Dialogue with a Persistent God

God never gives up on us, but if we’re truthful, sometimes we give up on Him. Whether it be an intentional or conscious decision, it happens and our dialogue with our engaging God falls to the wayside. Sometimes for simple reasons, like our busy schedule. Other times it’s rooted in anger, fear, confusion or defiance. In those cases we take out our problems on God and when we don’t find the answers we need, we block Him out and set out to find them without Him. It’s the easiest way to deal with it, right? Give God the silent treatment while we lick our wounds or try to come up with a solution on our own.

My experience of these wilderness times, of which there have been two this year alone, is that it’s a lonely existence. I was created to be connected to the God who made me. Who knows me fully and loves me wholly, despite myself. During these low and uncommunicative periods I don’t really ask anything of God. I just carry on in my own independence because it wouldn’t be fair to only talk to Him when I need something. I mean He’s not a bloody genie, right?

Well, in my most recent bout of tantrum throwing and silent treatment, the joke was on me…

It had been more than a few weeks, maybe even a couple of months, since I had really given God the time of day. I was stuck because I so wanted to pray for my friends that were going through tough situations, and I wanted to reach out to them, but I didn’t feel I was in a position to. How could I share about a God that I wasn’t even talking to? And though I didn’t think I could pray for myself during this time, could I pray for others? Is that allowed? I was struck with sadness and confusion, so I wrote. I put it down in my journal with simple words. I didn’t pray but I reached out in a very passive way.

I didn’t expect anything but I got it off my chest. Then God did that thing He does; He showed up. During my work day a friend sent me an email with words that she felt compelled to share with me. Her encouragement could only have been God, for she relayed to me such specific encouragement that was so incredibly relevant, and that she couldn’t have known that I was struggling with. She lives in a different time zone, half a world away, and she was able to speak into my life. She stepped out in faith when I was being stubborn with my own.

When I’ve felt so far away from God and felt that He wouldn’t be able to find me if He tried, He’s spoken to me in the very way that He knows I will listen. In the two bad phases of this year, he spoke to me through people and they were spot on every time. People that are overseas and know nothing of what I’m going through, each time. He speaks in a way I can trust, and in a way that cannot be doubted. He knows what I need.

This propelled me forward in to a deeper and more intimate relationship of dialogue and studying. Our God fights for us and is always looking for ways to speak to us, whether we are playing our part or not. I have been so humbled and amazed at how patient and persistent our Father God is and that He doesn’t give up on us. If you have gone quiet on Him, reach out in the only way you know how. Or don’t. Either way, your silence won’t last long because God will follow you to the ends of the earth.

If there is anything I have learned from those seasons of little or no dialogue with God, it’s that His love for us is relentless and His faithfulness trumps our disbelief every time. So remember that even if you give up on him, for a day or a year, He will never give up on you.

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How does God best speak to you? Do you ever struggle with your faith and keeping up consistent dialogue with God? What happens when you doubt?

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Work-in-Progress

I’m figuring out what I think about Sin.

I’m figuring out how to live by Grace.

I’m figuring out where I stand on Calvanism, Arminianism, and every other theology there is.

I’m figuring out what it means to truly love and faithfully follow God.

I’m figuring how to live by the Spirit, and not man-made Christianity.

I’m figuring out how to show Christ in a real way, while being totally crippled by my own humanity and incompetence at the same time.

That’s the truth of it, and because I’m just figuring it out, I can be very mediocre. I sin every single day, some more than others.  I’m not going to lie to cover it up, or tell you that I’ll change. Some weekends I drink too much, I occasionally drop the F-bomb just for effect, I’ve kissed strangers before. Those are the sins we zero on and gossip about, right? Yep, done a bunch of them that I won’t list here.

But my other struggles, that are just as sinful? Unforgiveness, gossip, rudeness, impatience, resentment, gluttony, envy, judgement, unfaithfulness, bitchiness. Unseen or seen, all sin is the same in the eyes of God. The only difference is the consequence that comes with it and how other people (also flawed) judge it.

God forbid, I’ve done this whole walk as a Christian. It’s not my big dirty past, some of it is very much my present life. Forgive me for that and I’ll forgive you for thinking I’m a crappy Christian.

am a crappy Christian according to society’s definition of the word. Thankfully, I’m not looking to please people. I’m looking to please my God who sees my heart, sees all my brokenness and sees how far I’ve come. He knows I will always fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23), but as long as I’m leaning hard on Him, I’m doing good.

Some days I bring Him glory, and I pray that as time passes that evolves to most days. As the weeks, months, years go by, God will continue to change me. I will continue to sin less, but I will never be sinless.

I’m not where I would like to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be. For all my self-deprecation, I can see that I’m doing well (my best) on this journey of life, and of that I’m pleased. I’m not squeaky clean, but Jesus doesn’t ask for squeaky clean. He asks for followers and for us to have faith, and He desires us as we are.

So if you’re also a work-in-progress too and you’re discouraged, be assured that in all of your humanity and bad decisions, He loves you. He is willing to meet you where you are. Heck, we’re all the same, just figuring it out best as we can.

Thoughts? Criticisms? Wisdom? 

Opening My Mind

Meet Esther. She’s an awesome God-fearing girl that loves Jesus and isn’t afraid to show it. Esther was raised in a Christian home, and growing up she adopted the beliefs of her parents. They screwed their noses up at homosexuals, distanced themselves from any other religion, and criticised people with tattoos. They did a lot of great things for people too, but always for the cause of conversion.

