Yesterday at the gym, I started be discussed with a college student.
“I’m pretty sure you spoke at my school’s chapel, right? ” he questioned. I said yes, and we fell into some theological dialogue. After a minute or two, I could tell that his pressing question was rising to the surface.
“So, I predict the thing I keep coming back to is, everyone else seems to feel God, whether they’re feeling His presence, or they just have some excitement which I’ve never had.”
He astonished me by excerpting Pascal’s Wager, which is to say that logically, the worshiper is safer than the atheist, and that was one of the driving forces in his religion. He prompted me of the Bereans in Ordinance, who were constantly searching the Scriptures to test the things the apostles were teaching them about Jesus.
I told him, “I feel ancient saying this, but you candidly remind me of myself when I was your age.” I told him I was with a duty formation where it seemed that EVERYONE was FEELING God incessantly, hitherto I never seems to be the same experience.
I even knew one guy who told me he would listen to harrowing music or watch a sad movie before every worship service he went to’ in order to lighten my heart.’ It seemed an dreadful mint like a gambit to stimulate him cry and presumably have a more genuine know with God…despite the fact that what he was crying about wasn’t consequently God-related…
The problem for me when I was with this organization was that I never felt any feeling about those stuffs. I never teared up when I thought about the[ G] ospel , nor could I recount any specific bouts of’ feeling the fact that there are God.’ I was concerned that something was wrong with me, and I wasn’t really a Christian since I wasn’t having these monumental experiences.
I didn’t cry for over four years.
Then one day at school, I did. And a month or two after that, I did again. And I wouldn’t say I’m quite at the Jude-Law-in-“The-Holiday”-level more, but I have found that my emotion toward God expands the more I learn about Him. This pole is piggyback on a previous one on the dumbing down of Christianity, in which I discussed a fright Christians tend to have viewing academic theology and learning about God and the Bible. I can’t help but believe that we have changed those things with sensation and awe-inspiring accomplishments at our( larger) schools. Theology often isn’t sexy.
I don’t want to make this comment as a general rule, but couldn’t we draw parallels between “emotional-pull churches” and one night stands? We demand the emotional high-priced without putting in the time to build up to a real and meaningful liaison; we want a shortcut to ecstasy. The worker in the bar who wants sex with a stranger wants the sensations of friendship without the fortitude and work.
Theology also takes her time to build up to an emotional crescendo.
Or at least, that’s been my own experience. I could have tried to squeeze the ruptures out all those years ago, and I did try, but they would have been false tears. What I have found is that my passion has followed truth. The more I learn, the more I feel in regard to Jesus and His relevance in my life.
Even this morning, the pastor preached a sermon on the importance of good theology. He said, “Years ago, I were aware of < em> that much about God and therefore, I could only worship that much of Him. But over years of study, my knowledge of Him has grown to < em> this much and I can now worship this much better of Him! ” Just as in a dating affair, the more you learn about the other person, the more you are able to fully enjoy and knowledge them as they are. You wouldn’t want to remain ignorant and superficial in a union, but why would you in your relationship with Christ?
So what I told the kid at the gym was just that: Let your mettle postdate your intelligence. You’re in a good neighbourhood, and the spirit will come when the time is right. Don’t force it and don’t think you’re broken if you don’t feel the mode everyone else does. In actuality, I would argue that there is danger in being led spiritually by your emotions.
Of course, a good balance is necessary, but[ as] I said in the Dumbing Down article, I envision most Americans fluctuating far toward sensation and experience more than knowledge and truth. The whole notion of having a magnificent feeling rollercoaster of a worship service is very new to the Christian faith, emerging in the past couple hundred years. Does that means that for the first 1,700 years of her universe, the Church was doing it wrong? Or maybe it’s we who are a little off-track.
Do you not feel God? You’re not alone . Many heroes of the faith felt very distant from God most of their lives, including the author of most of the Psalms, King David. He corresponded, “My God, my God, why have you forsake me? ” Words which would be repeated by Jesus as He drooped on the cross.
The best opinion I can give is to keep learning about God. Keep reading the Word and filling your thinker with Him. The accomplishment of these restraints will eventually reorient your desires toward Him, and even though they are not glamorous or even recreation, your spirits will follow.
The acts you fill your principal with will eventually trickle down into your nerve; your emotions will be affected by what you put in your memory. There’s no way they can’t be! So don’t try to rush it. I would argue that gumption doesn’t attempt to conjure up a false feeling know-how, but simply remains loyal and makes the spirit come when the time is right.
I have reached a place now where I use commands like’ kerygma’ and’ ontology’ and get a little misty-eyed. I sit in theology years and feel stones rise up in my throat because I’m engaging with the material in a much deeper place than I could have seven years ago.
Most of you are the opposite. I recognize that I’m an outlier here. Different scenes of our beautiful God will suffocate you up and tug on your nature, but one thing is true across the board: You won’t reach these deep situates with Him if you’re not crowding your attention with His words and orienting your life toward Him.
It will come in time.
So may we be people who seek God , not an feelings high-flown. May we be people who appreciate God working in all areas of our lives, extremely many of the everyday and unglamorous nooks. May we be comforted by knowing that He is not simply an emotion to be invoked up at will, but He is someone; a Father who wants to walk the wander of our lives with us. And that means that there will be a lot of long pulls of superhighway without excitement or publicity, just countless, numerous trudging footsteps.