Questions Pt. 3 (Is it alright to ask?)

4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. – James 1: 4-6!

Yes, it is alright to ask, but I think it is important to know what to do with the answers. I have always had a questioning faith whether due to being to smart for my own good or too easily manipulated by others thoughts. As I mentioned in my previous post I struggled with the hard questions and what I was going to do with them. I didn’t really trust that I could take them to anyone, and so I hid them and my shame behind a curtain of insecurity and regret that I couldn’t be better. I think the first truth we have to set deep in our hearts is that God loves us, not because of what we do or don’t do, but because He created us for fellowship and oneness with Him. He loves us just as we are, but He also sees what He wants us to become. Perseverance must indeed finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. The struggle, I believe, does not end until we cross the threshold of Heaven. To change and grow is what it means to be alive. I also believe, from my own personal experiences, that faith not questioned can be a faith of no real value.

22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.
23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers:
You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
you have made known to us the dream of the king."
-Daniel 2: 22-23

God is a great mystery, but He does not hide his truth from us. I have asked so many questions from…”Can you give me a good parking space?” to “What does your Sovereignty look like?” “How do I deal with fear?” “How do I deal with failure?” “What does it mean to serve Jesus Christ?” “What does it mean when we say we are Christians?” “Do we live in a broken dream?”
One thing I have come to realize is that God ALWAYS answers…ALWAYS!

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
- Isaiah 55:11

It is what we do with the answers that make our questioning meaningful. This is when faith through the Holy Spirit comes to play. In my post on “God Hates Sin” I say that we have a choice to either serve evil or serve good…

“Every Christian makes an impression by his conduct, and witnesses either for one side or the other. His looks, dress, whole demeanor, make a constant impression on one side or the other. He cannot help testifying for or against religion. He is either gathering with Christ, or scattering abroad. At every step you tread on chords that will vibrate to all eternity. Every time you move you touch keys whose sound will reecho all over the hills and dales of heaven, and through all the dark caverns and vaults of hell. Every movement of your lives, you are exerting a tremendous influence that will tell on the immortal interests of the souls all around you.” – Charles G. Finney

God wants us to come to Him with our questions. He wants us to fight with Him and in the end He will bless us, if we are faithful in trusting that blessing and answer. This is why I feel it so important to disciple baby Christians. We need to be open with our hurts and pains and struggles and keep each other accountable to the truth of God. If we lived more open authentic lives before a wild unfettered God then we would have the wisdom we seek. Doubt would have to flee in the presence of His light and knowledge, and we would be better equipped to handle the sorrow and devastation of this world. We would know that He truly is the only thing worth seeking and in the face of doubt we would laugh out loud filling the hills and dales of heaven with rejoicing and the dark caverns and vaults of hell with a shutter. It is time we start understanding what we believe and what it means to be a Christian. Compromise is not part of the equation…you are either for God or against Him. You can’t be both.

Let me share with you the ways that God has answered me. He usually answers in three ways, “Yes”, “No”, or with a question of His own, “Melissa, do you trust me?” The third one is usually the hardest to swallow, but has been where I have found my most growth. Sometimes, God will not reveal a yes or no answer, sometimes He will ask…”Do you trust me?” It is like a child asking her parent “why?” and the parent says, “Because I said so?” It is a hard pill to swallow sometimes, but we must have faith to trust the Father that He knows best. He is, after all, “I AM!” For example, I had posed a question long ago on my blog asking, “Are we resigned to live in a broken dream?” I was deeply broken at the time and mistrusting God in so many ways. God did not answer that question straight out, but in the end took me around to the dream He had for me which was wholeness in holiness. What did I do with the fear of losing my salvation…I laid it at His feet. In the end if I think I am able to lose my salvation then the salvation becomes about me and not about Him. We do nothing to gain salvation, it comes totally from Him, and He keeps His promises…

7-10Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. – Ephesians 2: 7-10 The Message.

There are certain questions that His grace has to cover. I trust and hope in Heaven because He says so in the Bible, but what really happens when I die has been a struggle for me and is something that He has asked me to trust Him on through His word. I can’t change my feelings, but feelings are like shifting sands, in order to quell the tide that rises I must stand on the solid rock, more importantly I must stand on the sovereign Word of God and tell Satan to flee. It is important to note that every thought that crosses our mind does not come from us. We have a Deceiver waiting to devour us. He plants thoughts in our minds and we usually expound on them. He knows our weaknesses and where to cut so we bleed slowly and painfully…he knows how to leave a scar. I am very internal…always in my own head. I have thought some of the ugliest, darkest, morbid, scary things. It came from a lot of the garbage I was putting into my mind, but it left me feeling worthless and questioning how I couldn’t be a Christian if I thought these things.

Before I get too off track I will try to reel myself back in…
1. It is perfectly alright to question God.
2. Go to His throne room, seek His face, and wrestle it out with Him (it is also alright to be mad at Him!)
3. Also, find someone to talk to about the situation, pray for an accountability partner that will be honest with you and guard your heart.
4. Trust God for the answer…He always gives one.
5. It is what we do with the answer that grows us and strengthens our faith.
6. Understand that there is a Deceiver waiting to devour us and that all thoughts do not come from us.
7. Tell Satan to flee in the name and blood of Jesus, and He has too.
8. When you can do nothing else, stand on the Word of God. (God will answer His children through the word, and through His voice, when He speaks test it against scripture to make sure it is Him speaking.)

God is not in the business of playing games. He came to bring truth and life more abundant. We sometimes say we don’t hear God or that we don’t understand Him because we don’t like what is coming out of His mouth. God is not like us…

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
Isaiah 55:8

Rest in the truth of knowing that you are not a freak or a weak Christian when you question and know that in time all our questions will be washed away in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and we will know as we are fully known…

12For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God].- 1 Corinthians 13:12 Amplified


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