I cracked open the Scripts that morning anyway.
Right there in the thick of unbelief and all out wander - I still wanted Him.
And that's a victory. If the longing to see God and hear God are still present in the doubt....you're still on course.
So as I attempted to find a certain passage that would speak to my present condition - the Spirit spoke to me in another way...
Out of no where - these words came softly to mind:
"Andy Stanley's latest."
I haven't listened to an Andy sermon in years. I like Mr. Stanley. I've read a book or two by him. I've gleaned from his teachings in times past. But I hadn't thought of Andy in a while....making these random words empty of any conjuring up of my own.
So I sat my Bible on my desk, found North Point's media page....and clicked directly on the latest sermon. The whole time, mind you, I am half preparing myself for a let down - and half hoping with everything in me that the Lord has something specific waiting on me there.
My jaw fell and my hand covered my mouth in awe when I realized what Andy was speaking on:
Faith, doubt, questions, skepticism, wandering, and unbelief.
As I listened to the sermon tumbling out - I wanted to laugh and weep.
Laugh....because the Lord had done it again. He had met me in the fog far from faith. And weep....because His intimate attention to each of us was staring me in the face. And when that happens it's just startling.
But what I'm really wondering about today....is you.
Where are you with all this?
Do you deal with doubt? Are you 'prone to wonder'?....as the old hymn proclaims? Are you questioning the validity of Christianity? Are you far from the fringes of it, even?
I know those places.
Few pastors speak of it. It's a scary, sometimes foreign topic for men who's job it is to pronounce faith. But sitting in their pews - are people who can't help but question. And avoiding the issue only grows it.
So if you are a fellow skeptic - know first - that you aren't alone in your questioning. Second - know that we are in good company. Third - know that your honest seeking makes you authentic. And fourth - know that we don't have to stay here.
He'll come to you.
It might be in one pop. Like Pascal.
It might be a gradual knowing. Like Lewis.
Or maybe it will be a combination of both - like it has been for me.
Either way - The Lord will reveal Himself. We must keep eyes and ears and hearts alert for the knocking.
If you find yourself in a season of seeking....
I highly recommend Stanley's sermon series The Starting Point. I'm still making my way through these gems - but I trust that the ones I haven't reached yet - are just as rich and helpful as the ones I have.
In addition....I'm currently in the last few pages of C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. Faith-changing, life-changing read.
And there are countless other websites, preachers, books, and articles that I could point you to. But....while we sit under the above guides - we must remember....
...that it isn't all intellect. And it's certainly not all feeling.
Our minds and our moods are not what bring us knee-bent to the cross.
The Holy Spirit does.
And our experiences with Him do.
I've said it dozens of times now - even our faith in God....comes from God.
Realizing this - strips our intellectual prowess of it's pride and our wave-like feelings of their hold.
Emptying us of us....filling us more with Him.
Come, Lord. For each soul reading these words - I ask that you show them your grace and your realness and your way. This very week. This very hour! Meet us in prayer, in the Word, in fellowship, in worship, and in our everyday lives. I pray revelation and a steadiness of faith over all the hearts here. In Jesus, Amen.