(The Information & Edification Series – Batch 9)
Recently, I was speaking with a lady who had been through quite a medical ordeal, to the point where some doctors had seemingly given up on her. She eventually recovered, thank God and now had a story to tell others of what God did for her.
As I continued listening to her, she spoke of God and how powerful and majestic he was, as the Creator of the whole earth. This sounded wonderful but then something made me say: It is possible to be powerful and majestic and nothing else but God is also caring, faithful and loving.
I felt the need to say this, as God could have been powerful and majestic and an ogre and hate us and do nothing but torment us, as so many earthly authorities through the years have done,, when they wielded power over the people. Yet, in addition to the fact that he was sovereign and all powerful and majestic, he also loves human beings, so much so that he gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever believes on him, would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
It was therefore important, to my mind, to point out that God was not just powerful and majestic but he was caring, loving and faithful as well, especially to those who belonged to the household of faith and that are therefore called his children.
Interestingly, the lady did not seem to have anything to say on these additional adjectives I pointed out about God’s character. It was as if she had not given it much thought, that this God that she spoke about, also cared, loved and was faithful to his own.
I did not think much of it at the moment but in retrospect, it dawned on me, that many people speak about God and the knowledge they have of him in theory, like his grandeur but they can’t go further and speak from what they’ve learned about him from experience because they don’t have relationship with him. They have a head knowledge of his basic attributes like the fact that he is all powerful and majestic but they know nothing of his loving care and faithfulness to those who are his (including his chastening hand which is motivated by love and is meted out to those who are his children). This is because they don’t know his Son the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal and indwelling Saviour.
While I honestly don’t know at this juncture, if the lady I spoke to is a genuine Christian or not, I was reminded from that conversation, of how some people can give an appearance of godliness, go to Church and say wonderful things about God’s character because they genuinely fear the God of heaven, believe that he exists and are therefore religious but when it comes to speaking of their experiences with him, they fail in this regard, as they don’t have a relationship with him.
This woman said something further that bothered me. She said that she was determined to do what was right and ethical at her workplace because she did not want to end up sick again. She was therefore putting out effort, thinking that if she slipped at all and did anything unethical, that God would cause her sickness to return, which she dreaded. Although she boldly declared therefore, that, after her ordeal, she feared no one, meaning no human being, she was walking around in fear of God (not with the reverential kind of fear that everyone is supposed to have for him but on egg-shells), thinking that one wrong move or one too many and she could end up in a hospital again.
This was sad to hear as the woman had created a bondage for herself. While God wants everyone to do that which is ethical and right, this woman seemed to be watching her every move, sure that if she did anything wrong, that God would definitely sentence her back to her sickness. Yet, the Word of God tells us in 1 John 4:18 that, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
This woman’s dealings with God did not seem based on love and intimate walk and relationship through his Son but one where she had to do stuff and be in fear all the time, of ever failing to reach the mark. Obviously, she was trying to please God with works. It therefore was not completely surprising when I learned later, that she had a Seventh-Day Adventist background. I am not sure if she still attends that denomination but clearly, the erroneous works-based teaching, had affected her.
Observing some of the other beliefs that the lady held and other things that she had shared about her life, I suspected (but I could be wrong), that this was a woman that, although religious and having genuine fear for God, she had not yet surrendered her life and heart in humility to the Lord Jesus Christ his Son. She therefore knew and could tell others of his power and majesty, (after all, she came to death’s door and had been allowed to recover) but she seemed to not know and to have never experienced God’s faithfulness, love and care, first hand.
I have resolved to keep this lady in prayer, even on some issues that she practically made a boast of, which, based on the scriptures were against God’s will and purpose. For example, whereas God lets us know repeatedly in his Word, that he wants us to submit to authority, to be peaceful to all men in so far as lieth in us and when we are reviled, not to fight back but to allow him to handle the situation, this woman took glory in the fact that, coming out of her ordeal, she now feared no one and would not take bad treatment from anyone, irrespective of their position.
She came across as combative in spirit and not at all at peace within and was not at all sorry or repentant for clearly being rebellious in how she handled situations in the past with people in authority over her. She wore the reputation that she had made in this regard, as a badge of honour, when rightly, if she was a Christian, she ought to have been ashamed. For, even when standing for what is right, a Christian is expected to do so respectfully and when badly treated or spoken to in a harsh voice by those in authority, he or she is not to answer back, fight back or give back what was received or to walk off rudely, feeling justified in what he or she has done. What this lady was clearly taking glory in and believing herself to be right therefore, God had clearly expressed displeasure over, in the Bible.
Additionally, when I mentioned how I had left a lucrative paying job because God kept telling me to leave because it involved me doing work in areas that went against what he stood for, she seemed dismissive of this and came to the conclusion, that he may have had me leave because of some other reason. I realized then and there, that the reason I gave, she did not genuinely see as a problem, although for a true Christian, it ought to have been seen as a major problem, given God’s standards and his call for his children to separate themselves from ungodliness.
I am reminded from this conversation I had with the lady, of how important it is in these days, to apply discernment. So many persons walk around calling themselves Christians, going to Church, living a life that ‘seems’ on the surface, to be godly and even saying wonderful things about God. Yet, they are lost because they know not the Son of God the Lord Jesus Christ. They are lost because despite all that they say, they have never truly humbled themselves under the mighty hand of God, repented of their sinful ways, asked him to come into their heart and to save them and continued on in submission to the authority of his Word, the Bible.
They go to a Church, maybe put money in the offering, do charitable things, try to live ethical lives, think of themselves as good people and talk about God’s power and majesty but all of this is not enough to save a person. Unless a person believes in his heart that Jesus rose from the dead and confesses with his mouth that he is Lord, turning his whole life over to that Lordship in surrender, that person is not saved. That person may have a zeal for God but not according to a knowledge of the truth, of how to obtain salvation.
Romans 10:9-13 clearly states:
- “…if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Acts 3:19 states: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
(Written on 29th July, 2023)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, beneficial or edifying, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 17 – ‘In Relationship With God Or Just Religious?’
- Note 172 – ‘Are You Trying To Establish Your Own Righteousness?’
- Note 184 – ‘Could You Be Sincerely Wrong?’
- Note 227 – ‘Is Jesus In Your Church?’
- Note 246 – ‘Imposters Among Us’
Also, under the ‘SINGLE DAUGHTERS’ page:
- Note 82 – ‘Trying To Be The Best You Can Is Not Enough – Jesus Is The Answer’
- Note 93 – ‘Must I Keep The Law? (Part 1/3)‘
- Note 237 – ‘Why Your Good Deeds/Works Are Not Enough To Earn You A Place In Heaven’
- Note 239 – ‘Jesus – Who Is He?’
- Note 243 – ‘What The Bible Says About Keeping The Law (Part 2/3)‘
- Note 244 – ‘Are You Trying To Establish Your Own Righteousness?’
- Note 246 – ‘To Those Who Insist On Keeping The Law (Part 3/3)’
- Note 248 – ‘A Light Above The Brightness Of The Sun’
- Note 302 – ‘God Has Said It – So That Settles It’
Additionally, under the ‘BROKEN DAUGHTERS’ page:
- Note 14 – Christians Are Not Sinless But They Sin Less’