This is the second article in a series that discusses the issue of why people disconnect from God and forsaking the Christian faith. It started when someone asked me, “Why do you think people disconnect or unhook from knowing God?” We know that God’s Word says that He never leaves us nor forsakes us. But why do we choose to pull away from God?
The trial of your faith is this: Will you continued to stay hooked and love Jesus, and believe in Him when you don’t know why and you don’t understand what’s going on?
I’m exploring some ideas, and this is the second idea in a series that discusses this issue. The first idea, or reason why, is that people become offended or upset with God because the thing they were expecting to happen did not happen the way they thought it would or should (see Part 1). They stayed offended, even to the point of getting mad with or pulling away from God, instead of seeking God for the answers.
The second idea why people disconnect from God is that they consider, think about, ponder upon, mull over and generally consume their mind thinking about their problem or problems instead of seeking God. In other words, they dwell on thinking of the problems or issues instead of seeking God or reading God’s Word to find the answers. They stop reading the Bible and start considering more of the world. They stop seeking a personal relationship with the living God. They stop trusting God.
Let’s read Jesus’ description of the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:18-23 (AMP):
“18Listen then to the [meaning of the] parable of the sower: 19While anyone is hearing the Word of the kingdom and does not grasp and comprehend it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the roadside. 20As for what was sown on thin (rocky) soil, this is he who hears the Word and at once welcomes and accepts it with joy; 21Yet it has no real root in him, but is temporary (inconstant, lasts but a little while); and when affliction or trouble or persecution comes on account of the Word, at once he is caused to stumble [he is repelled and begins to distrust and desert Him Whom he ought to trust and obey] and he falls away. 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the Word, but the cares of the world and the pleasure and delight and glamour and deceitfulness of riches choke and suffocate the Word, and it yields no fruit. 23As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the Word and grasps and comprehends it; he indeed bears fruit and yields in one case a hundred times as much as was sown, in another sixty times as much, and in another thirty.”
Do you have fear or turmoil over your situation? Consider the Word of God. Consider means to think about, meditate, and roll it over and over in your mind.
What do you think about? Do you think negatively about your spouse and other people begin to look better? You’re beginning to destroy your marriage and pull away from God.
What do you think about? Do you think you’re a failure and can’t succeed? Did you know that God’s Word says otherwise? Everything we put our hands to prospers, according to God’s Word. [Psalm 1:1-3, Deuteronomy 28:8, Psalm 35:27, 2 Corinthians 9:8, Isaiah 48:17, Proverbs 10:22, to name a few] Ask for God’s wisdom and blessings, and then praise God that it’s done.
Satan fights against you – he takes away the Word from your heart. Thoughts come your way that suggest you think about things that bother you or make you angry. You have the free will – the choice – of whether to think about your circumstances or situation, or whether you choose to go to God in prayer as well as seek God through reading His Word.
“What if it doesn’t work?” You’re a failure already by thinking that. You need to make a commitment and stand on God’s Word. Find out His promises and choose to not only mediate on God’s Word but stand on it – believe it. If you resist the devil – he will flee from you. You need to consider Jesus – the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2).
You don’t have to be afraid of anything. You do, however, need to read and study God’s Word – His promises. In 1 John 5:4, it says that “this is the victory that overcomes the world even my faith”. Operate in faith and you have to win. Refuse to quit. Continue to go into extra innings until you win. Our God – our Father – owns the baseball, the bat and the stadium.
Once you make a decision like that then everything you believe for will come more quickly.
Satan knows if you’ve established God’s Word in your heart – and believing it, or if you’re close to wavering. If Satan can see you’re going to waiver, he’s going to push you even harder. He knows when you’re breaking point is. You keep fighting – you don’t say “it isn’t working”. When you make up your mind and there’s no turning back, Satan has no choice but to leave.
