Category Archives: God

what should i do when i don’t feel god’s love?

First, an important question: are you born again? Have you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation? If so, the enmity between you and your Creator is gone, and you have entered a secure and loving relationship with God. If you have no faith in Christ, then you have no relationship with God (John 14:6).

Feelings come and go, and you may not always “feel” love for God. Hearts tend to grow cold, and even the most on-fire Christians can struggle with maintaining their love and service to God. The church in Ephesus had to be reprimanded by Christ: “You have forsaken the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4). A lack of feelings of love, however, does not mean the relationship has ended. God does not change; His love is constant.

As cliché as it may sound, don’t give up! Know that God loves you and desires for you to have an abundant and peaceful life within the parameters of His will. God is a loving, compassionate Father who looks upon you in great love. Second Corinthians 1:3 describes God as “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” He loves you and desires to help you through this trying time of feeling disconnected from Him.

Our relationship with God is based on love. He loved us and sent His Son (John 3:16), and our response to His love is to love Him in return (1 John 4:19) and serve Him. Not service out of obligation, but out of true love for Him and who He is. God’s will is not that we give of ourselves “reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). So how do you become that “cheerful giver” who gives your heart freely to God?

Reflect upon your walk thus far

Should Christians feel warm and fuzzy toward God at all times? No. We all have valleys and deserts in our walk and feel all kinds of emotions at various points in our lives—just like we do in other relationships. In rekindling your affection for God, start at the very beginning. Reflect on where and how your walk with Him first began. When were you saved? Why were you saved? What did you feel when you first began to discover who God was? How has Jesus made Himself known to you in your daily life since? What things in life has God brought you through? Consider past victories (1 Samuel 7:12) and those times when you felt a deep desire and longing for God in your life.

Pray

Spend some quality time with God. Get to know Him more. To know Him is to love Him. Ask God to increase your desire for Him. Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit and rekindle your appreciation of His character. Continue submitting to the Holy Spirit and confess to God that you cannot overcome these struggles on your own—none of us can. When we ask for His helping hand, He always hears us! Psalm 18:6 says, “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.”

Read Scripture

During the times when you feel nothing toward God, it helps to read His Word to remember how He feels about you. Dig into Scripture as much as possible while dealing with these feelings of disinterest. God’s Word is truly “a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). Try reading a psalm a day. The book of Psalms is very encouraging and has many prayers that you might really identify with, given your current situation. It is in the Word that God reveals Himself and His will for you.

Seek Christian counseling

This is especially important if you are angry or upset with God for some reason. It is difficult to feel love for someone while you are angry at him. If there is an anger problem, how long have you felt this way? Can you attribute your feelings to a specific situation? Does anything help relieve your feelings or temporarily change your perception? Biblical counseling can help you work through specific issues. Through the healing process, guided by a pastor or other counselor, you should be able to let go of the anger and hurt, and your perception of God should change for the better.

Find a godly mentor

Surely, there is someone you know who loves the Lord and whose Christian joy is evident. Ask this person to meet with you regularly. Spend time together, study the Bible together, pray together. Ask questions about your mentor’s spiritual walk and how you can love the Lord more. This friend can encourage you on your journey.

Plug into your local church

God intends for the Christian life to be lived corporately. That’s why He calls the church the “body” of Christ (Romans 12:5). There are many opportunities to serve the Lord through your church and many people who can exhort, support, and encourage you.

God will continue to love you dearly! “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17–19).

Prophet Nathan’s Sermon

GOD WILL FIGHT YOUR BATTLES:

That God will fight our battles means we do not have to anguish, be anxious, or be discouraged when bad things happen in our lives. When it seems a situation is hopeless or the matter at hand is too overwhelming, we may be tempted to doubt God. But Christians must remember that no problem is beyond the scope of God’s sovereign care for His children. He has promised to take care of us (Philippians 4:19), make good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), and love us beyond measure (Romans 8:37–39).

