And....?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Matt Black, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay, so I believe and trust that Jesus is God the Son, that He became incarnate as a man being born of a virgin, died on the cross in my place so that my sins may be forgiven, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and will one day return to judge the living and the dead. I've even prayed 'the sinner's prayer' and got baptised.

    Now what?
     
  2. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,609
    Likes Received:
    157
    Life your life as Christ would live it.
     
  3. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    The question and scenario posed in the OP is only semi-hypothetical; I suppose what I'm asking is "should I feel or do anything differently?" Apart from some charismatic experiences in the 1990s which I'm now a bit dubious about, I don't feel that my life has changed drastically since I underwent my evangelical conversion some 23 years ago. I didn't massively sin before and I don't now. I pray and read the Bible every day, I go to church more or less weekly, but there seems to be largely deafening silence from 'the other side'; if I'm meant to have a 'personal relationship with God' (whatever that means!), then it strikes me as being pretty one-sided...
     
  4. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,609
    Likes Received:
    157
    Are you familiar with the book, "Dark Night of the Soul"? You might like to read this book and see if it helps.

    You can read the Dover edition online at: http://books.google.com/books?id=CT...kKj-DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6

    Mother Theresa said that after accepting her call from God to go to India and begin her work that God went silent though she begged for communication from him.

    I have not found God vocal in my life. Usually I see God's working in my life in hindsight. Only the past four years did I see his leading in the short term future. That era seems to have ended. I am now watching and waiting to see if he give me any specific directions for the near-term. I am old enough that I do not believe there will be any long term trends.

    Hang in there. Trust that God is working and watch to see what you find.

    Keeping a journal sometimes really helps.

    God's richest blessing upon you and yours.
     
    #4 Crabtownboy, Jul 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2009
  5. JSM17

    JSM17
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some say that they have heard God speak to them, even though the scriptures say that Jesus speaks to us now through word, if we belong to him. Even when God spoke to some directly it was for the purpose of speaking to others His will and command.

    Even those who most would deem not Christians claim a relationship with God and point to events and other things in their lives as evidence of a relationship with God. God has made no promises to speak to us outside of His word. Yet even the non believer is still sustained in this life until his appointed time to pass into the next, yet they receive no blessings of a spiritual nature.

    I believe that we must believe that God speaks to us through His word. Every part of our lives can be understood through scripture, how God communicates in return to our prayers and how His providential hand is upon us no one can be sure when and how He will do this.

    God has revealed Himself just enough for us to believe, yet limits Himself to us as to not be bearing down on us so as for are faith to be left to partially a hope of the truth that we believe.

    Could you imagine the chaos if God spoke directly to each and everyone of us? If God has saved you and you have received His Spirit then you should now. Going into our relationship with God reveals that He never promised certain things, but what we do find is that the scripture says that He is not far from all mankind and maybe what your feeling is really God drawing you closer to Him. Perhaps it is not God who is lacking, but maybe us and are lack of understanding about how God would operate in His people and those who do not know Him yet. Maybe perhaps you have not received the Spirit of God yet for a potential of many reasons too which I cannot judge, that is between God and everyone who seeks after Him.
     
  6. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand what you mean. However, I don't know what you would consider not a "deafening silence" from the other side. Charasmatic experiences are nice but I don't rely on them. I think its really about living our faith which is more than going to church. What has amazed me over the years is that I've struggled with my faith. At the times of my lowest points I feel as though I've been ineffective for God. Then someone tells me how something I did blessed them or brought them to the Lord. And I didn't even see that one! So we don't know the impact we have on others. Or how God is using us even though there is silence. I'm rambeling. Sorry. I believe we need to live our faith personally and in community. The community aspect is where we see significant results I guess is what I'm trying to say. I know when I feel God isn't speaking to me I do more. I volunteer. I spend more time in my prayer closet. I help those in need. What ever I can do. And sometimes its just God being silent and there is nothing to say for the moment and I treasure the moments when He does reveal himself to me. I don't know if that helps. I hope it does.
     
  7. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the answers so far! I guess the other thing I'm wondering is the extent if at all to which I should be experiencing some kind of ontological or other qualitative change within me as a result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and His sanctifying work. Is it all 'pie in the sky when you die' or do/should we experience some 'setak on the plate while you wait'?
     
