There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Heaven By Way Of Doubt

      I accepted Christ as a young girl, but only out of fear of going to Hell, not out of any real love for Him.  My best friend at the time explained that now that I was a Christian, my sins were gone.  Well, it only took until the next fight I had with my mother to realize my sins were right where I had left them, so in my nine year old wisdom I concluded that Jesus passed me by.

     That was the beginning of what would become the central focus of my life.  Figuring out what I need to do to get God to let me into Heaven.  And thirty years later, I can say with some conviction that I have absolutely no idea what God expects from me.  I am more confused than I ever was about who Jesus is and what it means to be a Christian.

     Jesus said that all we have to do is love God and love our neighbor.  If that’s all it takes then I can do that whether I am a Christian or not.  But Jesus also said that nobody comes to the Father except through Him.  This is where it gets tricky.  Do we need Jesus to be saved?  And who decides which among us has Jesus in their hearts?

     Lil Wayne, a rapper, who sings ‘colorful’ lyrics has a Bible verse tattooed on his back.  He sings of open Bibles on his nightstands.  It would appear that he has reached out to God, and yet many would suggest he is not a Christian.  Why? Because he still struggles with this life?  Even Paul, probably the greatest Christian who ever lived, struggled with sin.  He spoke of it often, he was terribly distressed by his actions at times and yet I would be hard pressed to find someone claim that Paul is not in Heaven with Jesus. So lack of sin doesn’t seem to be the determining factor.

     When the rich man asked Jesus what to do to get into Heaven, Jesus told him to sell all his possessions.  One look at the lives of prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen would suggest that they skipped over that verse.  So much for blessed are the poor.

    The more I seek God the more questions I have so I tell myself to just have faith, believe and trust in what I cannot see. Yet, Thomas doubted Jesus right up until he could actually feel the scars on his resurrected body, and Jesus did not condemn him. 

    Figuring out God is not an easy task, and while I have many opinions, I have no answers.  But that does not deter me from continuing to seek Him and His kingdom first, and hope that from that, good things will come.


  1. The only way that I know to attempt with my limited human mind to understand who God is is through prayerful reading of God's own word where the character of God is apparent. His character and ways are inscrutable still but it brings us closer than anything else does.:)

    One thing I would not do is look at others who profess to be Christian and use them as a measure of who God is...go directly to the source. As a Catholic I don't believe anybody has the right to judge who is "saved" or who has "Jesus in their heart" or doesn't. God is the only one who knows where our hearts are truly at. I believe that to seek God honestly and with intention means you will find Him Deborah.

    As for sinners, like Paul for example, the majority of the greatest saints were the greatest sinners first. As for the prosperity of certain preachers who seem to have skipped over the verse about being poor, I can offer you other examples of those who do glorify God through poverty...Mother Teresa was one, Saint Francis of Asissi, and many more.

    When you speak of doubts, I believe any genuine believer has them. Mother Teresa admitted to having doubts as did Pope John Paul 2. If they can have doubts, we are certainly allowed to.:)

    Keep seeking the truth of who God is.

    Love, Colleen

  2. Hi Colleen! How are you? Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, if there is one mistake I continue to make its that I listen to people more than God. I agree that Truth can be found in His Word and yet I still tend to rely on the commentary (written by a group of people) more than what it speaks directly to me. Perhaps I should read a Bible with no commentary :)

  3. :) On the contrary, I think that the commentary is important because it is usually written by scholars and theologians who have read and understood the Bible in the original languages it was written in and so offers a clearer understanding than we can reach by ourselves. It puts so much into the context of the times it was written in, which we are simply unable to do on our own but that is just my humble opinion.:)

    I am just fine thank you! I've been rather quiet but just haven't had inspiration hit me for awhile though, strangely enough! Crazy sometimes it seems I can write every day and then suddenly, I've got nothing!:)

    I hope you are doing so well! Great post by the way!:)

  4. I know what you mean about inspiration, some days the words just flow and other days I'm extracting them like teeth. I suppose its not necessary to post on those days :) I'm glad you are well, and I hear you on the commentary although sometimes I rely too much on it. Sometimes the beauty of the Bible is just letting the actual Scripture verses speak to me. :)

  5. Deborah...I've gotta tell ya, sister. This is THE MOST real blog concerning Christianity I've read in a long time. Everything you say is so true. I'm very happy to follow this blog. Thank you for finding my blog, so I can follow yours.

  6. not sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but I've been reading some of your entries. I think it is neat that you are trying to figure out who God is, how he relates to your life, your part in the "equation", etc. I do not have all the answers (or many of them for that matter) but I know one thing and that is the Bible is the true word of God. I believe it was written through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by the different authors of the different books within it and every single word in it is a word God wants in it. I saw that in myself as I would read the Bible and then write down thoughts about it and come back to read my thoughts and be amazed at what I had written, but it really wasn't me, it was God's word inspired. I know, it sounds crazy. I truly believe with all my heart that every word recorded in the Bible as Jesus saying is the truth. He says a lot in the Bible "I tell you the truth". How many times do we say that in the course of our lives, yet he said it over and over again. I recorded the numbers of times in each of the gospels and the specific reference where he said it and it is over 40 times at least. So when Jesus says in John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me". I believe it. Jesus is the only way to heaven. Believing he is God's son, believing he died for my sins, believing he was raised from the dead. What does God want from me? I think it was what you alluded to; to love him with your whole heart and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus made it so simple and we "messed" it up so bad with this rule and that regulation. If we truly grasped how awesome God was and feared him (as in respect of him, reverence for him, in awe of him for how great he is) and treated everyone as we would want to be treated, imagine how awesome this world would be.

    In reference to the rich man's interaction with Jesus, I think Jesus knew his heart. I think he knew the guy would have trouble parting with his possessions, his heart being material and earthly rather than eternal for what really matter, God and making him known to others.

    believe you me, I have struggled with trust but when I look back and see God's provision in my life and how he miracously provided and protected me and my family, I have to truly believe he is who he says he is

    anyway, just my thoughts.....


  7. Hi Betty, Thank you for stopping by. I really appreciate your comments. I enjoy hearing how God works in other people's lives. I do believe that Jesus is the one to teach me how to go forward. He wants to be in a relationship with us so we can learn from Him how to treat others. I just got so many fearful messages of God as a young girl, I hid from Him most of my life, totally missing the love part. It's been an incredible journey that I'm on...
    Again thanks for stopping by!

  8. It is sad you got those messages in your young formative years; I have heard of others in similar situations that it skewed how they thought of God for years based on what people they loved or were in authority told them about God (which 99.5% of the times were probably the wrong things). Nice thing is when you were hiding from him, he knew exactly where you were at and what you were thinking and dealing with and he loves you always in all ways!