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Faith: Fact or Feeling?

Faith: Fact or Feeling?

in Devotionals on

Fact or feeling: In a world that encourages us to “follow our heart,” the lines between what I should do versus what I want are easily blurred. The question could arise “what’s so bad about following my heart?” Well, in Jeremiah 17, it says that the heart is deceitful above all things, which begs the question, “how do we know if the of faith we are living is based on fact or feeling?”

What’s so bad about following my feelings instead?

fact or feeling

The problem with only following your feelings, is that they are subjective. What you may think is “good” or “right” differ from another person’s perspective. That leads to misunderstandings and disagreements, sometimes even arguments. The heart is such a tricky concept because anyone could feel deep down like one is right but in reality, be in the wrong. So now in this life of faith, what is the potential outcome if we only follow what we feel is right? We must learn to discern between fact or feeling.

History will always serve as a reminder and a teacher on many subjects, including this very subject I am writing about today. At the time when Jesus, the Messiah, carried out his ministry on the earth, there were those who opposed and actively blocked his work by spreading lies, making threats, and even using false testimonies to try and get him apprehended.

Who followed their feelings?

Who were these people? It was the very believers at that time, who had the Old Testament scripture. Romans 10 clearly explains that the Jews were zealous for God. They lacked the proper knowledge of the very scripture by which they claimed to live. They ignored the Word and killed the one who came as the light of the world, thinking God desired it.

All throughout the book of Acts we also see there are people who claim to live according to God’s Word, yet chased the apostles and missionaries across the world til they were all martyred for the Word that we so freely have In our hands today.

Fact AND Feelings

feelings are subjective

I am not saying that It is bad to meditate on the sacrifices and love that God and Jesus has both shown to mankind, because that is something we should always have in our mind. However, believers as a whole also need to be those who have the correct standard in our life of faith. The Bible, God’s Word, needs to be the very thing that one lives in accordance to, and hold as a manual for believers. Contrary to popular belief, it takes more than just reading, serving countless hours, and memorizing certain verses to accomplish what God has truly desired from His people.

Don’t use the Bible to fill the needs of an issue you are feeling in the moment. Use the Bible as a way to understand God’s heart and will. He has been trying to convey that to humanity for the past 6,000 years. Rather than a subjective point of view, believers must read it from the point of view of the Author.

Just as a director with their movie, or an artist with their paintings, until we know the true intention of their work, we could make inferences on what we THINK is the meaning. It isn’t until the they explain to the spectators, that one can understand more of the real intentions. In that same way, a believer must view that very Word which God has left us in the perspective of God. God is good and His Word is truth. It makes sense that His ways are higher than ours as the heavens are to the earth (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Growing in Faith

When we combine fact or feeling, then we can confidently walk on this path because we know the very Words of God which can lead us to eternal life. Let’s all grow In the grace and the knowledge of God the father, and Jesus Christ who He sent. Let’s grow in faith. Amen.

God, Joshua and the Promised Land

God, Joshua and the Promised Land

in Bible Study on

Background of Joshua

Joshua was born during a time in biblical history when God’s people were enslaved in Egypt under Pharaoh. He was a slave until he and the Israelites were set free and guided out by Moses. Thus, he shared in all the events that took place in Egypt including the 10 plagues, the Passover, and the parting of the Red Sea. After Moses’ death, he leads the Israelites into the Promised Land.

As God Guided the Israelites

Joshua helped lead the Israelites to victory in their first battle against the Amalekites right after they had passed through the Red Sea. This was the beginning of his faithfulness and obedience to God and Moses, God’s chosen messenger. Joshua also shared in the events that took place when the Israelites were in the desert on the way to the Promised Land, Canaan. Along with the Israelites J ate the manna that came from heaven, drank the water from the rock, was guided by the clouds by day and the fiery pillars by night.

joshua promised land

Joshua Remained Obedient to God

However, J did not take part in the worship of the golden calf. While the Israelites were creating the idol he diligently waited for Moses to descend from Mt. Sinai with the ten commandments. Furthermore, Joshua would stay outside a tent known as the “tent of meeting” where Moses would meet with God while the rest of the Israelites stayed outside their own tents to watch the event. He was still outside the “tent of meeting” even after Moses had left. The Israelites faced the greatest challenge of their lives as they prepared to finally enter the promised land.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9, NIV

Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayers?

Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayers?

in Devotionals on

Why doesn’t God answer my prayers? Is He even real or listening?

Growing up, my parents always taught me the importance of learning what it means to depend on God. It was a struggle for me then and even now to completely understand what “depending on God” would look like. I knew that one of the many facets of “depending on God” was prayer. But why doesn’t God answer my prayers?

