Monday, January 08, 2007

How Does a Person Find God?

An anonymous reader posted this question the other day on this blog:

“I only have one question. How does a person find God? I admit I don'T attend Church like I should and I am ashamed to say that when I do I feel empty. I need some serious help.”

Here is my response:

Thank you for your question. I’m so glad you want to be closer to God!

Here’s what you should do:

Become a Christian

Are you a Christian? By that, I mean, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? In order to become a Christian, you must accept who Jesus is, what he has done for you and allow him to be the Lord of your life. The Bible says, in Romans 10:9, “So you will be saved, if you honestly say, "Jesus is Lord," and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death.” That means you accept that Jesus died on the cross for you so that all your sins might be forgiven. And you must believe that he was resurrected by God. (You can read more about this here). If you are ready to accept Jesus as your Savior and become a Christian, then please do so now. Or if you already are a Christian, trust that you are ready to begin a deeper relationship with God.


If you are a Christian (or have just become one), the next thing you need to do is spend time with God through prayer. You will never get to know God if you don’t spend time with Him. Just like you invest your time in your family, your friends or your significant other, a good relationship with God means spending time. Dont' make it too hard on yourself - just talk and be prepared to listen. Talk to Him about what’s going on in your life. Let God know what your concerns are - openly and honestly. And be prepared to hear Him 'speak.' And how does God speak? Read this posting - How to Hear From God - to get some insight. Make sure you make time in your life to hear from God.

Study the Bible

The Bible is a way for God to let us know what’s on His mind. It covers the early days when He interacted with His people (the Old Testament), lots of rules, laws and regulations and then goes on talk about Jesus Christ (the Gospels) and the work of Jesus's apostles (the rest of the New Testament). It’s interesting reading, to say the least. By reading the Bible, you will get a much better idea of who God is, what He expects from you and how He operates. As an added bonus, you will be able to hear from God much more easily - you now speak His 'language' so to speak. By reading the Bible, you have discovered what He wanted you to know about Him, His promises to you, His ways and how He communicates to human beings. It's also important to know the Bible, because it will form the foundation of your understanding. Everything that you hear, read or experience will now be compared to what the Bible says. In this way, you will be able to determine the truth for yourself. I can't emphasize enought how important it is that you obtain knowledge about the Bible for yourself. People can tell you anything, but once you know, then you’ll always know – for yourself! Read the Bible to understand God better, to be able to communicate with Him better and to be able to discover the truth in your own life.

Consider going to church.

You can learn a whole lot about God from prayer and study, but going to church should help you accelerate this process. The pastor should be able to help you understand the Bible in new ways. It’s always a good idea to learn from people who know more about God than you – and there will always be someone who knows more than all of us about the Bible. You would benefit from having a teacher or a spiritual guide and be under the leadership of a good, solid church where they teach you the Word (the Bible). Bypass all the fanfare and hoopla and look for a place where you feel at home and where you feel you know more when you left than when you arrived. That place is out there for you.

If you are absolutely opposed to attending church, there are a lot of good ministries and support groups online as well. I would still say, however, that going to a brick and mortar church would be a good idea because, in addition to learning more about God and the Bible, you would get to know other Believers better. You will (hopefully) get to know other Godly people and be able to share your thoughts, doubts and struggles with them. Other Believers can offer support, affirmation and love and these are all very, very important things to have as you learn what it means to lead a Godly life and try to live your life a better way.

Trust the Holy Spirit

I would advise you to trust the voice of the Holy Spirit throughout this process. The Holy Spirit's specific role is to lead and guide you in daily living. (Read more about the Holy Spirit here and here .) The Holy Spirit is not a 'presence', a 'feeling' or a 'thing' - He is a person! He is, as my pastor says, God with us. Which means He is the little voice we hear in our ear when we are steadfastly trying to do the wrong thing, telling us not to do it. Or the twinge in our conscience reminding us to be kind to others, to call our mothers or to spend more time with our kids. He is the one fillng you up with positive messages, trying to keep you on the right path and helping you in your studies as you grow in the Lord. And the good thing about the Holy Spirit is that the more you listen to Him, the more He speaks! He will help lead and guide you through many tough situations in life and comfort you when you are down. You will come to depend on Him as you never have been able to depend on a person before. A relationship with God (and His Holy Spirit) is truly a beautiful thing!

The best news of all is that as you seek God, He will be making Himself available to you! He loves it when we try to become closer to Him! Seek Him and you will find Him.....

I promise.

Please let me know how your journey goes (or if you have any other questions) and I will be praying for you every step of the way.

God Be With You

Related Posts:

How to Hear From God
Getting Closer to God

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Why It's Important to Believe...

