T Nation

Faith Sharpens Faith (Talk, Prayer, Friendship, Interesting and Funny stuff)


#2

I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been a blind follower of faith, but my parents both came from Catholic church but both formed their own opinions about faith that it was kind of a taboo thing and was often joked about.

I’ve had a certain Instance in my life where I’ve used certain… tools? To contact the dead, and “never lived” (if you catch my drift) that not only presented activity then, but has kind of reared its head throughout my life that it has forced my hand into believing that there is true evil.

My partner who has witnessed these things and is a firm believer in God, has always reassured me that if there is evil, then there has to be a good.
I don’t know, I’ve always been a believer in “when I see it, I’ll believe it”

What was the thing that got you believing and following?


#3

I’ve always been a person who’s logical. Everything needs to have an A,B, and C. Steps and Processes. All that Jazz.

I am a firm Beilever in God, not by any book or any research, but by experience and just spending time thinking about it.

I went to church with my parents often as a child. As I got older, my parents explained that what I believe in should resonate within me. There’s plenty of people who go to church and play the part, and are venomous and cruel as soon as Monday rolls around.

For a long time the message I would get from church was that I’m a sinner, I’ll always be a sinner, I have to repent, I have to, have to, have to, always be sorry, always be weary of all the mistakes I’ve made. My good works should be done all the time to atone for me just being born into sin. Fire and Brimstone, yada yada yada…the way God seemed in my Head was frightening. Like he was angry at me. And there was nothing I could do about it.

Recently my family and I found a church that has completely brought Biblical teachings, and teachings in Faith into simple view. Just from doing my own reading, and looking up dates and timelines, I’ve come to realize that typical Baptist teachings that are everywhere, are misinforming. And it’s misinforming enough to the point where it’s doing the exact opposite of its intentions.

Come to find out, God isn’t mad at me. He’s not looking at my faults, or anything. He’s looking at the Jesus in me. I realized Praying, and having Faith, is a lifelong process. All these teaching about Judgment and this and that, and Trying to show ourselves worthy through good works, wasn’t meant for us. (When I say us, I’m referring to the timeline we currently live in. Versus the teaching of people in the Old Testament) The Standards and expectations set were for that past time. Before the New Testament. They couldn’t live up to it then, how exactly are we to live up to them now. The notion of Grace is repeatedly mentioned in the Mew Testament, and it’s what I’ve noticed has been missing in a lot of teaching. Unwarranted favor. Grace. No one did anything to deserve anything, but it’s given anyways.

And I like how that looks when I apply it to my own life. No one has done anything to deserve my kindness, or patience, or understanding. So? Give it to them anyways. I haven’t deserved the same from others. And that’s what I believe in as well. I’m under Grace, and just by deciding to believe I’ll stay in Grace. I still cuss, I’m still angry for no reason and I’ve done equally just not good stuff in my life, but that’s the whole jist of Grace. It’s completely unwarranted. I did nothing to deserve it. And in that, it makes me want to do better. For me, it makes sense to strive to do better, not squander it or take it in vain, regardless of how many times I fall flat on my face. I don’t have to walk around loathing the thought of trying to live up to a biblical expectation, when I never had to.

All the other stuff follows. Being kind, being obedient, patient, being aware and attentive, tending to my emotions and my spiritual well being, etc.

Right now I’m reading the Book called “Watchman Nee”. It explains a lot of internal questions, I think a lot of people, including myself have had, concerning the plan God had as described in the Bible and how it relates to humanity.

I believe in Relationship. Not Religion. I wish I knew more people like that. But I’ll take what I can get.

I’m still very big on Science, Fine Arts, Philosophy. I find that a lot of Earth’s design, Reality, Cosmic Forces, and everything else seen and unseen, follow a pattern in accordance to what I believe. I often feel like I can’t relate to many people. On one hand the folks of Science and the Scholarly people kind of scoff at me when I mention my beliefs. On the other the Believers look at me like ion a traitor for marveling in the Sciences, and being an avid supporter of it.

But to really answer your question, it happened one day I was just looking around at a bunch of stuff. Started thinking about Ontological stuff, and I started pondering all the things that have happened in my life, and all that goes on in my own head, and just thinking about Humanity in general. And all the beautiful and wonderful things that exist, even the Universe, as chaotic as it seems, it’s designed so brilliantly. So Brilliantly to the point where I wondered, how random is this? Everything from the red dot on Jupiter, to how the human eye has complex systems of rods and cones arranged in just the right manner to where we can see colors and depth and shapes. And I just thought that none of this random. I’m not here as just a measley spec. While I am small, I’m still important.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing anything or anyone. Evolution makes sense to me, but I just don’t see it as an oringinal catalyst, I see it as bits and pieces of a continuing process.

