Let me start by saying, that God will not change your situation until there is first a change of your mind. The great Apostle Paul stresses in all of his epistles to the Church the great mistake made by us in our walk with God. His concerns were:
- We don’t understand God’s Word.
- We have false confidence in the Word.
- We cannot apply it to our daily lives.
In our World today, we have moved away from discovering God towards discovering ourselves. Fondness in ourselves has become the highest value, self-hatred the greatest sin. The Church became aware of the terrible pain of its people, a pain that obscured their souls like a thick mist, keeping out the brilliant and joyful warmth of knowing Christ. The Church had to face the uncomfortable fact that the followers of Christ, who of all people should be content, were often despondent, depressed, distressed and disgruntled, not liking God, themselves or anyone else. Many are still nursing wounds from childhood, which time has not healed.
The Church is aware that the members are in agony, but this welcome sensitivity has ricocheted. Rather than drawing us closer to God and freeing us to care more deeply about others, this sensitivity has made us more aware of how intensely we desire to feel better about ourselves and more determined to find ways of doing so, whatever it takes. The spot light has fallen on us as neglected, wounded, distraught, needy people, and God has been cast as the great higher power, waiting in the wings for his cue to come and heal our sufferings and restore us to ‘responsible’ living. Feeling better has become more important to us than discovering God.
Helping people to feel loved and worthwhile has become the central assignment of the church. We are learning not to worship God in self-denial and costly service, but to embrace our inner child, heal our memories, overcome addictions, lift our depressions, improve our self-images, inaugurate self-preserving precincts, substitute self-love for self-hatred, and replace shame with an affirming acceptance of who we are. Revival from pain is absorbing an increasing share of the CHURCH’s ENERGY and VIGOR.
We have become committed/dyed-in-the-wool to mitigating the pain behind our problems rather than using our pain to wrestle more ardently/avidly with the character and purposes/tenacities of God. We have learned to praise God the way we tip a special attentive waiter. Good treatment we expect, but exceptional treatment deserves special credit. We have re-arranged things so that God is now worthy of honour because he has honoured us. We now matter more than God.
The point of Christianity is not about US but GOD who cares for us. We exist for God and not the other way round. This does not reduce us to slaves whose personal feelings do not matter. God cares about our hurts/discomforts. How we feel, how we have been treated, what we do, why we do it – everything about our lives is important. We are valuable players in the cosmic drama he directs and we are not wrong to be concerned with how we are getting on.
However, God should matter more to us. He summons us to enter into relationship with him on His own terms. He invites us to join him in achieving his great resolve. Sadly, we are preoccupied with self and we are not close to touching God. God is not on our minds. We are on our minds. Every path we follow leads back to US. We treat personal discomfort (self-hatred, low self-esteem, insomnia, money pressures, and loneliness) as a central evil from which we need to be saved from.
When we blend the pursuit of comfort and Christianity, Jesus becomes a divine masseur (a person who provide massage professionally) whose demands we heed only after we are properly relaxed. We are more troubled by our discomfort than by our un-holiness. IMMORALITY can then be said to be a situation when we as human beings place a higher priority on solving our problems rather than the pursuit/search of God.
Christ offers HOPE and not RELIEF, in the middle of suffering/circumstances and he commands us to pursue him passionately even when we’d rather stop and look after our own well-being. We will know that we have found God when nothing can shake our confidence in his unchanging goodness, and not the various situations we are surrounded with.
It is WRONG to seek solutions to our problems with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and FORGET that unrelenting trials provide a unique panorama or occasion for us to develop confidence in God’s goodness. It is wrong to depend on therapies that remove an opportunity to know God better. Our one defence is Biblical Doctrine in our souls: our only confidence lies in knowing that Jesus Christ controls history and is infinitely more powerful than Satan.
It then becomes one of the devices of Satan to invade our minds through our situations and circumstances via our sensual perception. He uses our senses to control and deceive the mind. When we go through a tough time, we pick up negative idea(s) that attach itself and become embedded in our minds. The more the negative circumstances, the more the negative ideas you pick up, and when we don’t erase negative torments from the mind, it can lead to mental and emotional disorders.
Discovering God in this life does not mean building a house in a land of no storms; rather it means building a house that no storm can destroy. If we are to find God as he wants to be found, if we are to know him in a way that frees us to live without being slaves to circumstances and situations, in joy and purpose coupled with self-control then we must not work primarily to solve our problems. Instead we must work to dismantle our fallen structure, replacing the foundation of DOUBT with a rock solid trust in God.
The believers true relationship with God is based on thought and respect which has its contents in Bible Doctrine and homed or resident in the SOUL.
The more aware we become of certain things about what life is really like, the more committed we will be to knowing God and the less concerned we will be about solving our immediate problem.
Matthew 6: 31 – 34.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, what shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or what shall we wear? For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. ESV Version.
Roman 12: 1, 2.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ESV Version.
PST Kunle Surakatu