Oh, the allure of a 'how-to.' If you're like me, you've clicked more than once on an article that promises to give you the answers to fix a problem in your life. Click-bait ranging from "How to Clean White Sneakers" to "How to Improve your Marriage in 10 Steps", draws in self-help seekers every minute of every day. As humans, we know there is a problem. Deep down each individual knows that there are things in life that need fixing.
I love exploring the opinions and wisdom that people on the internet have to offer. I have read so many insightful, Biblical articles that have changed patterns in my life. But I also believe that our digital culture, which provides infinite information at our fingertips, is breeding a generation of self-help Christians; individuals with hearts genuinely and earnestly desiring change in their lives, but neglecting to use their greatest resource of truth.
We are chasing answers, desperately searching for information to answer the questions that continually trip us up. "Why does God allow suffering?" is typed on Google approximately 10,000 times every month.Questions like "how do I forgive myself?" or "is God good?" flood the search menus. Even as Christians, we might find ourselves asking "how do I escape this particular temptation?" "How do I fight doubt?" "How do I build a healthy relationship?"
Hebrews 1:1-2 tells us a little bit about the Lord's revelation. It tells us that the Lord has spoken to us through the prophets and through His son...for us today, those revelations are contained in the Bible. God also reveals Himself to us through His creation (Psalm 19:1) and our own human image (Genesis 1:27). He can also speak directly to individuals through special revelation. But the bottom line is; there are things we don't know.
How do we deal with these "holes" in the guidance we've been given? There certainly aren't any pages in the Bible with express instructions on how to recover from a heartbreak or master time management or get through depression. And so the Google searches above are born.
"Lord, give me answers!" we cry.
"Child, give me your heart," He replies.
Do you want to change your life? Don't chase answers. Chase the Lord.
Sometimes, we have to remember what it is that we worship. We don't worship answers, we worship a God. Trials are real, and the questions that nag at our hearts are real. We desire easy, tangible ways to overcome grief and temptation and exchange them for the joy and fulfillment we've been promised. But here's the truth; it's not really about us. We have been cleansed and forgiven and given a purpose...and the reason we've been justified in this way is so that we can reflect the glory back to the only one worthy.
We need to focus a little less on ourselves, and a little more on the greater calling. As it says in Matthew, we are called to seek first the Kingdom of the Lord. Everything else will follow, I promise you! It was never the law or a process that saves us; it has always been Jesus.
Do you want it? Do you want to know the Lord's heart? When this is your deepest desire, He will reveal Himself to you as you pursue. Go just a stone's throw further. If you want to find, you have to chase.
Life is full of unanswered questions, but as we get closer and closer to the Lord's heart, we start to realize something. Priority shifts from finding answers to finding God's heart.The more we know the Lord's character, the greater our confidence in His consistency. Truths like 'the Lord is patient' and 'the Lord is powerful' and 'the Lord is righteous' provide us the lens with which to look at the specific issues we face in life.
Questions like "Why does God allow suffering" can be viewed through the reality of a loving God who doesn't desire pain and a holy God who cannot tolerate sin. Questions like "How do I forgive myself?" can be looked at with an understanding of the God who created us in His image and His sacrifice which redeemed humanity. Not every situational answer has been revealed to us...but the character of God is gloriously reflected in the rich stories and promises found in the Bible; in the beauty of His creation; and in the small taste of His love that we experience in our relationships with other humans.
Aren't you grateful we don't follow a explicit "life guide", but instead serve a living God? Live your life in the light of His truth, and "and all these things will be given to you as well." God doesn't always tell us exactly what to do...but He does desire to reveal to us who He is. And that is enough.
more about methods of God's revelation: http://www.theopedia.com/revelation-of-god
the source of my google stats: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/20/opinion/sunday/seth-stephens-davidowitz-googling-for-god.html