I do realize there’s a lot of questions about believing in God. The Bible. You know. And I myself have questions, and I’ve just set out to ask them. I’ve always been told to never question anything, but I do have questions. I don’t wish to ask questions to feed my doubt, but more to keep pressing forward regardless of how my mind is trying to cop out. Which is why I like Psalm 34:8. Its one of my favorite verses. It gives a sense of comfort. More of. Spiritual comfort than anything else. I’ve had to step outside of myself and be okay with stuff not having a specific A,B, and C path. I’ve come to rather like it.

I know there’s going to hardships and everything that comes with being human, but that’s okay. This journey of hope is one that I’ve decided to stick with. I think just like deciding to embark on a path of lifting, they’re similar. All the bumps and bruises along the way, fortify who I am in what I Believe.

Sorry to type a giant page. Hopefully what I’ve said makes sense, but that’s all coming from me personally and what I think and feel.

Thanks for chiming. It’s nice to blather about stuff lol


#4

Hey @planetcybertron I hope this can be a peaceful respectful place for people of faith to come together. There is so much pressure to tear us apart that we need to kind of stick together and respect each other.
It’s faith that keeps me going. Aside from all the other B.S. in the world. I keep remembering the Gospel of John “If the world hates you, know that it hated me first…”
It does feel like that sometimes.
Everybody want’s me to be just like them, but I want to be who I am.


#5

I’m glad you stopped by!

That’s a power packed verse too, I completely agree.
It’s sometimes frightening, to me at least, to hold dearly what you believe in, while trying to navigate in society. I used to feel like I’m walking on eggshells around everyone. On one hand if I stay silent, does that mean I’m Ashamed? On the other, if I speak out, what if I could’ve said something better, or more gentle? Stuff like that.

I’m coming to realize that just being who i am, and being hopeful, and pressing forward, speaks for itself. I don’t have to defend anything. I don’t think I ever did though. Just being understanding to and for everyone accomplishes a heck of a lot more.


#6

Well, in the world proselytizing, I feel the shouters are counter productive. They turn people off. Heck, they turn me off. God frequently does not come in an earthquake he comes in a breeze.
What I do try to do is when encountering someone, try to make their day better for it. And if not better, at least not worse.
It seems like a small thing, but I was at a store the other day and this lady lit into the cashier over the line, something he has no control over. I couldn’t figure out why she was so mad? So you have to wait, tough, we all did. The cashier just took it, like a champ. All pro. The negativity was palpable, though as to bring everybody in the area down.
I hate lines too. But yelling at the cashier isn’t going to make the line shorter, me or them feel better, nothing. I tried to be as polite as possible when I got my turn.
When it comes to sharing… I don’t have an answer. I got an opportunity the other day sitting in a bar of all places.
I was chillin’ watching the Braves game at the bar and these ladies were talking about Catholicism and saying they didn’t understand some stuff. I got to say, “Hey I am Catholic…” And that was it, they jumped all over me with questions. Most of which I was able to answer, thankfully. The point mostly being, that 3 strangers spent a good hour at a bar talking about God.
What gave me chills is when one of the ladies said that she felt God had sent me there at the right time at the right place. Now that may be true or it may be coincidence, I don’t truly know, but it did feel eerily spot on. And that made the hairs on my neck and arms stand up and gave me chills.
That’s one of those moments you cannot explain to a non-believer… That’s why it’s so hard to share because so much of it is personal, yet that also seems exactly as it should be.


#7

Have you been following me around or something? Lol I’ve been told that a few times by people I come across, and I always like when I hear that. Sometimes I’m looking for flashing lights, or a giant sign or something, ignoring the obvious and simple.

And I agree. I’m 100% convinced God is so multifaceted enough to be able to be close and personal with each and every last person that has been, is, and will ever be. I’ve thought about using that as a pitch to someone who maybe struggles with loneliness or depression. How no idea how to go about that though, or if it would even be something relevant to how they think and process stuff.


#8

As iron sharpens iron, beautiful scripture choice. I’m in on this!


#9

Yes, I believe he wants to be close and personal to all of us.

Draw close to God and he will draw close to you-James 4:8

Why, sparrows are sold nine for twopence, and not one of them is forgotten before God, but even the hairs of your heads are all counted. Do not fear, you are more important than a great many sparrows.-Luke 12:6,7


#10

As an avowed atheist myself, I’d like to weigh in that I have nothing but respect for others’ devoutly-held beliefs. I think atheists who rabidly attack people of faith are as bad as the Westboro Baptist-types who attack others whose beliefs differ from their own.

I’m smart enough to realize how limited our understanding of the universe is, and plenty of other smart people have come to a different conclusion than I have about how things work, and I think it would be pretty arrogant of me to be in their face insisting that I know better than them.

I think as population continues to rise and communication continues to be more and more global, learning tolerance is the only thing that’s going to keep us from imploding as a species.