As someone who grew up in a Christian household, praying was part of a family tradition, and up till this day, it is something that my family holds onto as an important practice we keep. During a big event that we knew we couldn’t control as individuals (for example, I remember praying for safe travels with my family before every plane ride we took to visit our relatives overseas), that’s when we start to pray or as it is defined “earnestly beg” to God to help us.

While there are many things in life that are within our own control, there are also many things that we cannot control. Prayer is thus something that many people, religious or not, utilize to help reassure themselves that while things aren’t fully within their control, the hope is that some force, or higher being out there would be watching over and guiding us through the invisible forces that shape our path in life.

why doesn't God answer my prayers?

How to Pray Effectively

In the Bible, there are many instances where we see prayers being lifted up to God, no matter whether rich or poor, strong or weak. Even Jesus Christ himself, prayed. He himself knew that by his own strength, he could not achieve much. From the moment his public life of faith started to the cross he had to bear, Jesus drew strength from God through prayer (Heb 5:7).

Not only did he pray for the sake of the work he had to do, but he prayed also for the work that the disciples and the believers that are to come after were to carry out and that they be protected from the evil one (Jn 17:6-26). Surely enough, it resulted as such as we trace the story of the gospels being spread in the rest of the New Testament.

Prayers are lifted up by god.

Prayers in the Bible

Despite the many ‘successful’ requests that we see characters in the Bible have with their prayers, sometimes, the success rates aren’t necessarily equivalent to our experiences today. Due to such, many people come to a conclusion that this higher being that one prays to either don’t exist or don’t care about our livelihoods or requests we have. But to challenge such way of thought, have we ever wondered if the problem is not God himself, but perhaps the person sending the request?

This is something worth thinking about because in the Bible, the problem and the reason for religion’s existence did not stem from the problem being God himself, but it exists due to people and their response to certain situations. While it may be easier to point the finger at others, or in this case, God, have we self-examined ourselves to check where we stand? Have we ever stop to think that maybe perhaps we are the problem and not God? Do we have our own standard of what prayers should look like and accomplish rather than verifying it against God who fulfills those requests?

Religious problem arise from people and their way of response to certain situations.

Fact or Fiction: Ask and it will be Given?

It’s like this — a child asks for a brand new expensive PlayStation 4 from his parents. Would all parents just easily give such an expensive game console to the kid? Not necessarily. Often times, in the world, to gain something, there are often terms and guidelines that one has to keep before something is given or rewarded to the individual. Likewise, have we consider that perhaps the way of thinking applies to our prayers that we life up to God?

While many may claim that one can simply “ask and it will be given”, if one examines scriptures more in depth, the scriptures actually says otherwise. In the Bible, to lift up a prayer in which God can acknowledge would require more than just “asking.” In the case of the example of the child who wants a brand new PlayStation 4 from his parents, under what terms and conditions would a parent probably reward the child by fulfilling his request?

My Parents’ Point of View

From my parents’ point of view it might be some sort of academic achievement, or maybe not. Regardless, what I do know know and understand is that a child’s heart must align with her parents. If it was the parents’ heart, that PlayStation 4 would be within the child’s reach. In the same way, what is essential is having the word of God, having God’s heart within oneself. Then you’ll be able to lift up a prayer that God can acknowledge (Prv 28:9, Jn 15:7, 1 Jn 5:14).

While it may be difficult to grasp that there is a condition attached to praying in a way one can be acknowledged by God, it shouldn’t be too great of a surprise to us. In fact, Jesus, the one whom had his prayers acknowledged by the Father, had the word in him (Jn 17:7-8) and hence, was able to depend on God and receive God’s protection as he requested.

The heart of child must align to that of his/her parents.

Addressing “Why Doesn’t God Answer my Prayers?”

Before I asked “why doesn’t God answer my prayers?” But now, the question we need to ask ourselves should be “do I have the word within me?” The term “having the word in me” probably does not only mean just knowing a verse or two, because if that was the case we would have easily checked it off and our prayers would have been foolproof. Then what does it entail to “have the word within” oneself?

Throughout the Bible, God stresses the value and importance of the word in has for His people. God speaks of the importance of the word being impressed upon the people’s hearts and minds (Deut 6:6-9, Heb 8:10-12). As God’s people today, the believers, are we able to uphold ourselves to that standard placed in God’s word? Uphold ourselves to uplift a prayer that God can actually acknowledge and answer? Or are we expecting things to fulfill according to our own standards? Something to think about. But more importantly, how do I know if the word that is within me is sufficient to uplift a prayer God can acknowledge?