Summary: We base so much of our lives on our feelings about God, and wonder if God cares, does He have a heart for me. This message begins to look at that issue in our lives.
BELIEVING and not BELIEVING
The Heart of God
May 21, 2017
We're in the final part of a four-part series I called Believing and not Believing. Our focus has been to look at obstacles, beliefs which are incorrect which ultimately lead us away from believing in God, even while we do believe.
We’ve talked about rejecting the true God, because at times we have a distorted image of God. In week one we looked at what I call the genie God. God's got to do what I want. Rub God’s belly with my prayer requests and poof, I’ve got my wish. That God does not exist. In week 2, we talked about the God being a cosmic killjoy. I want to believe in God but there are too many rules. Jesus made it simple, by telling us to love. Last week, we talked about feelings. I want to believe in God but I don't feel Him. That’s also a distorted view, since we can’t base everything on our feelings. Always having to feel God isn't who God really is.
Today I want to talk about what may be the most commonly embraced distorted view of God and that's when we question whether God cares, does He have a heart.
It can be a struggle because as we’ve talked, our prayers are sincere. I’m not talking about your favorite team winning. I’m talking about healings, physical, emotional, and spiritual. We invade the throne room of God. We pray without ceasing. We fast, we read, we pray - - we do all we should do to get God’s attention. We really have the faith of a mustard seed and believe God can and will bring healing . . . then nothing!
Then add to our distress, the senseless killings, the drugs, the theivery . . . the overall nastiness of humanity . . . Not to mention the stories of young children brutalized . . . and we wonder where’s God at in all of this. Doesn’t He care? Where’s God’s heart in all of this?
If you've ever felt like that, you're not the only person. You're not the only one at all. In fact, a lot of times when people read stories in the Bible, they look at these Bible characters and think, "they had all of the faith and strength in the world.” Nothing could be further from the truth. They were very real people that experienced very real emotions just like all of us. You can go down the list.
David, in the Old Testament, a man after God's own heart, cries out again and again, "Where are you, God? Why don't you hear my prayers? Why don't you do something? My enemies are after me. God, are you even listening?"
Read Job! This is how Job is described in Job 1:1 ~
1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job,
and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. – Job 1:1
If there was a saint, he was one. Yet, satan believes Job worships God, only because God has protected him. So, satan attacks him . . . killing all of his livestock, then, all of his kids are killed, then his health takes a hit. He's got boils all over his body. His friends blame him for all the bad which has happened to him. It’s God paying him back for his sinfulness. Great friends! . His wife looks at him and says, "Well, Job, why don't you just curse God and die?" How's that for needing some marriage therapy at your lowest moment? "Honey, just die. It'd be so much better." Where’s your heart, O God?” This doesn't seem fair.
We can add a bunch of the prophets . . . like Jeremiah, Hosea and Elijah.
In the New Testament, look at John the Baptist. He was Jesus’ cousin. John’s job was to prepare the way for Jesus. That's his purpose in life. He devoted his life to saying, "Jesus is coming. Get ready. Repent of your sins. Be baptized. Jesus is coming." People start to follow him. "Don't follow me. Follow Jesus." He's humble. He says, "I'm unworthy to untie his shoes. I shouldn’t baptize Him . . . He's the one." Then John the Baptist gets arrested for doing the right thing.
He's in prison and I can only imagine what he’s thinking. I’m Jesus’ cousin. I know what He can do, He’s going to get me out of here. If not, He’ll send His angels to break off the chains and I’ll be free.”
John waits and finally sends some of his followers to Jesus and they asked Jesus ~
3 “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”