  8. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have no idea what a "setak" is unless you mean steak. I think change occures when you put effort into it. In other words the more you spend time in devotion and actively living your faith the more change you experience. The less you do the less change. And I believe we "get" to do works and have it count. I don't believe works saves but once in saving grace you get to do works that will be beneficial to you and others. In that respect you get to have your steak now. Or You get to have your cake and eat it too.
     
  9. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    I meant 'steak'!

    What about the role of the Holy Spirit and grace; your post implies that it is more or less dependent on effort on our part - which sounds like Pelagianism or at least semi-Pelagianism to me...
     
  10. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,293
    Likes Received:
    783

    When you are living the Word of God holding nothing back you will see God move in your life and the lives of others. It is an all or nothing proposition.


    Mat 10:38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

    Mat 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
     
  11. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can you put some 'flesh on the bones' for me, there, please? It sounds to me that you're talking about salvation by faith+works, not faith alone, and I would be interested to know more.
     
  12. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not really because I don't believe you even have the desire to do this or "notice" a void or absense unless its the Holy Spirit working as a driving force in your life. However, eventhough the Holy Spirit is working in you; you have a resiprecal responsibility.
     
  13. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, I can agree that.

    [ETA - so it's a kind of Catch 22 situation - if you're worried about it, it's nothing to worry about?]
     
  14. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think its more accurate to say if your worried about it maybe its something to look into because the HS is directing you there. Though note if the Spirit is directing you into a more sanctified life you can know you're his.
     
  15. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    When I put my faith in Christ--doing pretty much what you described--I didn't feel a great deal of emotion either. Some do and some don't. Emotion is an "extra." Salvation is a turning from a sinful lifestyle and a submission to God's authority (a definition of repentance), which happens when I put faith in Christ. The change in my life was gradual. I didn't "feel" it or even see it right away. But my family noticed it. They noticed that the way I spoke was different--no more cuss words. The places I frequented were different--I wanted to be with Christians and not the ungodly crowd. Because of the above, I avoided going to certain sinful places--another change. I began to read and study my Bible--something I had never done before. I began to pray--something I had never done before.
    These things changed me. Change was slow, but it came. It was especially noticeable to others.
     
  16. Doubting Thomas

    Doubting Thomas
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Messages:
    2,615
    Likes Received:
    6
    I'd say that for those walking in the Spirit the evidence is not so much ecstatic or mystical experiences (thought these are possible) but rather the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22)
     
  17. steaver

    steaver
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Messages:
    9,005
    Likes Received:
    82
    Sanctification!

    God did His part in regenerating our spirit. Now He needs us to submit and humble ourselves, seeking Him and He has promised to meet us in every way. There are soo many passages instructing us how to draw close to God through Christ and how to mature in Christ. We must put forth an effort else we remain as babes in this life. The more we submit the quicker the sanctification proceeds.

    Humbleness and submission........and you will feel God at work inside you!

    James 4 is as good a place to start as any.

    Have you sacrificed to God lately? (Psalm 51)

    :jesus:
     
  18. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've invited Jesus into my heart more than you have. <G>

    Now trust God to do what is right and you go and do what is right. Love God and be a good neighbor.
     
  19. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. What though would you say was the cause of that change? Eg: did you just think, "well, now I'm a Christian, I shouldn't behave like that anymore", or would you say it was the action of the Holy Spirit?
     
  20. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess I feel like I'm doing my bit as best I can (although I'm sure there's room for improvement!), but there doesn't seem to be much in the way of reciprocity from the Holy Spirit. That's why I asked the question of DHK above; for me, the changes which have occurred with me have been (as it seems to me) largely the result of me thinking, "I'm a Christian so I shouldn't do xyz but should instead do abc", rather than "Oh, I really don't feel like doing xyz anymore but I have a burning desire to do abc" ie: it pretty much all seems to be down to me and my own rather pathetic strength. I'm not having a whinge and saying that that's unfair of God, but I am concerned that other, close Christian friends seem to have much more of the latter mechanism (ie: the Holy Spirit convicting and causing them to change behaviour) at work in them...
     

Share This Page

Loading...