A lot of people seem to think they believe in God, but in actuality, they only believe in FATE, and the problem is that they are not aware of the difference. Perhaps there are some others who never heard much about God, so their situation is the opposite. They believe in fate, thinking that it is “ordained by God”, or something similar. But in the end, these people are all the same. They are onlookers.
Theologians have a special name for these kinds of people. They call them “Agnostics”. Agnostics believe there is a God, and they believe in truth, morality and the like, but they fail to recognize the PERSONAL POWER OF EFFICACY that knowing God can give to them. So, life tends to pass them by quite easily.
Agnostics who believe themselves to be Christians, like to call this quality of true believers CHARISMATIC, and they often condemn them on how their lives do not always follow Biblical doctrines. Other Agnostics who believe they are “Charismatic”, are merely caught up in emotions, thinking it to be “the moving of the Holy Spirit”, and they are too critical towards those who consider themselves to be “Bible believing”.
We all need balance, identity, purpose and relationship, to make our lives truly meaningful.
People who model their lives after Biblical examples, and who use Biblical teachings as a substitute for finding their own relationship with God, somehow fail to understand that God works with individuals in a unique manner.
God is somewhat predictable, in that HE never does the same thing in the same way twice!
If we were to ask Agnostics about their faith, or about their relationship with God, they might respond quite warmly, meaning, with optimism. But if we probe their minds with deeper questions, we find that their mind is all mush. They might know a lot about the Bible, but they’ll stick to doctrine and say nothing about how it has changed their lives.
Like a wimpy watchdog, their bark is bigger than their bite.
Agnostics who are more mature will know this about themselves, and will prefer to avoid all deeper questions about God, fate, eternity and the like. But, they may still be going through their daily motions, attending Church every week, but closing their eyes to what is required from them, and pretending that nothing is missing in their lives.
Now is the application. Are we agnostics who are ignorant of our agnostic selves?
Do we really believe that we each have the power to control our circumstances, or do we have a habit of letting our circumstances control us… and others?
When a CRISIS arises, do we tend to respond with stoicism by saying, “God is in control.” When in fact, what we really mean to say is that “We are NOT (in control)!” Or, perhaps we DO have the power to change things, in which case, we should be saying, at best, “We decline to take any action on this ‘insignificant’ issue.” Or at worst, “We don’t care!”
A true believer recognizes that God has entrusted him with the KEYS TO THE KINGDOM and has put all things under his control. But it seems that is just too much for some people to swallow. They think that seeing ones’ self as an “Agent of God” is the same as “spiritual pride” or just plain arrogance. Some might even think of charismatic efficacy as “meddling”, and I suppose it would be so, if the motive were simply to control, without any sincere caring backed with a higher purpose of identity.
Caring too much can be self-defeating, but is it ever wrong to care? I guess we should ask the question, “What do you care about?” The honest answer should be very self-enlightening.
Many people are under pressure by what is expected from them by people who claim to “love” them, and they find a substitute for comfort and security by conforming to cultural mandates or tradition. Once this is established, most people find it is too easy to be lulled to sleep by the URGENT RESPONSIBILITIES of this WORLD, believing instead the lie that we are irresponsible or even immoral to neglect them, and thus, accepting themselves to be the PAWNS OF FATE.
Caring too much about these things would be quite unproductive towards our spiritual growth… or just plain wrong, to put it harshly.
Do we have the attitude that life is determined by fate, or by faith? Perhaps we should believe that “fate” (or future) is determined by LIFE, which would be much more correct, assuming that it is our life in Christ.
We must be more proactive to set a spiritual mood of FAITH IN ACTION, so that others might WAKE UP from their ignorance of their agnostic selves. Don’t be afraid to be “salty”.
Are we waiting for the right opportunity, or the right person to come along into our lives, while weeks, or even years are passing us by? Meanwhile, we become quietly desperate because we eventually begin to realize that, all along, those opportunities and people were there all the time. We just failed to take the initiative to act on it.
I believe that a lot of people will be deeply disappointed when they die (colloquially speaking, when they “get to heaven”), because they will find that there is nothing there that God hasn’t given us here on earth. (It just won’t be broken by sin.) They will be doubly disappointed to find that a lot of people they expected to see in heaven, will not be there. Instead, there will be a lot of people there who did not “deserve paradise”, in their minds. We must beware of such “saved by works” mentality.
Personally, I have the opinion that most people who say they are a Christian, merely because their parents do the same, and because they grew up in a Christian home, are actually Agnostics.
At some point in life, we each must SEPARATE our self from the influences of our parents’, teachers’ and mentor’s faiths, and MAKE OUR FAITH OUR VERY OWN. To do this, we each must undergo a series of events designed by God to bring us into a CRISIS OF BELIEF, where we are forced to make key decisions about who God is, and who we are. Once we recognize that all of the problems of life are God’s plan towards this end, then the daily experiences of living in this world suddenly become transformed into a CRUCIBLE OF FAITH.
A true belief, in essence, requires each of us to make a whole-hearted COMMITMENT to achieve something that is beyond ones self, AT ANY COST. Now, we must count the cost before we begin to set out towards the object of our faith.
The Bible speaks of this as a refining process, which intends to remove impurities from valuable metals. Similar to the refining process, as true believers, we should also see some “impurities” coming out from ourselves, and when it happens, we should not be surprised or embarrassed that we could have been “so bad”, but instead, be glad that we are in the process of refinement. It’s part of the cost.
Unfortunately, many people resist the refining process for any multitude of reasons, but the basic reason is that they don’t want to pay the cost. Blissful ignorance is an epidemic. But God is faithful. He won’t let them go on like that forever. These people need to experience heartache and disappointment, before they realize that fate and faith are not the same. In the rough and tumble of life, they may come to think that God is the “bad guy” who disrupts their happiness by setting traps and stumbling blocks for them to fall over. They might have a sudden realization that God (or fate) is, in fact, their enemy! But in reality, they are only becoming aware of their fallen nature.
Some hedonistic believers are “born again” in a moment of discernment, but salvation is a lifelong process for others who may very well have grown up in Church. They must experience a certain distention towards their concept of “God” which grows into a bitter resentment, and, over the years, becomes a grieving remorse over those opportunities which were missed, and culminates in repentance over failing to respond appropriately.
And why? It’s because the slow grinding of the soul is necessary to defeat the proud ego, which is largely formed out of how one aligns himself with the concept of what is right. In other words, religiosity can feed a proud ego, as well as the soul, and we must be aware of that. Imagine that growing up in Church can actually blind one to the truth!
Religious people, who are overcomers, like to say these things as, “It’s not what I have done, but what GOD HAS DONE (for me).” This much is correct, but they are mistaken if they expect God to do anything MORE for them. Jesus said HIS work is FINISHED, and he SAT DOWN at the Right Hand of the Father. It is now up to us, and the Holy Spirit, to carry out God’s will on earth.
Does this idea make you tired, or excited?
Are you an onlooker, or an overcomer?