Satan walked in a church with his demon followers in tow. He huffed and puffed and told the worshippers now I’ve got you. I’m going to bring so much evil into your life you won’t know what to do. The worshippers simply giggled. Don’t you fear me Satan asked? Don’t you know who I am and the pain I can bring you? That’s when a worshipper stood up and said you must not have seen who we came in with. Right then the back door opened and in walked several angels followed by the Lord. The Lord walked over to the front door locked it and looked right in Satan’s face and calmly told him now you can’t leave. Satan knew right then he had made a mistake. He had chosen to challenge the faith and resolve of true believers and he knew what would happen next. What had always happened to him in this situation. The Lord would vanquish him yet again because even Satan knew when faced with the faith of the strong good always triumphed over evil.
The devil, he’s the hardest working man in show business. Where ever you turn there he is tempting you, taunting you. Trying to make you question your faith so that he can swoop in and get you to abandon your faith and switch teams. A good number of times he meets u[ with that lost soul who either doesn’t believe or has had something happen that makes them waiver and question their faith. I know because he has tried to shake mine. It is not always easy to simply let go of the worry and sorrow and say to yourself God has me. To turn away from temptation and believe that no matter what you are going through at present it is nothing compared to the abundance of blessings that the Lord has waiting for you at the end of the road. The devil knows he can tempt you, that he can make you question your faith but that he will never, on his best day, have the power to shower you with the blessings that the Lord will rain down on you if you simply stay the course. That’s why he’s out here with his nose in everything, attempting to nurture the evil and doubt with-in us to prevent us from reaching that end of the road where the Lord awaits us. He is especially active in the holiday season, looking to take advantage of the lonieness and sorrow many us may be experiencing having suffered through the loss of a love one or difficult times we may be going through. But the holiday season is a time to remember that the Lord gave us his greatest gift of all, his son. He gave us his son so that Jesus in his death would set us free from eternal death. God saw fit to make the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus Christ, as a seed sown for the harvest of our souls for eternity and so we could be redeemed into the family of God. And with that in mind I simply laugh at all the tricks the devil tries to get me to question my faith. My faith is strong My Lord God is strongest so the devil can move on look for another soul to try and turn because he is wasting his time trying to turn mine because this soul knows that God got me and that’s all I need,
Not to toot my own horn but I was considered a rising star in my career. Having achieved success at every level I quickly rose through the ranks. While my colleagues continued to take training courses to strengthen their skill sets and keep pace with the new innovations and technologies. I chose to skip these training classes after all I was a star and what was a trainer going to teach me that I didn’t already know. Sadly due to an economic downturn the company was forced to lay off a number of employees including a supervisor in my division. Not being able to hire a new supervisor I was tasked with the responsibility of the direct supervision of that unit. Upon taking over I realized that much of what I thought I knew had evolved beyond my current level of understanding. Production levels began to suffer, people above me began to question my leadership. Self doubt started to creep into my psyche. My bitterness toward the company began to mount. How could they put me in this position? Were they setting me up to fail? Then one day my mentor came to me and said instead of moping around, being bitter and blaming the company realize that things were going so well for you it was easy to take your talents for granted you forgot what made you so successful. Recommit to your craft he said, take those training classes, brush up on the new technologies. Strengthen your area of expertise and you’ll see things will turn around. Taking his advice I put my nose to the grindstone and enrolled in the training classes, researched the new technology available and talked to staff to get their feedback on what we could do to increase efficiency. With my renewed energy and strengthen skill set it was only a matter of time before the numbers began to turn around and today the division is turning a profit at an all time high.
This story serves as a simile to our Faith. When things are sailing along in our lives we tend to take our faith for granted. But when faced with adversity many of us ask why me? Why is the Lord testing me? We become depressed at the situation and angry with the Lord. It is then that evil sees its opening and tempts us with the promise of a better day if we reject the Lord and follow it. When faced with this option many of us are easily swayed to accept evil’s proposition. After all if He truly loved me we think why would he test me in this way? But what we fail to understand is that the Lord is not testing us for Himself, he is testing us for ourselves. As someone once said:
When God pushes you to the edge, trust him fully, because only two things can happen. Either He will catch you when you fall or He will teach you how to fly.
