Answering Your Questions
This post is the response to several questions from the Live Webinar on Thursday, November 15 with the Axe Academy and my friend Eric Samuel Timm. What a great night we had answering the questions from YTH Leaders all over America.
Here is a quick review of the topics and the discussion.
“How do you think women should see themselves (and how should we see them)?”
We should see women in the image of God. And not in the image of culture. What should be most important to all of us is the creation intent and not the cultural intent. And the scriptures are very clear of the value and the beauty and the place of women. We should always see people in the light of scripture and not culture.
Remember, God said after He created woman that His creation was ‘very good’.
“How do I lead my non-Christian friends to God?”
Prayer is mostly about preparing us and placing us in the right attitude. What can happen in truly praying for others is that we can develop the right frame of mind. A compassion perspective and not just an evangelism perspective. Prayer must always be the starting point.
Of course, there are other ways that we can share the gospel with people. Lifestyle evangelism, servant-hood are just two other approaches. Ultimately, we must consider ‘calling the question’ and bringing people to a decision. We cannot simply hold someone’s hand all the way to hell and an eternity separated from God without emphasizing a decision.
“If everything God made is good, how did sin enter and make it bad?”
God gave us a wonderful thing when He gave us free will. Would He really be God if everything in life was set? We are not robots. And with this human interactive creation, God put Himself at risk. That with all of the unique features He placed in us, we would relish this and become selfish and without need of Him. Sin entered through human will.
I believe one of the things that sets the story of God apart, is that God and Christianity will always have a rival. Dark and light, nice and bad, or good and evil are all present in life. As humans we have a role in each of these. And, yet, so does God.
“What do you do when it feels like God isn't there?”
Here’s some tension. It’s good for us. Maybe we need to spend more time serving God rather than God serving us. Much of life for me is simply obeying God and His precepts and then carrying on with my life. Because I speak with Him daily, I really don’t worry about seeing Him daily.
I also remind myself who God is. God cannot be someone He is not. And His word says that He is a present help. That He will never leave us. But we must understand that someotimes God could be there but He is silent. Just like a friend. We must understand that Christianity is not merely about feelings – it is about TRUTH.
Finally, silence and loneliness can be a formative thing in our lives. For example, sometimes we need to be alone and not always have a person or noise or music playing around us. Many other great people of the bible have gone through the silence of God. And they wrote some good thoughts on this.
“Why should we pray to God if He already knows what’s going to happen?”
I love this question. And it is really a simple answer to me. The most important thing about prayer is that we should PRAY TO KNOW – we should not PRAY TO GET. Prayer should be as much us enjoying God and not always asking God for something. We should seek His face (a relationship with Him) more than we seek His hand (a result from Him).
As far as the specific question, about whether God has changed His mind, consider this. Much of what we have learned must be UN-learned. Who said that God has already acted upon something? Has God made His mind up about everything? How would we know that? Personally, I don’t believe God has made His mind up on everything. And that requires that I value the priority of prayer. After all, God has asked us to come to Him and to ask. So that He could move on our behalf.
I hope this helps to answer some of the questions you may have in life. At least, maybe some of these answers will get you thinking and processing these questions better.