Many Christians believe that God is just omnipresent and everywhere all the time. That isn’t true. God can be that, but he doesn’t dwell where he isn’t wanted. We get these false notions of God and Jesus based on passed down stories from elders who did the best with what they had and taught us to stay alive and survive until the next day both emotionally and physically if nothing else. This notion of “I’m still 6 feet above” is questionable: for what, just to complain? So this time honored tradition of “that’s how I was raised” has been perpetuated generationally even in the midst of contradicting evidence; evidence that is not contrary to God at all. He wants you to prosper.
You see, when Black folks could be (and were) killed for learning to read and write hence passed down the WORD through oral tradition, things got translated as MEN saw fit as best they could. So things like “God will make a way” got in the way of “Faith without works”. Things like postulating “See how God is/works” got in the way of good common sense per cause and effect when people couldn’t explain even the simplest things per geometric IF-THEN outcomes.
Coincidences? Some believe yes while others believe no. But I say the desire to put it in a box at all is kind of the problem. When it doesn’t fit one’s box, then like the English language (the hardest language to learn with Chinese being second) there are many exceptions to the rules. A person who believes in voodoo lives very much in the same way. They take LITERALLY things like “God knew what you were going to think even before you thought it” or “What you were going to say before you said it.” As a man of faith, I call foolishness on this stuff. These same people complain about what people say that they don’t like, while at the same time believing that God ordered that person’s “steps” as it were. You can’t have it both ways. God controls the pieces but free will is in full effect and he does not manipulate free will. Like we set up bumpers around our children, so does God around us. But if we are unwilling to recognize the love and care and go on our own, like children, then we learn the hard way.
So back to the top. When the evil spirits were put into the swine, and they all ran off the cliff, the people discussed it and no longer wanted Jesus around. So Jesus left. He didn’t stick around. He told the ones who were healed to stay and give their testimonies. But he split. Like this, when people pray and pray and pray and pray and continue with the same behaviors, Jesus has left the building. They aren’t listening to him but are instead defining the narrative they believe exists and asking God to come into their own understanding. He even talks about this in Proverbs early on in not leaning upon one’s own understanding. Now, like the big picture, he may have left, but he’s coming back. In the small scene, like a bus on a route he’ll be back around, but 70 x 70 doesn’t mean he’s standing next to you just waiting for you to get it right. There are seasons and unlike a bus route, his schedule isn’t so predictable.
This is another place I believe that traditionally we get it wrong in the Church with the time honored tradition of in “his time”. Everything is in “his time”. I think it’s an excuse for not acting but relying on prayer alone. I think it’s an excuse for not having your ducks in a row and expecting a miracle to occur. I think it’s an excuse for leaning on your emotions and not doing the work. I don’t believe in all these “outs” people give themselves in the name of Religion – which to me isn’t the greatest representation of faith. It begs the question, “Which Jesus do you want to talk about?” Lol, some of y’all will get that while others won’t have a clue. Here’s what in “his time” really means: He gives you a shot. He will always give you another shot because he loves you. If you aren’t ready when he gives you your next shot (maturity, character flaws, preparation, understanding, pride, other) then we don’t know when the bus is coming back around to your stop. So now it may be even tougher to ‘impress’ him. Now maybe the bar has been raised. But one thing is for sure, if you haven’t learned anything the next time around, the bus isn’t even going to stop (but it’ll come back). So again, there’s the big picture of being ready when he comes (Job Well Done) yet there’s also the smaller one in being prepared, to be ready, when you get your next shot while as we continue to spin around the Sun (another article later). Will you have learned anything or will you get a crick in your neck rocking in prayer while doing the same stupid stuff? That is foolishness.
His time is your time. Are you prepared? Have you learned anything or are you just hollering amen, go ‘head, preach, and so forth? So get some act right in you, which won’t stay long if you don’t get some understanding to go with it. You can act your way into right thinking in time but you cannot think your way into right acting: I don’t believe you can pray yourself into what you want. I hear the naysayers now, but I’m just thinking ‘aloud’. Hopefully it does promote thought.
So back to this free will thing. Yes it’s consciousness but it may not be free. It can and often does cost you something. You see a young man (or woman) who lives in his flesh and makes decisions based on as much realizes the consequences of said free will. An older woman (or man) gets to the point where they aren’t willing to behave in the same manners as it were. Sometimes it’s because they’ve grown and their spirit will not let them, and sometimes it’s just because they don’t want all the mess that comes with it (the fools still do it). Some folks go to the Church and think about that skirt and booty across the way the whole time. While other folks miss Church and have their minds stayed on Jesus the whole time on the golf course or wherever. My point is that actions AND heart are a far superior indication of where you are spiritually versus what you SAY you are or desire to be or pomp and circumstance. None of us are perfect, only Jesus walked the Earth in a man’s form in perfection. But to be the best you that you can be requires humility and understanding of the word beyond what your grandmother who may or may not have really understood the word in its true nature; but was a good woman doing the best she could with what she had, could conjure up in a lesson to you. I say step away from foolishness. Don’t memorize stuff and not understand it. Don’t holler amen and you couldn’t even repeat or understand what the Pastor just said. That’s why your life isn’t changing. That’s why every week you’re laying problems instead of victories on the altar. Grow up. You tell your kids to do it. Grow up in Christ. What’s the layman’s definition of insanity? We all know the answer to that rhetorical question. Many times the change or shift in the course of where our lives are going is far easier than you think in that it’s not in what you need to do that’s so great; but is what you need to stop doing to end the cycle of madness, destruction, dead ends, or same results in your lives.
This magical mystical idea of getting ready for your blessing is kind of like playing the lottery in some ways. Beyond buying a ticket, you aren’t doing very much to receive it. God may have all power but he isn’t entertainment. He isn’t Houdini. And faith isn’t magic. Do you still believe that you’ll run up your grandmother’s ‘light bill’ by ‘running in and out of the house’? I hope you don’t. Then why do you still believe the foolishness you were told about the Bible? No disrespect, I learned the same stuff. I loved my grandmother unconditionally but she said what she knew (having been born in 1904 and a 4th grade education). You’ve been shown more and have access to more information than any group in history. It’s time to stop that nonsense. Just like math or science, you have to keep growing to get to the next level of understanding. If you aren’t growing in your knowledge of the word then you have the same level of education in the word that your slave ancestors had who couldn’t read. Now who’s holding back your blessing? Getting ready for a miracle? A fool wouldn’t know what to do with a miracle if it hit him/her in the face. Just like winning the lottery with no sense of money managment.
Grow up. Put on your big boy/girl pants. Don’t pray like you’re spitting into the wind!!! Do the work like you’ve never done before! Then, start praying for what you want as you PREPARE yourself to receive it. Don’t blame other people, the man, or make excuses. Take responsibility. Prepare yourself, THEN God will make a way. Then go be a testimony of triumph. Then go help somebody else.
GOD IS OMNIPRESENT, when you have a relationship with him. But just begging and pleading, essentially emotional foxhole prayers of fear, doesn’t get you answers.
Finally, he isn’t running around punishing people: he’s love. As my brother Franklin Ferguson says, Peace and God Bless.