Knowing God and worrying are incompatible. If you claim to love God but you are plagued by worry, this article may help.
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
God’s Ways and Our Trust
Often, our attempts to figure something out leave us bewildered. This is especially true in the spiritual realm. During these confusing times, we should remind ourselves that at present, we are seeing things through “foggy lenses.” We’re not getting a clear picture of what is really going on—what God is up to. Until we learn to see as God sees, viewing our world from His perspective.
Today’s title explains the difference between what we see and what God sees. Our thinking is small and usually focused on what we think the real issue is. We draw conclusions by subconsciously filtering our experiences through our version of reality. We’re not alone. This is what we as fallen human beings do. Over time, we even come up within schools of thought, philosophies, or theories to help us figure things out. Let’s take a quick look at three popular approaches in modern times. Keep in mind that all three try to figure things out on our own. They are man-centered.
Rationalism says that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief or emotional response. Man’s ability to reason is seen as superior to what experience teaches us.
Empiricism says that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience. Stimulated by the rise of experimental science, it developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, expounded in particular by John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume.
Postmodernism is a late-20th-century style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism that represents a departure from modernism and has at its heart a general distrust of grand theories and ideologies as well as a problematical relationship with any notion of “art.” Postmodern architecture, for example, completely ignores the commonly held design standards from the ‘30s through the ‘70s and embraces the unexpected, combining elements, shapes, colors, and materials in a way that shattered all the previous “rules. Postmodern thought does the same thing with the “rules” of rationalism and empiricism, claiming that absolutes no longer exist, no matter how you arrive at them. Truth becomes relative, varying for each person.
AS I SEE IT
The primary problems with all three are twofold. The first is that according to Romans, man’s rejection of God always results in a steady downward spiral. This is not to say that unsaved people can’t come up with some amazing ideas and inventions. Of course, they can, but when it domes to things that are important to God, or to discovering or understanding eternal truth, man, on his own, always comes up short.
The other problem is that when man comes up with a philosophy or way of thinking, he applies his “method” to everything. As Ravi Zacharias explains it, we need to see the whole truth as an entire fist, not just one finger. Each of these three beliefs has application in some areas but not in others. There are situations when rationalism is appropriate, and others where empirical evidence is essential. Each is like one finger making up a larger fist. The fist represents God’s ways. Each finger represents man’s attempts to figure things out on His own.
My purpose in this little philosophical excursion is simply to reminds followers of Christ that when we try to figure out what God is doing in our lives, we need to rely on a direct revelation from God. We need to see our situation from His perspective, especially when our world seems to be coming apart. When we can’t see what God is doing, it’s time to trust Him and to believe that He causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. If we continue to worry, it’s time for some self-examination. Here are some possible explanations:
- Our love for God isn’t what we claim.
- We think we know better than God what’s best for us.
- We don’t believe Romans 8:28 and all the other verses that assure us of God’s love and continual care for us.
- We think God isn’t interested in the details of our lives.
- Our relationship with God isn’t as intimate as we claim.
- Our plans for our lives are more important than God’s plans.
- We actually think God’s job is to bless our plans for our lives and to keep us from painful circumstances.
- We don’t trust God because we question His love for us or we think He is powerless to prevent bad things from happening to us.
- We fail (or refuse) to see that God is in the midst of everything that happens to us.
- We are still in control of our lives. We think it’s our life and we must control every detail. We have accepted Christ as our Savior, but not as Lord. We trust only ourselves.
There are more, but these are sufficient to spur us to take stock of just how deeply we really know God and why we don’t trust Him. Worry is always an indicator of a serious relationship problem. I have discovered that the more intimately I know my Lord, the more peace I find in any situation because I know He’s got my back, no matter what. I also find great comfort in the knowledge that His ways are not my ways.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Give God what’s right — not what’s left.
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