In Exodus 14:14 Moses tells the children of Israel, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” At that moment, they were standing at the edge of the Red Sea, hemmed in by the sea before them and the Egyptian army behind. The Israelites are in a seemingly impossible situation, but it was a situation brought on by the Lord Himself. It was God who had hardened Pharaoh’s heart to pursue the fleeing slaves (Exodus 14:48). Why would God do such a thing? The Bible gives some of the reasons: because God wanted to make it crystal clear to Egypt that He is LORD so that He got the glory over Pharaoh (Exodus 14:4). And because God wanted to teach Israel that He is their Deliverer (Exodus 6:6) and their Salvation (Exodus 14:13). They were incapable of escaping the situation on their own—they needed only to wait for God to move on their behalf (cf. Psalm 27:14). The battle that appeared to be between the Egyptians and the Israelites was in reality between the Egyptians and the Lord (Exodus 14:4).

The lessons believers can learn from the Exodus account can be powerful and life-changing. When Christians trust God to fight their battles, it enables them to circumvent what often accompanies conflict, i.e., panic, fear, and hopelessness (Exodus 14:11–12). There are times when we can see absolutely no way around a problem, just like Israel when they were cornered. It’s quite probable not one of the Israelites ever imagined that the massive sea was going to split down the middle, providing their way of escape. When Christians believe God’s Word (2 Chronicles 20:17), they learn that no battle is too formidable or monumental for God to handle (Joshua 1:5).

Moses gives a review of some of Israel’s history in Deuteronomy 1. In his recap he reminds them of the importance of having courage and trusting God at the edge of the Promised Land. Forty years earlier, the Israelites had spied out the land and concluded that they were unable to go up against the Canaanites, who were too big and too strong (Numbers 13:31—33). Due to that generation’s lack of faith, they were not allowed to enter the Promised Land. Moses tells the new generation to avoid their fathers’ lack of trust: “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes” (Deuteronomy 1:29–30). As God’s people obeyed in faith, they would find triumph at every turn. “Victory rests with the LORD” (Proverbs 21:31).

Israel, like many Christians today, had forgotten the previous battles God had fought for them all along the way (see Deuteronomy 2:7). The Israelite spies had seen “giants” in the land (Numbers 13:33, NKJV), just like Christians today see “giant” obstacles, complications, and problems that seem too large to conquer. To let the “giants” steal our faith only leaves defeat and a lack of assurance in the God who is in control of every problem, in spite of its size (Romans 8:28).

God is in control, but that does not mean Christians get to avoid the battles—in fact, the Bible states the opposite (2 Timothy 3:12). “Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3–4). In order for a believer to live a life of endurance, character, and hope, we must put on our armor (Ephesians 6:10–17) and trust the Deliverer. We “put no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3). Our confidence is in God, who will fight our battles and bring us safely home (Jude 1:24–25). “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7).

Prophet Nathan’s Sermon

how can i receive god’s protection?

Because of man’s sin and the subsequent curse that poisoned the perfection of God’s creation, the world is often a dangerous place. People suffer every day from natural disasters, crime, car accidents, poor health, and more. It’s natural to seek protection from the pain and sorrow of life. Does the Bible promise us the protection of God when we become part of His eternal family?

There are many verses in God’s Word that seem to promise God’s physical protection. For example, Psalm 121:3 says, “He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber.” In verse 7 the psalmist declares, “The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life.” As Israel entered the Promised Land, God promised them that He would never leave or forsake them (Deuteronomy 31:6).

At first glance, it does seem that God promises to protect His children from harm. But if that were the case, why do so many Christians around the world struggle with persecution, illness, loss, accidents, and injuries? We all know Christians whose “foot” has “slipped.” Is God breaking His promise, or are we missing something?

First of all, we should interpret the Old Testament promises of physical safety in the context of the Mosaic Covenant. As the children of Israel were obedient to the covenant, God promised them various material and physical blessings—on their crops, livestock, children, etc. (Deuteronomy 28). The Old Covenant was very much concerned with earthly blessings, and physical protection was among them. This was the basis for Hezekiah’s prayer when he was smitten with a fatal illness (2 Kings 20:1–6). Throughout the Old Testament, we see God protecting His people in order to bring His plans to pass (e.g., Exodus 1:22—2:101 Kings 17:1–6Jonah 1).

It is important to understand that we are under the New Covenant, not the Old. God does not promise to keep believers in Christ from all physical harm. There are certainly times when He does mercifully shield us from situations where we would sustain injury or loss. Paul and Luke’s survival of the shipwreck in Acts 27 and Paul’s imperviousness to the snakebite in Acts 28 are cases in point. Today, however, God’s promises to believers usually refer to spiritual protection.