The key part of that quote is the words trust him fully. In times of adversity it a test for us to see for ourselves how strong our faith truly is. To see if we remember that our good times were the result of His blessings. To see if our faith is as strong as we believed it to be or does it waiver in times of adversity. If it does indeed waiver we must like I did in my career put our nose to the grindstone and recommit to Him by taking steps along our spiritual journey to strengthen our faith. Remember we our His children and his love for us is unconditional. So much so that he gave us His only son so that we may be forgiven of sin. He loves us so that as it is written in Ephesians 13-14 He promised us eternal life.
13 In him you also, when you heardethe word of truth, the gospel of your salvation,and believed in him, fwere sealed with thegpromised Holy Spirit, 14 who is hthe guarantee4of our iinheritance until jwe acquirekpossession of it,5 lto the praise of his glory.
Once come to the understanding that the Lord will never abandon us and that we should not question when He will provide us with the blessings required to overcome the adversity we are facing but accept the truth that as it is written He makes all things beautiful in His time will we be able to prove to ourselves that we do indeed possess a faith that is strong and cannot be shaken even in times of adversity.
As I awake today I give praise to the Lord for yet another beautiful day and make no mistake each day we are blessed with the ability to walk upon this amazing planet we call Earth is a beautiful day.
Have you ever wondered how our existence came to be? How we have evolved, our planet formed, the universe sprang out of nothingness? I have almost every day and while I do not have the evidence of those who believe that our universe’s existence is simply a matter of science, nor do I dispute what it science has taught us about the universe. I always come back to the question. What was there before that?
The universe started with a Big Bang. Alright I’m buying that is probably true. But what was there before the universe exploded out of a incredibly hot, infinitely dense speck of matter? What was there before there was anything? Who or what set the whole thing in motion? Scientists will continue to theorize that question looking for the answer in some sort of tangible evidence. For those of us with faith there is no need to look for tangible evidence for we realize the evidence is now and has always been all around us. We recognize that the world on which walk on, the universe that world exists in and our very own existence is simply too perfect to be explained away as the result of a set of unknown circumstances which happened in such a fashion that we were created. We accept that such a complex and beautiful existence could only be conceived by a higher power and that higher power is the Lord.
Our faith is a love for the Lord. A love so strong that when others question our faith, when evil tempts us to abandon it, when science mocks it, we do not turn our back on it and let it wither away. Rather we are energized to embrace it, to strengthen it. It is through our faith that we acknowledge that it is the Lord’s grand design that put everything in motion. That it is only through the Lord’s blessings that we have the ability to use science to answer many of our questions about the universe. It is our faith that tells us that when there was “nothing” there was everything because there was the Lord.
Webster defines air as the mixture of invisible odorless tasteless gases (such as nitrogen and oxygen) that surrounds the earth. Invisible, odorless and tasteless yet It is vital that living things respire to get the oxygen for living cells to function. Without air, there is no life.
Faith is much like the air we can not see. We cannot use physical proof of the Lord’s existence but rather it is our faith that validates his being. Those with faith believe without seeing. We feel His presence not in the physical sense but in the spiritual sense. We accept unconditionally that while He cannot be seen or touched His hand is touching our soul, guiding us, walking with us, protecting us. We feel His aura as it surrounds us. We recognize that He has no beginning and no end and that with Him nothing is impossible without Him there would be no life.
I have a friend who I occasionally get into some heated debates with about God, religion and faith. During one of these debates he asked if God exist why is he so secretive. Why doesn’t he just let us all know he exists so that the fighting and killing that takes place in his name would cease. I told him it is because God’s existence is not for us to have tangible evidence of, though when you look around tangible evidence is everywhere, God’s existence to you is based on faith. His question however did make me wonder what if God did talk to us all directly today; What would we ask him? What would he reply? I thought about it some more and below is what I think an interview in today’s world with God might sound like.
Host: Good Afternoon everyone thanks for tuning in to a very special broadcast our special guest today is none other than the creator himself – God. Welcome to the show.
God: Hello everyone. Thanks for taking time out to listen in today, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve directly communicated with you but I felt that with the way things have been going lately on Earth now’s as good as time as ever to have a talk with you.
