Listening Up (Up For It part 1)

Maybe someday, we'll get beyond having to qualify every statement regarding God's response time by saying how we "wanted a response yesterday" or whatever.

I find it interesting to see certain statements in the Bible that read almost like tautologies. A tautology, by the way (Logically speaking), is a statement that is either absolutely, irrevocably and totally true—or false. Statements like 1 John 3:22, "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight." What about when Jesus says, "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." (John 14:14)? Here's a good one: "Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (Matthew 21:21-22, emphases mine) Did you catch that? Jesus qualifies the asking and receiving with believing and doubting. So, when we read these and then encounter needs and wants and desires in our lives, we must ask ourselves, Do we really want to expend the energy to continue to believe that God's going to come through with our request? Anything less, is sin. That might sound a little too black-or-white, but "whatsoever is not of faith is sin." (Romans 14:23) Does that apply here?

The tautology comes in to focus when our faith is tested and God is either wrong—or not.

It's almost comical to read and hear the feeble attempts at the proving or disproving of God based on these topics. Something to the effect of "I'm gonna ask God to heal all cancer in the world: "God, please heal all the cancer in the world, in Jesus' name. Amen."" They put a hand to their ear. Hearing nothing, they exclaim "See! God's not real." Well, first of all, "with His stripes, we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5). Secondly, when Jesus says in John (11:40) "that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God", emphasis again is placed on belief. Here, I'm speaking to Christians who have admitted their sin and accepted not only God's existence, but also Jesus' atoning sacrifice and subsequent resurrection, and if we ask God for something but then intersperse ideas of our own as to why God may not have responded when we wanted Him to, wouldn't that qualify as doubt?

Doubt is like the little brother of unbelief, which is, in turn, the opposite of belief.

When we as Christians throw up a prayer to God, and then do anything less than continue to believe, we very well may hamper our miracle, God's response.

I know this topic has been hammered out and endlessly debated. Many who have deconverted from the faith cite the unreceiving of their miracle as proof of God's unexistence. Proof they made the right choice in rejecting Christianity. But I would like to say that when you ask God for something, and at any time in the process between prayer and response you feel the tug of doubt, make a conscious effort to continue to believe. Wrapped up in humility before the Lord, is the concept that we don't know everything. Also the fact that we're not our body, but that's ancillary. When the angel comes to Daniel and tells him "from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard..." (Daniel 10:12, emphasis mine), we can either choose to believe, as we chose to believe that God was real in the first place, or choose to doubt.

Seek out the doubt in your heart and mind and consciously offer it to God (and ask for forgiveness, if need be), and see Him answer you in whatever capacity your need requires.

"And Immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught Him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" (Matthew 14:31)