we must remember at all times that there is an enemy fighting against our faith. The church won’t fight back, but we can. We can be that remnant of God’s people that are really connected to Him.
Seeking help to live by the Holy Spirit and having the power of God operating in one’s life can be a difficult task. Not that living by faith is so difficult, but because it is contrary to what we have been taught since being born into this world. The things of God are foolishness to the world, and it is in that world that we have become experts in. Realizing that there is another kingdom that we can operate in requires a process of unlearning all of the worldly things and learning how God operates and how we can operate as His people on this earth with His power within us.
We have to build an intimate relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ so that we would know his nature and therefore, discern what He would do in a given situation. We have to read and know His word so that we would know when we can trust Him (We can’t fully depend on God to do something He never promised to do, except for depending on His mercy).
Jesus gave us the key.
Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) —  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Pursue God. He is not hiding from you. Do what He says to do in His word, and you will gain beneficial experiences with God that will lead to more confidence in His way. Find like-minded Christians whom you can talk to (this is tough) even if it is a virtual relationship.
Eat, drink, and digest the word of God. Know God for yourself! Build a personal and intimate relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ and let that relationship transcend your religious affiliation or church denomination. Amen!