Paul E. Miller puts it like this:
“I recently had a cynical moment during my morning prayer time. I was reflecting on some answers to the previous day’s prayer, and I felt a lingering distaste in my soul. All I’d done was pray, and God had acted. It seemed too easy. Trite. I realized I was hunting for something to doubt. I was also hunting for something to do. At bottom, I didn’t like grace. I wanted to be a player in the way God answered my request. In fact, at that moment I didn’t like God. I was more comfortable with His distance.”
Lack of hope in God leaves you – doubting, critical, secular, explaining the work of God to Dr’s, distant, unthankful, questioning, not seeing God’s glory, passive, joyless, etc. It may even have you explaining the work of God away to other “reasonable” things.
Think about it: When was the last time you rejoiced about answered prayer? Have you ever noticed how easily we can explain away anything and everything.
- I feel better because of the medicine I took.
- I am defeating sin because of the changes I have made.
- They are doing better because they went to that marriage conference.
- And on and on it goes!
We forget….. All those things were specific answers to prayer! Sure, the marriage is helped because of the marriage conference! God has moved!
Yes, he did so through meds, or disciplines, or a conference. But….. HE moved.
If HE does not move….
- the marriage conference is a waste of time
- the medicine will have no effect
- the changes I am making will not last
Why is that marriage doing better? Is it because they went to a conference? Or did the Almighty God of the universe meet them at that conference?
Here are a few options regarding our prayer life and Christianity, secularism…. doubt:
1.) God has chosen to NOT answer that particular prayer
2.) God has answered that prayer, but we have excused it away.
3.) God has answered prayer (using whatever means He chooses) and we are thanking God for it.
Doubt questions, doesn’t believe and is cynical. It sees the valley of the shadow of death rather than The Lord is my Shepherd. It sees Satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness rather than the Spirit Himself is with Him. It says on the hillside: “we have no food to feed these people” rather than seeing Jesus is here. Paul and Silas in prison (Acts 16) the secular mind sees the earthquake, but not the God of the earthquake, that set them free.
Doubt lands on the natural, faith lands on the supernatural God we serve. And so: Faith drives us to pray. How big is your God? And Faith drives us to thankfulness. Because we connect all that is taking place in our lives to the hand of God.
Sadly, we have the ability to excuse anything and everything away. This is secular. David slayed Goliath because….
that mountain view is….
I feel better because…..
I woke up this morning and drew breath into my lungs because….
It’s spring and the buds are forming on the trees because…..
Secularism says: the mountain was formed randomly, you draw breath because that’s what lungs do, you feel better because you were prescribed the right medicine, and those buds on the trees…. well its spring you dummy!