In my last posting, I asked you what you believed. Now I want to talk about why it's important to believe. This won't be a warm and fuzzy version of why being a Christian is a good thing (I covered that in The Benefits of Loving God). This is not to say that there aren't a lot of positive benefits about being a Christian, however, there are also a lot of other very compelling reasons it's important to be a believer. Not to scare you or make you apprehensive, but:

The world is not becoming a better place. Every day, we see new evidence of 'man's inhumanity against man' - wars in all parts of the world, murder, genocide, drug use, and abusive behavior of all kinds. War is tearing up parts of Africa, sectarian violence is causing lives to be lost in Iraq. Our soldiers are losing their lives defending U.S. interests in other countries. North Korea and Iran are threatening the world with their nuclear weapons postures.

Not to mention other situations of growingconcern like the AIDS epidemic, famines and droughts and effects of greenhouse gases on our environment. In America, we have our own set of problems. Sure, we live in one of the most advanced countries in the world, but what has it brought us? A life of gluttony, overindulgence, soaring crime rates and a growing gap between the haves and have nots. The preliminary results of the FBI's Uniform Crime Report for January - June 2006 indicate that a whole, law enforcement agencies throughout the Nation reported an increase of 3.7 percent in the number of violent crimes brought to their attention in the first half of 2006 when compared to figures reported for the first six months of 2005. The violent crime category includes murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

Natural disasters about. China Daily says, "Natural disasters last year took the heaviest toll on lives since 1998...Ministry of Civil Affairs figures show natural disasters, such as typhoons, floods, landslides, mud-flows, hailstorms and earthquakes, claimed 3,155 lives in 2006, a quarter more than the previous year." The International News reports, "Major cities of Pakistan including Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Islamabad were in great danger of receiving earthquakes in the future..." And we can never forget the devastation caused by Hurricana Katrina.

Things are not getting better. And, with the confluence of all these events, I realize that many of the signs indicating we are nearing the end of our time here on earth are now present. The Bible is quite specific about what we are to expect during the end times. Matthew 24:6-14 says:

And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for these things must needs come to pass; but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and earthquakes in divers places.

But all these things are the beginning of travail.

Then shall they deliver you up unto tribulation, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all the nations for my name's sake.

And then shall many stumble, and shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another.

And many false prophets shall arise, and shall lead many astray.

And because iniquity shall be multiplied, the love of the many shall wax cold.

But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end come.

You can't help but to see the similarities between those predictions and worldwide conditions today. And - contrary to popular belief - Christians are not blind or naive. We simply know the Truth - that being in the arms of a Loving God is the safest place to be. Bush can't guarantee our safety. Nor can our guns, our house alarms, our local police departments or the air bags in our car. David says it best in Psalms 23:4:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Safety can only be found with God.

And that is why it is important to believe.

Related Posts:

The Benefits of Loving God
The AIDS Virus is Killing the African-American Community
About the Sexual Revolution

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What Do You Believe?

So what do you believe about God?

Do you believe He is present and active in your day-to-day life?

Or do you see Him as a more distant Life Force or Guide?

Perhaps you don't believe in Him at all....

In any case, the reason I ask is that I am learning more and more about what people commonly believe about God. As a somewhat traditional Christian (I believe in a personal and active God, the Trinity and salvation offerred through the death of Jesus Christ), I was fairly shocked to discover most Americans who say they are Christians do not subscribe to traditional Christian beliefs. Let's take Deists for example. Deism is defined as follows:

Deism is a religious philosophy and movement that became prominent in England, France, and the United States in the 17th and 18th centuries. Deists typically reject supernatural events (prophecy, miracles) and divine revelation prominent in organized religion, along with holy books and revealed religions that assert the existence of such things. Instead, deists hold that correct religious beliefs must be founded on human reason and observed features of the natural world, and that these sources reveal the existence of one God or supreme being.*

In other words, Deists believe that God exists, but don't believe that God interferes in the human experience through supernatural events or displays of His powers. Deists are closely aligned with Modernist thinkers who believe that the world can be discerned and understood through reason and logic.

Interesting, to say the least. However, noting the remarks made by friends, family and the like, I've come to the understanding that most people believe in God, but don't believe He is capable or desirous of intervening in human affairs. This thinking was particularly poignant around the time of 9/11. If God could truly do miracles, the thinking went, why didn't He save the passengers of the three planes that were taken over by the terrorists? Why didn't He miraculously save those who perished in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? Why would He allow such tragedies to occur?

I can honestly say that I don't know. I do know, however, that people die in tragic circumstances around the world every day. The conflicts in Africa, the killing and sectarian violence that occur daily in Iraq, and the lives taken by the drug cartels in South America are good examples of such. It's just funny how many of us only began to question the powers of a Sovereign God when tragedy struck right here on our home turf. But that's a subject for another posting.

Today I am only interested in you. What do you believe about God?

I'm looking forward to hearing your responses!

Deism. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved January 02, 2007, from website:

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