It’s been a while…. how are ya?
It has been quite a while since I posted an update. A lot has been going on and I lost track of time. I have continued to workout as I said I would, but have not been documenting it. I will post an update later this week on my physical progress. For now, I need to admit and declare something regarding my spirituality and faith.
In college, I became an atheist. I specifically and intentionally chose to not believe in God. A lot of experiences, which will be discussed in a future post, led me to change my mind and come back to the church. The main event was my marriage to my wife and the birth of my daughter.
That being said, my family and I have been a part of Westwinds Community Church since December 2013. As of today that would be just over three years ago.
Here is the part that is most important and that I haven’t fully admitted to myself until a few weeks ago: I am unsure of my faith. I know I believe in God, but I haven’t committed in my faith to Him. The atheist part of me that questioned it all back in college still haunts my thoughts to this day. Even while I am serving on the team at my church.
Over the past year, I have been undergoing some pretty big mental and spiritual changes. Two weeks ago at church, exactly one week after I came to the realization that I am unsure of my faith, one of the pastors proposed to the congregation a question related to faith that I took very seriously and I have been pondering ever since. Before I propose the question to you, let me give a little background so that the question doesn’t seem random.
The biblical story being discussed was the moment in Jesus’ life when he spent 40 days in the wilderness and was being tempted by Satan. This story is located in Matthew 4 as well as Luke 4.
Matthew 4: 1-41 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 2 For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.3 During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,
‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
The reason that this is important, explained our pastor, is that Jesus had faith that God would cover even our most basic necessity – food. This is not something to take lightly. The following question was then proposed: “Do I believe that God is going to take care of my needs?”
Do I believe this? Do I believe that regardless of what may happen in this world, or how my particular financial situation is, whether I have a job or not, that regardless of all possible outcomes, God is going to take care of my needs?
This question has been burned into my brain and I have not stopped pondering it since I heard it.
The important part – the (re)declaration
After hearing this question, I have a different perspective on the world. There are so many issues plaguing humanity right now: politics, climate change, social and societal issues. But does any of it matter? Do I have faith that regardless of any of these situations, God will take care of my needs? Here is my (re)declaration of faith as a response to these questions:
I am a human. And one that happens to believe in God and Jesus as my savior. I DO have faith that God will provide for even my most basic necessities. Now that I admit that, the most important thing for me is knowing God. I no longer want to argue with people. Especially about things that I know God will take care of. The only truth that matters is that He is God.
Is climate change real? Maybe. Maybe not. There are tons of arguments on both sides. What I do know is that whatever is in store, it is in God’s hands.
Is it safer here in the United States than any other country in the world? It does not matter. For I am not a citizen of this world. My home is not of this world. There is danger literally everywhere in this world as Satan is everywhere tempting me. The good thing, however, is that my Lord, too, is everywhere, but as protection.
Is veganism the right way of life? Honestly? I don’t know. All that I know for an absolute fact is that I feel better when I eat less meat. I am more focused. I am less angry. That being said, regardless of the food that I choose to eat, God will provide. I need not worry if I will have enough to eat or not, because that is not my battle. God has promised to take care of us, and He will.
What I haven’t understood until now is that God doesn’t always want to provide physical protection for our bodies. In the end, He wants us to be with Him, in Heaven. So the end goal isn’t for us to just be physically, but also spiritually safe. He provides protection for our souls. When faced with physically, mentally, and spiritually challenging moments, I need to remember this.
Matthew 5: 3-103 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.4 God blesses those who mourn,for they will be comforted.5 God blesses those who are humble,for they will inherit the whole earth.6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,for they will be satisfied.7 God blesses those who are merciful,for they will be shown mercy.8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure,for they will see God.9 God blesses those who work for peace,for they will be called the children of God.10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”