Questions & Answers
Q. I am in great turmoil and confusion. My dilemma is that I think God is asking me to do something I do not want to do. I feel overwhelmed and incapable of agreeing with God that this is what I will do. Please help me!
A. God is not the author of confusion. I know this confusion can feel like mental static that will not go away. It becomes an obsessive whirl of circular thinking. The truth of who you really are is the only answer that will relieve your turmoil.
So, the way to begin to solve your dilemma is to begin with the facts. Does the thing you are being asked to do line up with scripture? God will never ask us to do anything that contradicts His written Word. It would also be helpful to seek counsel from another Christian–one who knows the Bible.
We see all through the scriptures where God asked people to do what seemed impossible. For example, Abraham’s call to sacrifice Isaac, Moses’ call to give up his royal palace in order toidentify with his own people, and our supreme example: God giving his only Son to be crucified for the salvation of the world.
The trick is Satan wants you to think it is just you having to do whatever, and he paints the bleakest picture and outcome. The truth is God is perfect love and only desires the highest and best for His children. There is not a you who is independent of God to carry out what you are being asked to do. Remember Philippians 2.13-"For it is God who is at work in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." The only peace and safety you have in this world is to line up with God’s will.
What God is really asking is for us to relinquish our view of ourselves as "just us"-believing we are in control and trust him to live in and as us. This is the obedience of faith.
We often do not see the big picture as God sees it, so we don’t fully know what He has in mind"Eye bath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him."
(1 Cor. 2.9) But if we obey God and die to what we think we want, we can be confident that out of that death, life will be produced for others. "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12:24).
Q. I read in your magazine that spirit is the true reality and feelings are neutral; so, why is it important that I be in touch with my feelings?
A. Feelings are part of our Godgiven humanity. Our soul and body is the vehicle by which God’s invisible Spirit can be expressed. We need to be in touch with our feelings so we can speak truth back to them. If we don’t speak back to them, we believe we are them which is independent believing and sin. This sin prevents God’s expression of Himself by us. Thus, rather than Christ living our life, Satan expresses himself through our members. When we understand that our feelings are no more or less than a springboard to faith, then our body, soul and spirit work together as God intended.
Q. My husband says he is grateful for his sinful past as a Christian because it brought him to the knowledge of who he is. He uses Romans 8:28, "All things work together for good," to back it up. Somehow this doesn’t sound right to me, but I’m not sure how to respond to him. Can you help?
A. First of all, it is necessary to read the entire verse, in context. Romans 8:28 says that, "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." (KJV) In the larger context of Romans 8:18-39, Paul is referring to the sufferings of the present time which do not have the power to separate us from God. So, Paul is not referring to our sinful actions which somehow God works together for our good, but rather to painful circumstances. (see vs. 1822: 35-39)
In addition, verse 28 says, "all things work together for good to them that love God." Loving God means obeying His commandments. (John 14:21) Sin, however, involves a conscious choice to disobey God and does not express love for God. We can never justify sin on any basis; basically, sin is spitting in God’s face, saying, "I will go my own way." Paul even said, "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer in it?" (Rom. 6:1-2)
So we should not say we are grateful for our sinful past. Sin does not drive us to God and does not press us to a spirit knowledge of ourselves. Sin drives us away from God. (Isa: 59.2) Rather, we should say we are grateful for God’s law and our experience of frustration and powerlessness to stop sinning (Rom. 7), for that is what pressed us to find an answer, not the sin itself.