There seem to be a few common themes I am seeing in my life and the lives around me this new year. So many posts about how to live and how to love yourself, so many ideas people have about life and purpose and meaning. And so many opinions about God and this thing we call faith. Everyone seems to be searching.
Earlier today I was watching an interview with rapper NF. Up to this point he has been known as a Christian rapper but in this interview, he says that he doesn't consider himself a Christian rapper. NF goes on to explain that he believes in God but he felt guilty because he would mainly talk to God only when things are rough. His album "The Search" talks a lot about his search in life, not just with God but in general. The honesty of the interview reminded me of this ongoing search so many of us have going on. (Also, this is not a hit at NF, I love his music and really appreciate his honesty).
With a million voices coming at us from all directions, on social media, at work, school, everywhere about what is and isn't truth, our minds get foggy but even when that happens there is an anchor of faith in our hearts that can withstand any and every form of disbelief if we choose Him.
As I've listened to friends and strangers express what they do and don't believe, and especially as I've listened to other Christians explaining what they believe and don't believe about God and His Word, I've been reminded of the desperate need to know who I am, Who's I am, and in Whom and what I believe. There are so many people searching and as someone who calls themself a Christian, I don't want to give people half-hearted ideas of truth rather than the truth itself.
So here we are. What does knowing the truth look like as a Christian? Well first and foremost, we believe Jesus is our Savior and died for our sins. How do we know that? John 3:16 and some other verses we can't think of, right? And what about when it comes to depression? Injustice? What about pre-marital sex and cheating and addiction? What do we know about family and community and sickness and how do we know it?
The truth is, most of us don't know. We've been given a collection of books that God wrote through various people over years, and in this collection is where we read the accounts of the foundations of our beliefs-- that God created the earth, Jesus came to Earth, Jesus died and rose again, forgiving our sins, and that He will come back again someday. Alright, great, we have some good main points of reference. And again... where do we find this truth? The Bible. So we find the course values of our beliefs in this book yet we don't bother to touch it more than when we feel a guilty wave of emotion for not reading it let alone actually reading it, studying it, and asking God to help us understand it and how it applies to everything we are facing in life? How many times have I asked myself, or has someone else asked me, something about God and I shrugged my shoulders like I don't know when God shifted people's lives and whole groups of peoples and hundreds of years just to have it written out clearly for me in His Word?
I don't know about you but I am tired of excuses. If this faith thing is faith at all, if we truly claim to have any sort of good relationship with God at all, shouldn't we at least try to read and understand the Words He has already written before us? If we, as Christians, are still searching for Who God is, then why are we looking for answers in the world and not the Word? I want to challenge you and myself to take our searching to the very words that God has already spoken. Not just picking out the pieces we like or that feel useful at the moment, but taking it in piece by piece, in context, word by word, day by day. There is an answer for all our searching, let's take it to the One who knows more than our searching could ever ask or wonder.
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 (Read all of Mark 9:14-29 for the full context of the story in which this quote came from)
"Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Matthew 4:4
"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16-17