I told you I wanted to do a healing post soon. As I started thinking about it and as my dh and I discussed what it is we “believe” about healing, I started realizing, it’s not just about that one aspect of my faith. To say what I believe about something like healing starts with what I believe about God.
So, if anyone cares, here’s part 1 of ??? posts about what I believe. This is not by any means an exhaustive list, nor is it in order of importance. I’m not doing this to start an argument…I mean, feel free to disagree in the comments. I just doubt I’ll be able to “prove” myself “right”. I did go to Bible College, but that doesn’t mean I like to argue. I don’t have the corner on understanding God and the Bible. I just thought this would help me sort out my thoughts on this subject.
So, if you’re interested, read on…
#1: God is Good
I believe every good and perfect gift is from God. (James 1:17) If something is good, it’s from God. That means families, humor and enjoyment are from God.
The opposite is then true. I do not believe that bad things are from God. Sickness, disease and death are NOT from God. God does NOT give sorrow, despair or poverty. This bad stuff comes from evil in the world. Possibly directly from the devil as a weapon (Ephesians 6:12). Or possibly like a broken clock that gets more and more off, the world just gets worse and worse, the farther from Eden it is. Or maybe it is a direct result of sinful actions (James 1:14-15).
[sidenote: I know what you’re thinking, “But God still ALLOWS all this stuff to happen! Isn’t that the same thing as doing it? He’s so powerful He could stop it!” Yes, He does allow it. Just like He allows me to watch whatever I want, think whatever I want and do whatever I want.]
#2: God’s Will Versus Human Will
I don’t think God’s will is always accomplished.
Yeah. I just said that.
I think when God created the world and then Adam & Eve, he gave them CHOICE. They could choose to serve and obey Him or not. I DO NOT think it was God’s will for Adam and Eve to sin. In fact, I think their sin caused God HEARTACHE.
Before they left the garden, God whispered a promise to Adam and Eve: “It will not always be so! I will come to rescue you! And when I do, I’m going to do battle against the snake. I’ll get rid of the sin and the dark and the sadness you let in here. I’m coming back for you!” And he would. One day, God himself would come.
-The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones
This choice has continued in all of us. We can choose to follow and obey God or not. God wants us to choose Him. (2 Peter 3:9) He does not MAKE people follow Him. (I do believe He pursues us, but that’s another topic.)
So, if God doesn’t MAKE people come to salvation which we would all agree is God’s #1 desire, why would anything else God desires come to pass in the blink of an eye? For example, we hear people say, “Well, I just can’t believe in a God that would let kids die of AIDS in Africa. Why is He silent? Why is He still?”
BUT what if He did come in? What if he wiped poverty/hunger/sickness away in a second? Would you be happy when He MADE you become a martyr? Or *snap* MADE you serve your selfish boss? Or MADE you forgive your mother-in-law?
If we believe in a hands-off God, then you have to believe it across the board. If we believe He’s moving and changing and doing to make His will accomplished, then we have to believe it across the board.
But wait, Amanda! I thought you believed good stuff came from God. How is that possible if He’s hands off? Are you a deist? No, I’m not. Let’s go on to #3…
#3: Why God Acts
I do not believe God is moved to action because of great need. I don’t believe God acts inconsistently or on a whim. I believe He acts because of prayer.
If God acted on every need, there would be no AIDS, no miscarriages, no pre-mature deaths, no disease and no sorrow. (That’s the new heaven & the new earth, people! Revelation 21.)
If God acted on a whim or even as the leader in a cosmic-chess game, we’re basically living on destiny and/or fate.
I believe God is moved by His people. Their prayers. Their actions. Their reliance on Him.
NOT their “good deeds” or their “righteousness”. No, by their response to His promises & His person.
Here is an example from CS Lewis. I’m not quoting it to say CS Lewis has it right and to prove that I’m right. It’s just a very perfect example of what I believe.
It’s from the book, The Magician’s Nephew. In the story, Diggory & Polly have been given a task by Aslan, (a type of Jesus). They are accompanied by a winged-horse, Fledge. As they settle down for their first night of their journey, they realize they have no food to eat.
Polly and Diggory stared at one another in dismay.
“Well, I do think someone might have arranged our meals,” said Diggory.
“I’m sure Aslan would have, if you’d asked him,” said Fledge.
“Wouldn’t he know without being asked?” said Polly.
“I’ve no doubt he would,” said the Horse…”But I’ve a sort of idea he likes to be asked.”
I think God likes to be asked. Now, this might not sit well with you. “So you’re saying, all I had to do was ASK God for me to have a step-dad that didn’t hit me? ASK that my miscarriage not happen? ASK that I not have cancer?”
Well. In my opinion, the only other option is to NOT ask. I don’t think God will act on your behalf just because of your need or superior-value, so I choose ASKING over NOT asking. (1 John 5:14-15) I think many people just assume that whatever happens happens & it “must” be God’s will. I disagree.
I’m not suggesting we can CONTROL God or DEMAND something from Him. But I DO think He LIKES to be ASKED. And I think He responds when we ASK according to His will.
This is getting too long. There’s more to all this of course. I still want to talk about if/why bad things happen, what is our response to God’s will, and what God’s “will” actually is.
This is just my first go-round. This is kinda hard to do…
Feel free to comment. But like I said, this is for me, too. I’m not trying to argue or say that I’ve got the corner on understanding God. I don’t. Please hear me.
And please don’t jump the gun, this is only Part 1. Hopefully I’ll get to Part 2 this century…
I’ve had this written for a couple of days and have just been stewing about it, adding a word here or there to make sure it’s ok. Then I read Heather’s post. As someone who has recently been through a tragedy, hearing what SHE believes about God is amazing. I agree with every word. It’s a perfect post.
ps–I’m responding to the comments IN the comment section. I never do this, but just wanted to respond there as opposed to doing a “rebuttal” post, you know? I didn’t do this to further an argument, but to involve everyone in the conversation! Thanks!