Host: Well we are very excited to have you here. So let’s jump right in with the question everyone wants to know the answer to. The proverbial elephant in the room so to speak; Who got it right? Which religion is the correct one?
God: Jumped right in you did. I am well aware that you’ve all been trying to find the answer to that question since well, almost the beginning of your time. Which religion is the right one? Whose god am I? Whom do I favor? Very deep questions all and the answer you seek is actually a very simple one. May I have a drum roll please. The answer is, all and everyone.
Host: All and everyone? I think I speak for our listeners out there when I say I’m not really sure what you mean by that.
God: I mean I did not create religion, I created you and in creating you I gave you the wonderful gifts of intellect and imagination. It is with those gifts that you created religion. I never cared how you chose to imagine me or what doctrines you chose to build your faith around. No all I asked is that you treat each other with love, compassion and respect. Sadly since the very beginning many of you have chosen not to that and even sadder you have chosen to use me as the reason for your destructive and violent actions. For that I have been greatly saddened.
Host: But if that’s true why would you let us continue to travel down that path of destruction.
God: That was not my choice to make. Lest you forget I also blessed you with free will, the ability to live your lives as you saw fit. Yes by allowing you to exist with free will there have been innocent souls who have perished and those they left behind have had to grieve. However would you have found your existence to be more enjoyable if your life on Earth was scripted by me from the moment you were conceived to the moment you died? That nothing you did, no choice you made mattered? That you were simply actors in a play for my amusement?
Host: Well when you put it that way I guess not.
God: I didn’t think so.
Host: Let’s go back to something you said earlier that you were sadden by the acts of violence committed in your name.
God: Yes that is true.
Host: So over time has that sadness ever turned to hate? Have you ever regretted creating us?
God: You know how it is said I created you in my image. Well that means a lot of things and to be honest we don’t have the time today to delve into what that fully means. But with respect to your question let me give you an analogy. A child is born to a mother and a father. They raise that child and instill in them what they believe to be guiding principles of right and wrong. The child grows and begins to develop their own identity and make decisions for themselves. Decisions which are morally wrong, decisions which bring great harm to others. The parents while horrified and saddened by the child’s actions at their core still love the child. Their love for their child is unconditional. It is that unconditional love of their child that is but one of the many ways you are an image of me. While I may be saddened by some of your decisions at my core I can never stop loving you, for you are all my children.
Host: What about those that question your very existence? That has to anger you a bit.
God: Well that very question presumes that I am vain and let me assure you I am not. If I was I would not having given you free will to decide for yourself if I do or do not exist. If I was I would strike down with vengeance all who do not believe in me. Yet there are millions who walk among you today who do not believe. No, as I said earlier my only desire is that you love and treat each other with compassion. If you need to believe in me to do so that is fine. If you do not believe in me but do so that is fine as well. But rest assured I take no satisfaction in the knowledge that you fully believe in me but show no love or compassion for your fellow human.
Host: What can we do to be better? How do we stop the hate?
God: Again that is not for me to say. Your destiny is yours and yours alone. I have provided you, above all my other creations, intelligence and the ability to reason. The power to communicate with each other and to create wondrous things. I have instilled with-in each of you the ability to be compassionate and the extremely powerful emotion of love. Each of you are born with the guiding principles on what is right and wrong. But it all comes back to free will, as humans you must want to walk in the light. You must want to sacrifice some of your own personal wealth and happiness so that as a people you benefit as a whole.
Host: That won’t be easy. We have never shown in our entire existence that we are capable of doing that.
God: It is because you have rejected the most basic concept.
Host: That is?
God: I created you as a people, one people. Yes you may look different but that is but on the surface. You are all my children you are all the same. When you are able to truly grasp that only then will you be able to love one another in the way that I truly had imagined you would.
Host: Maybe one day we will but we’ve come so far down the road I am afraid we never will be able to achieve that level of understanding and that must really sadden you.
God: It does but I have a great belief in you. After all you are my children. You may not be there today but you have so much potential that I know one day you will get there. After all you have only been here but the blink of an eye. There is still much growing you have to do.
Host: Well it is comforting to know that you believe we have a chance. I know you are busy and so we’ll end it there. Thank you for making this rare in person appearance we’ll try as a people to do better.
God: I know you will.