When we believe in Jesus Christ for salvation, the Holy Spirit immediately enters our lives. We are sealed for eternity and brought under God’s spiritual protection from that moment on. This means that, regardless of our future sins or the schemes of Satan, we will never lose the salvation God has granted (2 Timothy 1:12). There is nothing that can ever separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38–39). In addition, we are given freedom from the dominion of sin—we are no longer slaves to sinful thoughts, desires, and actions, but are born into a new life of holiness (Romans 6:22).

Throughout our lives, God will continue to “guard [our] hearts and [our] minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7), providing the strength, peace, and perseverance we need to make it through any test or trial. His Spirit grows in us fruit that will strengthen our Christian walk (Galatians 5:22–23), and He provides us with powerful tools with which we can fend off the enemy’s spiritual attacks (Ephesians 6:10–17).

There is nothing wrong with asking for physical protection from God, as long as we realize He does not always see fit to grant it. He knows we are strengthened by the trials that come our way, and in each physical trial, we are assured of His spiritual protection. So, rather than seeking complete physical protection from God, we can agree with James when he says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:2–3).

Prophet Nathan’s Sermon

KEYS TO HEARING GOD’S VOICE:

Most people want to hear God’s voice when they are facing a decision. If only God would speak to them and tell them which choice to make or which direction to embark upon. Many people will claim to have heard God’s voice, saying, “God led me to do this,” when in fact it was simply their own thoughts and desires that led them in a particular direction.

The primary way that God speaks to us today is through His revealed, written Word. When we want to hear God’s voice, the Bible is where we should look. Most of the will of God for our lives is already fully revealed in its pages, and it is simply a matter of our obedience to it. All of Scripture is the will of God, but there are a few places in Scripture that specifically use the term will of God, which may be especially interesting to a person who wants to hear God’s voice:

• 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

• 1 Thessalonians 4:3: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.”

• 1 Peter 2:12–15: “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.”

Other passages also let us hear God’s voice, even if they don’t use the phrase the will of God. But, just taking the three above passages, we know that a Christian should always give thanks in every circumstance, avoid sexual immorality, and live an exemplary life. If a Christian does not follow these clear dictates given directly by God through inspired Scripture, why should he or she expect to hear more information from God? If you want further direction from God, obey what He has already told you. A heart willing to listen and obey is the key to hearing from God.

The primary way that a Christian hears God’s voice is through reading and studying Scripture and then obeying and applying what the Scripture says. People often rely upon “the leading of the Holy Spirit,” which is spoken of in Romans 8:14. In context, the passage speaks of the Spirit’s leading us away from sinful activity and into a confidence in our relationship with God as Father. The Holy Spirit will never lead contrary to Scripture. If a person is considering having an affair, the Spirit will only lead in one direction—toward marital fidelity. The Spirit might very well bring a verse like 1 Thessalonians 4:3 to mind for the person being tempted. When the Spirit leads, He is not imparting “new” information as much as He is impressing on our hearts the truth God has already revealed in Scripture and applying it to our situation. If a person says, “God told me” or “The Spirit led me to do such and such,” and the action taken is contrary to Scripture, we can be sure the person is mistaken.

We can also hear God’s voice as God speaks through other people. “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). Good counselors or advisers can help us see a situation with new eyes. Again, the Bible is key. Biblical preaching and biblically sound Christian material can be put in the “advisers” category. The Word of God is the control. If a bunch of counselors advise a person to do something contrary to Scripture, then they are all wrong, no matter what their credentials; however, if the advisers help an individual understand and apply Scripture, then they can be helpful. Godly advisers can often see areas that an individual is blind to. A group of advisers may discern that the person seeking to hear God’s voice concerning a particular plan is in reality seeking approval of his own personal agenda.

Another way to hear God’s voice is to pray and ask for wisdom: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). When a Christian is facing difficult circumstances and needs to hear from God, the Christian should ask for the wisdom that God promises to give. This wisdom will ultimately come from God, but it may come through the word of a friend; through a sermon, article, or book; or from the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit. Once again, the written Word of God is the standard by which all thoughts, actions, ideas, and feelings must be judged.

