Tuesday, June 05, 2007

the unbelieving mind.

Someone sent me this--

"The unbelieving mind would not be convinced by any proof, and the worshiping heart needs none. -- A. W. Tozer

Do I DARE to wish that Gabe can have a miracle and little old me will be able to prove what is the right perfect and acceptable will of the Father?

Hey if it was only about sitting calmly on the shore I wouldn't mind. I'd sit here and be a normal Christian not needing anything from God. But I'm in an awful position of having always believed in miracles and the Bible but now really needing to see if I actually do.

I've always believed in miracles. Or actually, I've always THOUGHT I believed in miracles. But the more I think about following everything the Bible says and committing and not turning to look back now that my hand is on the plough. Well!!!!!

I suspect we can do it. After all, Jesus hasn't asked me as he asked the rich young man to sell all I have to feed the poor. And continuing in this path will result in healing for Gabe so I am hoping and trusting. I want to be as alive and powerful a Christian as Paul and all those guys.

I suspect that that is somewhat true. I examine every quote, even those made by authors I love.

This is true...but only sometimes.

There are so many ways and reasons why a mind doesn't believe. As Andrew said: there is natural unbelief, there is indoctrinated unbelief, and there is simple ignorance.

Natural unbelief is what we all have. And again it's made up of so many sub-parts. It's hard to believe in something we see. It;s hard to believe we are loved. It's hard to believe we are soooo loved. But perhaos we can teach a person out of his unbelief. The disciples didn't know even consider that they could have "given" the starving people food to eat. Jesus told them to and they were so surprised. He had to perform a miracle that they themselves should have done. And when he was walking past them on the boat, he "would have gone further" because he thought they could still the storm by themselves. But after a while Jesus sent them out and they were casting out demons right and left.

Indoctrinated unbelief is something that requires proof. If someone is a good Catholic who believes that God will sooner hear her prayers better if she has a saint praying for her, that is something she needs theological proof to get rid of. I had a tough time when my good roman catholic friend was dying trying to make her trust that God could hear her prayers if she spoke one-to-one with Him. She also had been indoctrinated in the idea that all her suffering was for God's glory and that He wanted her to spend all her money and time suffering. She would not have accepted any proof I gave her from the Bible. But if a priest were to tell her that she could talk to God on her own she would have believed him.

And of course there is simple ignorance. People can't believe something they haven't been taught. But if you tell them about it and they listen, then their unbelieving mind will accept it. And sometimes proof works in this case. They hear testimonies of God's healing power or of his love and they say: "umh....maybe this God is good and accessible and powerful." But they didn't know enough to believe. And if they are convinced that the proof they were given is not a set-up or a ploy, they might very well believe.

As for the worshiping heart needing none, I don't know if I believe this. Perhaps because there are so many things to believe. If it's about believing in Jesus or in God's love or in heaven or in hell, all these beliefs are separate and can't be easily summed up.

My friend was a good Catholic who worshiped God with all her heart. Yet she could never see him as nearby and accessible because the Church had trained her to believe God was not that close.

I have a worshiping heart. I love God with all my heart. I believe in God's miracles, yet some part of me needs proof. I fight the natural unbelief which says "Who are you that a miracle should happen to you?" OR, "Who are you that the God of the entire universe should care about your little problem?" It's the problem that's been with us since Adam and Eve. We walk by sight and we have to learn to have God's faith and walk by faith.

I also have other areas of unbelief. I believe in hell. I had an encounter with hell...and yet for the life of me it's hard to get my mind around the fact that people go there...and go there forever. It just seems so horrible.

Some people have been wounded by the world they can't believe in love. No matter how much love they have been shown by people they just don't believe it. So yeah, Tozer is generally right...in a general way. But call me a cynic. I haven't got it in me to read any assertion without thinking it over once and twice and thrice.

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