Amazingly, they’ve figured out all of the mysteries of the universe on their own! The fact that we can’t accurately predict the weather on most days is apparently irrelevant. They trust their wisdom and understanding above God. There are messages about these types of people all throughout the Bible. 1 Corinthians 1:19 says, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” Proverbs 8:13 tells us that God hates arrogance and pride. Some philosophy’s and movements today have people believing that the only person they need to rely on and worry about is “themselves”. With this mindset, these people eventually believe over time, that all of the “answers” and power can be found within themselves, leaving them with no need for a savior or having to worry about sin Many believe that “if it feels good, and it’s not hurting anyone else, then it’s acceptable”.
Lastly, a lot of people trust in their ceremonies. This is a combination of both faith in yourself and faith in man. Most people, including myself, simply don’t like change. The religion that I now practice is not the same religion that I grew up with. When I accepted Christ I was afraid of what my family would think when they found out that I would no longer be practicing their ceremonial rituals. To say that it was an uncomfortable and awkward time in my life is an understatement. But over time, as the power of Christ changed my heart, my mind and my life, they couldn’t deny the influence and presence of the Holy Spirit. Eventually, even the greatest skeptics realized that I was under the authority of the living God. In time, family members began to accept Christ as well. But, it started with a choice. I chose to love and trust God and allow Him to direct my steps regardless of where it would lead me and how that might affect my relationship with others. The line in the sand was drawn. My allegiance would be to God, not man, not my own strength or intelligence and not my religiosity. Scripture is littered with people who trusted the Pharisees, themselves or their laws, but those who truly sought God’s heart, trusted only Him.
Almost as quickly as a person receives salvation do they come under attack. Attacks come from just about anywhere and threaten your newfound relationship. Jesus said in Mark 4:16-17, “The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s Word.”
Understanding why you believe what you believe is invaluable. The science behind Christianity is known as Apologetics. Your best defense against an enemy who attacks your faith is knowledge. Books are a great place to start. Some of my favorite books that deal with Christian Apologetics are as follows: The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, (I recommend buying these in bulk because you will In a day and age when there are so many different religions and new age philosophies to choose from, is it any wonder that people are so confused? I’ve been asked before, as I’m sure many of you have, “that” question. The question that whether we do or don’t have an answer for, it always seems to induce a sense of momentary uneasiness. What’s the question? “How do you know that Christianity, above all other religions, is the right path to God?”
In all honesty, at first, I didn’t know; I was confused. I didn’t know for sure if there even was a God. I also wondered if there was a God, how would someone like me find Him? I would later find out that I did have something that would help me in finding my answer. It may have been as small as a mustard seed, but I had it; faith. Hebrews 11 tells us that, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (NIV) It started with faith for me just as it may have for you. It started with faith for many. From Genesis through Revelation, we see examples of relationships that began with faith.
Whether or not you realized it, or not but our faith is what set in to motion our relationship with God. Romans 1:17 says, “This Good News tells us how God makes us right in His sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life.'” Romans 4 tells us about Abraham being justified by faith, stating in verses 1-3, “Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, ‘Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” 4:11-16 goes on to say, “Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous-even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith. And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they have the same kind of faith Abraham had before he was circumcised.
Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!) So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift and we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the Law of Moses or if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.” So, we’ve established that it begins with faith. The next question is: What is your faith in? Is your faith in God, man, yourself or your religious ceremonies? In my opinion, this might be the area where many go wrong. I remember coming to the realization a long time ago that if there was a God, that I had no relationship with Him. I started praying for God to have mercy on me, forgive me and help me find Him. I knew that He alone was the only one who could help me. In faith, I tried to do things that I thought would please Him. It was tough because I was still in the world and not sure what I was doing. Then, He started to show up in ways that uniquely and wonderfully let me know that He had heard my cries. I trusted God above myself; I still do.
Though I am blessed to have a great circle of pastors and leaders who are wonderful teachers and examples, I know that they are mere men, as flawed as I am. I go to them to be taught but under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If those same pastors and leaders stopped teaching the truth, I would no longer attend their church. I seek God first before the pastors and leaders in my life. I’m sure you have run into some people who are so intellectual that they don’t have a need for God almost certainly want to give a few away); Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell, it’s a heavy read, but if you’re really into science you’ll love this book; The New Answers Book by Ken Ham, featuring about 15 authors; and The Signature of God by Grant R. Jeffrey. These name just a few of the countless resources available to help you strengthen your foundation. Don’t get me wrong, they are not a substitute for reading God’s Word, just supplemental material. Trust me, it’s a real treat when you can witness to those “intellectuals” using science!
My favorite book of course, the Bible – as it contains a wealth of information. For example, Isaiah 7 describes the act of the Lord’s crucifixion hundreds of years before crucifixion even existed. Also, after Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion all of the apostles scattered. They were essentially off the hook. Peter was too afraid to admit to a little girl that he was a follower of Christ. But after the resurrection and seeing Christ again, they became bold in proclaiming the truth knowing full well that the consequences of that loyalty would almost certainly mean death. All but one of the apostles was killed. I don’t know anyone who would die for a hoax as some have suggested of the resurrection. It wasn’t just the apostles that were killed. There are hundreds of thousands of early Christians buried beneath the streets of Rome. There are letters among governors and emperors referring to early Christians and their resolve under extreme torture to remain faithful to Christ. There are historical and biblical references to the sky turning black at Christ’s death at a time when it was a physical impossibility for an eclipse to have occurred given the planets alignment at that time. Famous historians from all over the world make mention of this event. There are exact prophecies that were fulfilled by Christ throughout scripture; place of birth, born of a virgin and that they would gamble for his clothes, just to name a few.
Ultimately, God wants a relationship with everyone. However, how we approach Him makes all the difference in the world. Proverbs 3:34 says, “The LORD mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble.” James 4:7 states, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you.”
So my friends, if you are already there… wonderful! If you know someone who is searching, pass on this information. If you know someone who says they searched but didn’t find, you may have a better understanding as to what may have gone wrong. In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus talks about effective prayer: “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
So, seek with a humble heart, and ye shall find…the one and only amazing God.
Marisa can be reached at: [email protected]