I have made up my mind to believe God. I am determined to stand on God’s Word. I make a commitment. If you have not made that type of commitment, you’re a failure already. God asks for a total commitment because you love Him. If you resist the devil, he’ll flee from you. As you get stronger and stronger, you’re faith continues to increase.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NLT)
The more of God’s Word we’ve stored in our heart, the more confident we become of who we are in Christ. What happens when we read God’s Word? It not only gets planted in our heart, just like a seed, but it also renews our mind. As it says in Psalm 119:11, “Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Reading God’s Word is how we renew our minds. The Holy Spirit will help to plant the Words of God in your heart, but only if you choose to read the Bible. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Remaining steadfast regardless of our circumstances can be a challenge. I really appreciate God’s encouragement to remain confident in Hebrews 10:35-36, “35So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.”
And here’s the same verse in the Amplified version: “35Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. 36For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.” The word “fearless” in this sentence really stands out to me. Our fearless confidence comes from knowing in our heart that God’s Word is true and He is faithful to perform His Word.
One day, the Holy Spirit explained to me a process He called, “Our Daily Life Cycle – How to Succeed”. Here’s the sequence:
See/Read/Hear (leads to) Thoughts (leads to) Heart (leads to) Words (leads to) Actions
Seeds start with what we see, what we read or what we hear.
The soil is what we think about – what we meditate on. If you have good soil, you will control your thoughts and emotions to align with God’s Word and promises. Can I say this? Yes, I can – think positive thoughts. Give time and attention to thinking on the uplifting events, thanking God for what He has done, is doing and will do for you. If you have bad soil, you think on negative things, you harbor unforgiveness, resentment or ill-will toward others. And this unforgiveness, resentment or ill-will toward others breaks your fellowship – your relationship – with the true and living God. God wants to have a real relationship with you – He wants to speak to you. But how does God speak to you? He speaks to us in a still small voice, and sometimes in a loud voice. But, more importantly, He speaks to you through His Word. Yes, the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word. It’s like a letter. If someone sent you a letter, you would consider it as that person speaking to you, only in written form. They want to tell you something, and they want to tell you something in writing. It’s the same way with God. He wants to tell you something, and in fact, He’s already done it. He’s written you a letter, and it’s called the Bible.
The germination of the seed occurs in our heart. The more time we give to a thought, the more it gets into our heart. We can choose what we think about. There’s that free will, again. Yes, God has given us a free will. It’s our choice what “seeds” we allow ourselves to see, hear and read. It’s our choice what “soil” we want by thinking on the positive things of God or the negative things of the world. The seeds that grow in your heart produce fruit.
As the Holy Spirit explained to me, our words and actions are the result (fruit) of what’s been growing in our heart. Our lives are influenced by the type of fruit we’re producing, either good or bad fruit.
The interesting point that the Holy Spirit said to me about this thought process is that this is how our thought, mind and action processes work whether you believe in God or not!
Remember that God made you and I in His ‘likeness’ (just like Him) and ‘image’ and He gave us the same ability to change things that He has by using the most powerful force in the known universe: FAITH! (the absolute trust and confidence in God’s Word).
So what’s the first thing we should do to change our attitude, get back on track with having a real relationship with God, and thus change our circumstances and our life? Seek God first!
In Matthew 6:33 Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” What things will be added? Let’s look back at verses 30-32, which say, “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” What things will be added? Our daily needs.
Not only will He meet our daily needs, but our God will also give us the desires of our heart. Psalm 37:4-5 is a great promise: “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.”
Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is. He responded in Matthew 22:37-40 as follows: “Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
I love the version in Mark 12, beginning with verse 29 which says, “Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
One of my favorite promises in God’s Word is Jeremiah 29:11-12 (NIV). “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” It’s a verse that He’s spoke to my heart time and time again.
So I know that God has a purpose for your life. I understand the importance of spending time reading His Word and getting to know Him. Spending time with Him is like getting to know a new friend or potential spouse. It’s an excitement like none other! When God speaks to you, it’s the father, friend and confidant unlike anyone you’ve ever known before. So I pray, “Father, in Jesus’ Name, I ask that You would cause my heart to want to put You first in my life.”
Lord, I will believe in You always. Lord, forgive me for ever doubting You. Forgive me for ever questioning You. I will not deny You, but I will confess You. Father God, I believe in You. I’m finished waivering. I’m through doubting. No matter what is happening – no matter what I understand or don’t understand – I trust You. I trust You. I trust You. I give you my life. I give you my heart without reservation. And as You help me, I will believe in Jesus. I will serve You. I will follow You forever. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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