who are willing ...

Exercising faith in God

"In the beginning, God . . ." Genesis 1:1

These opening words of the Bible sum up a basic aspect of faith. God has existed for all time, and at some point, He chose to create the heavens, the earth and all that is in them.

Why? Well, why not? The scripture tells us that we were created for His pleasure.

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Revelation 4:11

To be saved, we need to simply accept these things in faith, humbly recognising God's power over our lives.

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6

The key word here is faith. Exercising faith is an act of the will. Just as the athiest chooses to believe in evolution, so does the Christian choose to believe in a literal six-day creation. Both people exercise faith, but for different reasons and with different hopes. So even if we put up great arguments to prove the existence of God, remember that any argument that convinces a person against his will does not change his opinion or create a change of heart or thinking. The new believer may not end up any better than the devils himself.

"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." James 2:19

Any person coming to believe in God must be fully persuaded in his own heart and mind that God exists. The next thing for him to do is to become truly converted, and unlike the devils who believe and tremble, he can believe and rejoice.

"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:19,20

What are the options?

Considering that time is short and that what we do in this life affects us in the next, what if the Christian is wrong, and God does not exist? He may have missed out on some of the sinful pleasures of this life, and then it's all over. If there is no God to face he'll have lived his life and have no regrets. But if the athiest spends this life enjoying the pleasures of sin, and finds out that God does exist, he'll suffer for it in eternity. Some choice.

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Mark 8:37

God doesn't just go away if you don't believe in Him.

"If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." 2 Timothy 2:12-14

And don't forget that if God is your creator, He is also your judge.

"Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment." Ecclesiastes 11:9

"Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:28,29

There are only two options in this situation - to disbelieve God, or to reach out in faith and learn to understand Him. It's your choice.

Coming to faith

Is believing in God a matter of "blind faith" or is there more to it? We are surrounded by the truth of God's existence, and no doubt mankind's history of recognising some kind of spiritual force greater than himself is evidence that man is essentially a spiritual being.

Our history is also written in the blood of wars fought in the name of various gods, so in this day, it's not just a matter of proving to the athiest that God does exist, but which one deserves his attention.

How then does God convince us that He exists? Any Christian who has been born again will testify to their experiences with miracles, their change of heart at conversion, answers to prayer and the peace of heart that comes even during trials or persecutions. These people don't need convincing that God exists because He has made Himself real to them, and now He manifests His glory to them in the physical creation, and the spiritual events of their own lives. As children of God we see His influence everywhere around us, and wonder why others don't see it.

The simple answer is that they don't want to. The athiest can seemingly shrug off miracles as coincidences and still not get the message. In recognising that there is a God, there must also be consequences to face. For instance:

  • What does God expect of me?
  • How can I trust something I can't see?
  • What happens if I upset Him?
  • What's going to happen if I do want to please Him?
  • Can I just do my own thing and still please God?

  • The fear of facing these issues can be enough to literally scare people away.

    God's expectations are easy to see from reading the steps of salvation on this website. He wants us to totally surrender everything we have in this life to serve Him and gain eternal life in the world to come. Simple.

    As for trusting Him, if you can't trust the creator of the universe to help you through a few problems, then you can't trust anybody, especially yourself. God has no problems with being put to the test. The Bible says to prove all things, so give God a challenge and see how He meets you. Be convinced.

    "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31

    If you do want to please God, let Him take control of your life. It's a bit like getting out of the driver's seat of your car, and sitting in the passenger seat while God takes control. He'll be responsible for where you go and what you do. And because He loves you, you don't need to fear what may happen along the way.

    As for doing your own thing and still pleasing God, forget it. This is probably the greatest stumbling block to people getting converted. Some may be willing to give up their money, or their family, but when it comes to self-will, they want to hang on to that. Most people enjoy the fact that they're alive and can do and see many interesting things on earth, and they don't want that to be interfered with.

    One thing we can trust in is that God is not willing for any to perish, but that all should come to repentance. He wants us to be saved and will draw unto himself those who want to know Him. If God is calling you, do not resist Him, but do yourself a favour and accept His invitation.

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