Saturday, September 27, 2014
Knowing too much
There are a couple of books that I have read recently, and a story my Sunday School teacher told that has made me aware of something: we who have been raised in the church may have some advantages over those who have not, but there is also at least one disadvantage. We know too much. No, that isn't an egotistical remark.
The books and story I mentioned all have something in common. A person who knew next to nothing about Jesus and being a Christian, and they came to Jesus and became Christians. And these poor saps didn't know that in spite of all our talk of faith and answered prayers, it isn't really like that in the Christian life. These new believers take God at His Word and believe, and they see prayers answered and see some miraculous things happen. They don't know any better, so they believe. They believe, and see results.
And yet we who have grown up in the church pray and pray, and it seems we rarely see results. This isn't a blanket statement for all believers, but it is true of way too many of us: we don't have enough faith. We know it doesn't always work that way, and we get used to prayers not getting answered, used to not seeing miracles, used to not seeing God move.
Oh, we try, and we say that we do. But down deep, we wonder if God will truly answer. We haven't seen that many answers to prayer, and the ones we do, we often chalk up to coincidence. Well, that might have happened anyway......
Or we think our problem is too small to bother God about it. He has countries to watch over, why would He care about our lost car keys?
And meanwhile, the new believer dives in and prays about everything, believing God will actually answer his prayers........ and he gets results.
I envy them. To have that kind of new faith and wonder in God and His grace. To not have years of faith lite, to not be jaded and cynical.
Jesus said if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains. If that is true, then why aren't we getting more mountains moved? Is it possible that most of us can't truly muster up even that small speck of faith without doubt sticking up its ugly head.
Maybe that is why Jesus said to become like a child to enter His kingdom. Little kids believe whatever you tell them. Most small kids are what we would almost call gullible. Kind of like a new believer who is completely new to the church and being a Christian.
I am not unhappy that I grew up in the church, but I wish I could have the wonder and faith of these believers who did not. Imagine taking God at His word. To pray, and truly believe He would answer. To read the miracles in the Bible and believe God can - and will - do them today.
Maybe they have the advantage over us.
And maybe there is still hope for we jaded people who know too much.