Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” Unlike many good christians, I rarely memorize scripture but I can paraphrase; however, there are some exceptions and Hebrews 11:1 is one them. That text is both confusing and clear depending on what is happening in real-time. Religion is truly about faith and beliefs in promises we do not see, smell, hear or touch. Kind of like God.
One very overused expression is “God is with you” no matter what is happening in your life either good or bad. Well here is my contention with the Godhead (father, son and holy spirit), sometimes it appears they are like mythological creatures that you read about and has been perpetuated down through the ages and generations. It can be said that many a church goers have asked “where are you God?” at least once in our Christian lives.
God stopped his direct connection to people since the old testament: burning bush, Balaam’s ass, Daniel’s writing on the wall etc. and Jesus’ 1st appearance. For most Christians, we would like some real-time communication with God in those difficult, confusing, dark and happy moments. As a Christian, I would really like one of the Godhead to say: that’s not the right way, this is where I want you to be, good job, bad choice, I am here for you, etc. Somewhat like a parent would when you were children. Afterall, we are God’s children and need some personal heavenly guidance.
The long distance relationship with God forced Christians to develop another irritating phrase, “God has a better plan for you.” People usually say that when something has gone wrong. I understand that Christians are well-meaning but how do you know that God has a specific “plan” for you? Is that plan better or worse than the one right now? Christians naturally assume the plan is always better. Well, when my Christian grandmother suffered excruciatingly from cancer to the point of me praying for her death was that God’s plan? Was it His design that early Christians were fed to the lions as a sport or is it that sometimes shit just happens whether good or bad?
When things happen that are good or bad to people, I have stopped using those religious clichés. I am simply there for that person because I do not know what is God’s plan or the devil’s intervention ie. Lot-lost his wife, Job-lost everything, people winning the lottery. People need to keep in mind that the devil has the power to grant a lot of things that looks like godly blessings-riches, power, relationships, opportunities.
We all crave some real-time hugs, encouragement, and directions from our God but that’s not how it works in real life. I know people will rebut that God is seen through others but if you are truly honest with yourself it is not the same. When everyone is gone and it is just me and my Lord, I want Him present not long distance.
It all comes back to faith. I am going to venture to say that despite what happens God wants us to keep the faith. The only plan that God has laid out in the bible is that he wants all to be saved spiritually. However, with all the good intentions of the bible, pastors and Christians, it can be a huge inner conflict when we are looking for two-way real-time communication and reciprocation from God. A pastor once said when we pray to God we have 3 possible answers: Yes, No or Wait. The funny things is it can be hard to tell which answer we are getting.