I have wrestled with the logic of loving God a lot recently.
I was raised to go to church and believe in God, with Jesus Christ being His Son, sent to earth to save us. That’s all well and good, but the Bible stories I was told were never presented to me as true to life, or at least I never interpreted them that way. They were just stories. Like Cinderella or Hansel & Gretel. As I grew older, into my young twenties, I allowed my flesh to suppress my spirit. What I had been exposed to from age 8 to a15 seemed to take a place in the corner, away from all the other “important” things in my life. I lived to please my flesh, whatever felt good, I did and made no apologies.
When I married and had my first child, everything sort of hit me that I was headed in the wrong direction and taking my family with me. I didn’t really repent because I didn’t realize I had to. Oh, I apologized to God and I tried to change my behavior (you what I mean, don’t say bad words, don’t lie or exaggerate, etc.), but I didn’t realize I had to completely let go and give every aspect of my life to Him. Given that, I still lived my life to please my flesh, or to please husband and children.
I did begin attending a church again, and more importantly, studying my Bible. I learned a lot from it and God slowly began to reveal small revelations to me. Things like, if Adam and Eve hadn’t disobeyed God’s ONE command, we wouldn’t know what clothes are for. Yes, really simple things that give a slightly different perspective. If you take that one revelation and analyze it, that one factor of clothes alone would eliminate jealousy for higher fashion and the loss of self esteem. It doesn’t take much to impress me, but unfortunately, it doesn’t take a whole lot to distract me either. I have learned that I must focus intensely on my purpose in order to stay on the path that I believe I am supposed to be on.
Okay, so after a few years of studying and learning these small lessons, I began to really expand my studies and listen to some very smart evangelists. These guys were advanced in the ways of God. They explained how ever action has a reaction- that it’s actually a law. I learned about giving and tithing, that it’s two different things. I began to shape my life around those things and my perspective began to change. I was still living according to my flesh (though I didn’t realize it, I actually thought I was on the verge of knowing it all). HA! The arrogance!
I had encouraged my husband to attend church with me, which was good considering he’s catholic and I wasn’t going to a catholic church. I began to teach a Sunday Bible class and help with the children’s choir. I had a deep desire to share with everyone what I had learned. This was one of the pivotal points in my life because while I wanted to be seen as an “authority”, I also truly wanted others to benefit spiritually the way I felt I was benefiting. This was the beginning of me actually loving others the way Jesus commanded, but I had a very long way to go. I had to get rid of that pride but I didn’t know it yet.
So, things changed drastically for me after a few years. My husband was disillusioned to church because of all the obvious hypocrisy of the members as well as the lack of effective teaching from the pastor. I agreed with him, but thought we could influence them all in a good way. What I didn’t realize was that I wasn’t ready for that kind of responsibility. I guess, my reverence for respecting my husband kicked in and I stopped attending church as well.
That’s when the challenge really began. I began listening to another evangelist who emphasized living life with integrity and to honor God not myself. Now I already believed in living with integrity, because I had experienced being a liar, cheater and thief and I knew that I couldn’t have a godly, prosperous life and remain that way. Remember, I still had a fleshly mentality. But that’s when I learned that all of my actions should reflect my desire to love and please God, not myself.
As I was learning this, my husband began going through health issues and started to face his own mortality. He began to investigate Chinese alternative medicine (which have a lot of merit), but opened the door for him to really question the authenticity of the Bible and subsequentially the truth of Christianity. He has every reason to, given how the behavior of Christians seems to be very hypocritical. But it has made me be on guard as to my own behavior, as well as focus on what God wants for my life. This is HARD!
I have come to the crossroads of working for money and helping my husband be successful OR leaving and go join an organization that is devoted to helping people. It’s really a no brainer (for me). I choose to stay with my husband and work with him. Why? Well, it’s not money and success, although in the flesh, it could definitely look that way. No, it’s to show my wonderful husband that humility and love for God is greater than all of it. That’s what I’m learning now and I want my precious husband to see that, because that’s a real part of Christianity. While his discoveries in the natural remedy world are incredible and very godly (I believe God has provided a natural cure for every disease through His creation), all of it is completely insignificant when compared to the compete and overwhelming vastness that is God. We are so feeble, we cannot even begin to understand, but He still created us and loves us so much that He sacrificed His own Son for our salvation. Once we grasp just an inkling of our total insignificance compared to Him, we can truly humble ourselves and allow Him to exercise His divine authority in our lives. That is a powerful revelation (however tiny it is) and living in humility gives us the power to see beyond our meager existence and contribute to what God’s great purpose is. Love others enough to tell the whole truth, not just the good parts but the parts that can deceive us all if we allow it. How can we be ready if we are not prepared? You may argue that it’s not real, that there is no God or He’s there, but everyone will go to heaven. That’s pride. I reply that once we realize that the reality is humility, we can then be open to learn what God has in store for us to do.
I have wrestled with the logic of loving God a lot recently.