#11

It’s not always easy doing the right thing, wicked ppl want you to fit in with them, they don’t want you to seem different, it makes them look bad. Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone wants to come after me (follow me), let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and continually follow me.” There’s also a scripture somewhere that says broad and spacious is the road leading off to destruction but cramped and narrow is the road leading to life and few are finding it. Maybe not exact words, going by memory with that last one.


#12

I believe Jesus Christ is the son of God. I believe He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life as a man, crucified/dead/buried, and rose again. I believe he will return.


#13

I do wish God would use a billboard sometimes. Just something nobody can deny. But that’s not the way it is and I reckon people would find a way to deny anyways.
What strikes me is the scripture passage about the 10 vigins trimming the lamps.
I think we all get the obvious meaning but something else glared out at me about it.
That at least to some degree, we are on our own. We were given the word and the faith, but whether or not we waste it or put it off is up to us. No force is to be applied.
In this time we are to seek Him and He wI’ll be there, but it’s not a spectator sport, we have to get our hands dirty and in the dirt we will see God.
He will not come down with His mighty arm and make it all alright.
He may one day, but today isn’t day.
The obvious question is will we be ready? The subtle questions is will we still serve Him when there is no lightening and thunder? Do we serve for the right reasons not fear or dogma but for love of God who isn’t to keen to reveal himself where no one can deny. Not yet. Right now, it’s our cross to bear. To be humble and represent with dignity is our job until the Bridegroom shows up and he’s not bringing extra oil.


#14

Really well put, everyone thinks since Jesus died for them that they are automatically saved, sorry but I don’t think it works like that. I know some might disagree but that’s ok, sometimes it’s best to politely agree to disagree. We’re all in the same boat and hopefully we all find favour in God’s eyes and whoever doesn’t believe in God, I hope I see them in another life too, a better life.


#15

I’ve wondered the same thing for some time too.
But I’ve got the feeling that if he did, and it was blatantly obvious, I think a vast majority of the main population wouldn’t believe what they were seeing anyways. Maybe if God made the stars collapse and what not it would be obvious lol


#16

You’re exactly right - God already DID overtly show and declare himself in Jesus, but people then and now refuse to acknowledge him.

He raised people from the dead, turned a couple pieces of bread and fish into a banquet for thousands, and literally rose from the dead! Who has the power to give life? Only God. Jesus did things that only God can do, proving the name the angels announced him by, Emmanuel, is accurate (Emmanuel means God is with us.)

I’ve been thinking about why it can be hard for people to recognize God, myself included. My current analysis is the reason it’s difficult for people to perceive God’s self-revelation is because recognizing who he is takes spiritual eyes instead of physical eyes.

Spiritual eyes can see when a person’s heart has faith that God exists AND the person wants to see God. In Jeremiah, God says, “Seek me, and you shall find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” A verse in Hebrews furthers that knowledge, saying (paraphrased) to see God, a person must believe he exists and he rewards people who diligently search for him.

On the flip side of wanting God is sin. Actively engaging is some sinful activity, attitude, or lifestyle hardens the heart, makig it hard to discern God’s voice. Holding onto sin also reroutes our desires, and we come to have less of a taste for things of God and, in its place, desire things of this fallen world more than God.


#17

Just checking in with you guys. Anything new you’ve decided to delve into this Year?


#18

I’ve been trying to practice the bible principle of loving thy neighbor thoroughly and by that I mean caring more about those that I’m not already close with, ppl I don’t know. It’s easy to love your friends, it’s not so easy to show concern for random ppl who you know could use some encouragement, even those that might not be so great to be around, a lot of times those are the ones that need the most assistance.

Acts 20:35
“I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way, you must assist those who are weak and must keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, when he himself said: ‘There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”


#19

I didn’t get involved in this the first time it went around. Okay if I join in?

I’ve always been a believer, but for the past two years have had a very rollercoaster-ish relation with God. Had some incredible times where I felt very close to Him, and just felt Him “in” me for the first times ever. (These are usually triggered by a certain sermon or something.) And then I just go through phases (like right now) where I just don’t even think about it. Prayer, time with God, church, anything. Like it’s not really a part of my life at all.

My plan for this year is to commit to “10 & 10” plan I heard about this summer. 10 minutes reading the Bible and 10 minutes praying every single day. That’s less than 2% of my day - I should (we all should) be able to stick with that. Trouble is just doing it.

So yeah that’s my goal! Not expecting to be a perfect person (I can’t) but my religion is meaningless without a relationship of the one who created… or inspired? it. Not sure what word to use but you get it.


#20

You don’t even have to ask lol


#21

I too have this inner battle between principalities that I find extremely real.

Usually it’s me taking in all the philosophies and rationalities of this material world, and it butting up against my raw unrelenting faith. And often times I find myself frustrated by just existing.

That’s what’s been going on for well over a year now. And it’s like I’ve been waking up irritated, and going to bed irritated.