In this day of self-proclaimed prophets and the promotion of “new revelations” from God, people often mistake the voice of God for their own thoughts or the suggestions of other people. If you are hearing God’s voice, then the message will always be in accord with Scripture. We should all take great care not to misrepresent God. Instead of saying, “God told me this,” a better approach would be to say, “I think God may be saying this—what do you think?”

People often want to hear a specific word from God when He has already spoken in a general sense. For instance, a person may be deliberating the choice of whether to take the family on a short-term mission trip or on a vacation to the beach. Perhaps a specific word from God is unnecessary. What is really called for is wisdom. Which trip will most benefit the family? Which trip will most benefit the kingdom of God? The family will benefit by building the kingdom. The kingdom will benefit from a strong family. Either one could be a good choice. Other factors such as expense and the current state of the family should be considered. (Are the kids selfish and entitled so they need to see how other people live? Has the family been under a lot of stress and needs to get away and relax? Are the costs comparable? If not, which can they afford?) If they go to the beach, they look for opportunities to share their faith and be an encouragement to other believers. If they go on the mission trip, they look for ways to build bonds with each other and enjoy themselves as a family. Both options are good. Neither is inherently sinful. In the end, the husband and wife come to some agreement and throw themselves into it wholeheartedly, trusting that, if the decision is wrong, God will somehow make it clear to them that they should do something different. How will He do this? Probably not through an audible voice but through a combination of circumstances, advice from other people, evaluation of their priorities based on God’s Word, and a lack of inner peace from the Holy Spirit.

Prophet Nathan Emol

HOW CAN I KNOW HOW TO PROPERLY WORSHIP GOD?

worship

Worship can be defined as the act of honoring and loving a deity, idol or person in a “selfless” manner. The act of worship involves the total self in giving praise, thanksgiving and reverence to that deity, person or material object. It is not a half-hearted affair, and it is only after we distinguish between that which is and isn’t worship, with regards to the divine objective, that we can begin to answer the above question more fully. True, biblical worship, as defined by the scholar A. W. Pink (1886 – 1952) in his exposition of the gospel of John, says this: “It is a redeemed heart, occupied with God, expressing itself in adoration and thanksgiving.” Likewise, A. W. Tozer said, “True worship is to be so personally and hopelessly in love with God, that the idea of a transfer of affection never even remotely exists.”

So, the true worship of God is distinguished by the following criteria: first, it comes from the redeemed heart of a man or woman who has been justified before God by faith and who is trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness of sins. How can one worship the God of heaven if his sin has not been dealt with? Never can that worship be acceptable that proceeds from an unregenerate heart where Satan, self and the world hold sway (2 Timothy 2:26; 1 John 2:15). Any worship, other than that from a “washed” heart, is vain.

Second, true worship of God comes from a heart that desires Him alone. This was precisely where the Samaritan people erred; they sought to worship both God and idols (2 Kings 17:28-41), and this is reaffirmed by the Lord Jesus Christ when He discourses on the subject of true worship with the Samaritan woman who came to fetch water from the well. “You Samaritans worship what you do not know” (John 4:22). These people worshiped God “half-heartedly” because their total affection was not set on God. It is possible for even true believers to fall into this second error. We might not assent to having physical idols, like the Samaritans did, but what absorbs our will, our time, our resources most of all? Is it careers, material possessions, money, health, even our families? Let us cry out, like King David in Psalm 63:5, “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips, my mouth will praise you.” Nothing less than God should satisfy the heart of the regenerate man, and his response to that divine satisfaction, comparable to the best food ever, is the fruit of lips that sing God’s praise (Hebrews 13:15).

Third, true worship of God is the desire to continue to build up our knowledge of God. How we have lost that desire in these days! Apart from the Bible, which we should be reading daily, we need to supplement our knowledge by reading other good books, too. We need to fill our minds constantly with the things of God; God should always be on our mind, and everything we do should be done with reference to Him (Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31). It is interesting that the Greek word for “worship” in Romans 12:1 can also mean “service.” So, our daily lives should also be considered as worship. Every day we are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. The church is supposed to be impacting the world by its worship of God. Far too often, it’s the other way around.

Prophet Nathan Emol