Esther went to University and immediately made friends with other Christian girls who agreed with her way of life. They supported each other in their walk with Christ and they mixed with others occasionally, but usually because they had to. Esther found it uncomfortable being around people that swore a lot, dressed promiscuously or drank a lot of alcohol. She was disconnected from the world.

Now, let me introduce you to Sophie, who is also a God-loving girl. She had much of the same upbringing as Esther; strict parents with firm beliefs. But that’s where the similarities end. Sophie chose to go to University in a City that was known for it’s diversity. She lived in halls, and on the first day she learned her roommate was a staunch Muslim. This was a shock and she wasn’t sure how to respond. Sophie had never been close with someone who’s life was so different to her. But she opened her mind, and determined that despite their obvious differences, she would make an effort to be friends with her new room mate.

Who will have more impact in her world and sphere of infuence? Whose walk with Christ will be seen more, just from her way of life?

In all of our diversity and multi-culture, each person in the world has one thing in common: we all have a world-view made up of opinions and beliefs. Some of us are more convinced and assured than others, but we all stand somewhere. As Christians we are to be in the world, but not of the world. So yes, we need to be careful who we mix with. We need to watch who sets the temperature in our lives. Are you surrounded by people who make good decisions and encourage you to as well? You should be, because iron sharpens iron.

However that doesn’t mean you cut off everyone else. Which is tempting to do. Obviously it’s easier to hang out with people that see things exactly the way you do. Me? I can strongly relate with Esther. I find it hard to be around people whose life choices, outlook and attitude greatly contrast mine.  But that’s just my pride talking, because really the issue is that I don’t like being questioned or disagreed with. I want to have it all together and when people ask hard questions or challenge me, my weakness is revealed. And my pride is hurt.

I’m really confronting my tendency to be narrow-minded, because I don’t believe I will have much success in being a light to my world if I don’t. My prayer is that I would be humbled and open my mind, because there really is something to learn from everyone. Each and every person has a story and is on a journey, and they’re learning too. The pace may be different, their teachers may not be the same as yours, but they still know a thing or two.

When I moved to London all of my friends were from church, which was important for me in the delicate and immature stage I was in. I still spend a lot of my time with friends from church, but I don’t want to live in a safe Christian bubble any more. I want to be surrounded by people from all walks of life, from all over the world. And London is a thriving hub of multi-culture, so it’s the perfect place to start.

Everyone is a brother or sister in Christ, no matter of race, religion or political position. So let’s swallow our pride and opinions for a minute, and get out of our comfort zones a little in our social lives.

Do you struggle to mix with people that are very different to you? Or do you enjoy debates and discussions? Leave a comment. 

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I’m a Sunday Christian

My best friend called me out tonight. I love it when she does that because that’s what good friends do. This time it was hard to take because she hit me right where it hurt. She was right and I couldn’t deny it.

Let me give you a bit of back story.

I have my good and bad days. I have my good and bad moments. I went to church on Sunday evening and I was having a really good moment. I even tweeted about it, probably a little too righteously. There I was, worshipping Jesus and declaring how much I trusted Him, and really, truly, meaning it. Now that doesn’t happen everyday. We declare these song lyrics in church in faith, even when on the inside we are freaking out about how we’re going to pay the rent. Any honest Christian will tell you that.

But this particular Sunday, I meant it and knew it was true. I’ve had to trust God over the past few months just to get out of bed. And I can hand-on-heart say that He is faithful and He has never left my side. It brought tears to my eyes on Sunday to know that I trusted Him and that this would overjoy Him. I want to overjoy my Lord.

Then what happened? Well, I went home and screwed up all that trusting! I literally forgot what I had just been through at church, all because I saw something I shouldn’t have, and I immediately lost.the.plot. Within moments I was a snotty-nosed, un-trusting and pathetic mess. Poor old me, eh?

That right there, is the perfect example of ‘Sunday Christian’ behaviour. And it was still Sunday! I don’t want to know what kind of Christian that makes me. (Disclaimer: Not the sarcasm, people.)

Long story short, I cried, called my bestie and then fell asleep feeling rather ‘woe is me’. Bring on Monday (today) and cue previously mentioned bestie with ‘What was that tweet about? Did you really mean that or was that for show?’ OUCH. ‘Yes, I really did mean it… and then I came home… and… and.’

I didn’t have a good explanation except that I forgot.

I momentarily forgot the promises and faithfulness of God, and instead I welcomed fear, confusion, and sadness. I was the hostess (with the mostess) for my own spectacular pity party. I would have invited you but you’re probably not depressing enough.

It’s natural to forget and God definitely ain’t upstairs cussing me out for forgetting His goodness. He is right where He’s always been; with me. In that moment when I was hurting, He was holding me. Today he walked beside me because I was strong enough to walk by myself. But He never leaves me and whenever I fall, He is there to lift me back up again.

He wants us to trust Him because it’s the best thing for us, and it allows Him to do so much more in our lives. When we don’t, He doesn’t throw a tantrum and say ‘well, I told you so kiddo’. He is too big and mysterious for us to put into a box and to always understand, but that doesn’t mean what He is doing isn’t good. He teaches us and it’s important that we learn.

I’ve learned from last night, so I journalled it and hopefully next time I’m tempted to throw all my toys out of the pram, I’ll be reminded.

He is good. Please do better than me at remembering on days Monday to Saturday that He is good.

Do you know what I’m talking about? Let me know about your trusting journey in the comments.

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