Word of the Day
There are so many false and misleading ideas that have infiltrated the gospel that in many ways the gospel almost unrecognizable. And I would like to discuss a few of them today.
“God won’t put more on you than you can bear”. Someone has said that “The God Who knows my load limit graciously limits my load.” Sounds so very good, and we even use Scripture back that up(I Cor.1013). But the real emphasis of that verse is NOT that God won’t overload us, but that HE IS FAITHFUL, no matter what our circumstance.
But ask the young mother of three small children who suddenly loses her husband and is left to fend for herself and those young children. O, her husband may have been wise enough to have life insurance which covers most of their living expenses. Housing, clothing, food and even future educational needs may be all taken care of, but what her personal needs for companionship, for love, for daily help with the children, repairs on the home and the auto…
Could this young lady tell you that she can bear up under it all, or would she tell you that she is about one-half step away from insanity?
Consider that believer who lives under Muslim domination and because of his/her faith in Christ has lost everything in the world? Or had acid thrown in their face? Watched as their children were crucified or cut in two by the brutal Islamists? Maybe a young mother had to watch as her husband was hacked to death with a machete? A group of believers who had to watch as their meeting place was burned to the ground? Had to watch as their young daughters were taken into captivity to be sold as sex slaves? Saw brutal rebels or storm troopers invade their worship service with automatic weapons and slaughtered many of the believers, some of whom were members of their own family?
We want to believe that God would not subject us Western believers to things like this. After all, we are Americans and we have an inside track with God, right? Dream on…
What we don’t like to face is that God wants to bring us to the end of ourselves. He wants to drive us to Himself, and He knows just how to do that.
We allow ourselves to lean on so much for moral, physical and emotional support, most of which is of our own making. We prop ourselves up with finances, new homes, savings, insurance, investments, good health, strong family ties–so many “things” that we use to protect ourselves from the tragedies of life.
What we fail to consider is that God doesn’t want us to lean on anything in this world, including our own strength. He wants us to lean on Him and He knows that, for most us, He has to pull some props out from under us so that we will land in His hands.
Sure, He puts more on us than WE can bear as long as we depend upon our own strength, but when we flee to Jesus, we find that HE is able. It is only when I find out that I can’t that I discover that He can!
“Prayer changes things.” “I believe in the power of prayer” and some many other false allegations about prayer. But prayer has no power in, and of, itself. Now before you throw a fit and get enraged by this statement, hear me out.
Have you ever stopped to think that Muslims pray five times a day? Now if prayer has power in it, then we Christians are defeated before we ever start. Most of our praying consists of “turning thanks” at the dinner table. And they pray five times a day!!
Prayer has never changed anything! How ridiculous for me to say that, huh? But wait…
It’s not the prayer that has the power, but the God to Whom we are praying. Muslims pray to the false god, Allah, an Egyptian moon-god from the days of when the Jews were in bondage in Egypt. Mohammed supposedly received these “revelations” from this moon-god and from these “revelations” started a religion of extreme brutality, both to Muslims themselves and to those whom they have tried to enslave ever since the days of Mohammed.
Can you tell me that THEIR prayers have power? How can praying to an idol have any power at all? And again, if it does, we Christians are sunk because none of us pray five times a day.
The difference is to be found in the identity of the God to Whom we pray. Our God is the LIVING and TRUE God; He lives; He is the Creator God; He is the God Who raised His Son from the dead! It is HE Who has the power, not my prayers. It is only when I direct my prayers to this LIVING God that things begin to change. It’s not my prayers that changes things; it is my GOD Who changes things!!
“All things are possible if you only believe.” Believe in what?? We all have a “measure of faith”(Rom.12:3). Many of us place our faith in the fact that we have faith. Many place their faith in themselves. Some place their faith in their finances, in their good health, in the economy, in whatever. So only believing means that I believe in SOMETHING, not necessarily SOMEONE!
And the issue is, what, where or who do I place my faith in? I am believing, but in what or who? It is my choice as to where I place my faith. And where I place my faith has to do with the power of the object of my faith. It is only when I place my faith in the power of the Living, Eternal God that faith means anything. And, even then, it’s not my faith, but the Living God Who has the power, not my belief.
“I believe that as long as you are sincere, that’s all that matters.” Only two responses here. The Muslim who calls on a moon-god, and the woman in India who throws her infant to the crocodiles in the Ganghes River. These are all “sincere”; does that matter?