Starting A Journey After 33 Years.

Discussion in 'New Members Welcome' started by BryanWhite, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. Hi all,

    Thanks for allowing me to be a part of this forum. A little background:

    I grew up in Church and a religious household. I accepted Christ as a young man. Around 16-17, I decided I no longer really needed God or faith. I became rational and proceeded to live the next 16 years in a state of rationalization. God didn't exist. Science showed us this. Everything was explained and that was satisfactory.

    I recently found myself in a family crisis where my family is falling apart and my love is about to walk out and the kids will pay the price.

    I mention this because it prompted me, in a rare moment of helplessness to look to God for help. for the last two weeks Ive been back and forth. I feel like something deep inside is pulling me but my rational side keeps popping up telling me that God isn't really there. So asking for a miracle is pointless. And even if he was, I've turned my back on Him and so I am undeserving. If he even exists. And even if he did, how selfish to ask for miracles when ive been uncommitted and even downright scornful. Perhaps tragic situations are how he intervenes but I dunno. I've been praying but it's difficult. I guess I'm unsure what to do or where to turn now....

    Any words or prayers would be greatly welcome.
    porcupine73 likes this.
  2. I am so sorry about your painful circumstances, Bryan! Welcome to CFS, and God bless you for your fortitude in sharing something so painful, but your reaching out to your first love, Jesus Christ, is what I am seeing and that is very good!

    You feel undeserving, but Bryan, we are all undeserving---in the natural, but God's desire is to forgive each of us and to restore us to intimate fellowship with Him through our faith in His precious Son, Jesus. We can turn our backs on him a thousand times and He is still right there, faithful to bring us back! That is because His mercies are new every morning, as David the Psalmist has said. We can never outrun Him! He was faithful to you even when you took off on Him and went to secular thinking for your answers. He was right there waiting for you!

    We can never take Him by surprise, either. He knew full well what you would do, and He also knows what it takes to bring you back to Him. When you received Jesus Christ through faith way back when, He became your anchor, and now He is tugging on the lines of your boat, saying, "You cannot go any farther."

    Why don't you just stop right now and ask Him to restore you to full fellowship with Him, repent of your unfaithfulness and He will take hold of your life and set you right back on that firm rock! He is so perfect at restoring families, because He is all about family! Trust God with your family, and tell Him that you do, and then watch Him work!

    I will pray for you and for your dear wife, also! He loves you and her so much!
    God is Love, Nanon and TezriLi says Amen and like this.

  3. Thank you Euphemia. That actually was very encouraging considering the difficulties I'm having. I appreciate it.
    TezriLi likes this.
  4. Hello BryanWhite, welcome to the site. Those do sound like some painful circumstances. That pulling feeling deep inside is probably God drawing you back to Himself, especially if you were previously born again of the Spirit of God. I've heard one teacher advise 'get on your face before God' and confess all known sin and ask for forgiveness and ask God to restore you. Reading and praying Psalm 51 and Psalm 23 might be especially helpful? I am praying for you BryanWhite.

    After God drew me to Him and saved me and I walked with Him for a few years, I tried to turn my back on God for a number of years to engage in deeds of the flesh. God was faithful even though I wasn't. He used circumstances to slowly 'turn up the heat' and bring me to the breaking point then brought me back crying to him for mercy and for his forgiveness. And He restored me to unto Himself, praise God.
    Euphemia and Nanon say Amen and like this.
  5. I hate to even ask this, because I think deep down, I know, but how do you know God is real?

    Porcupine, I had a moment recently when I broke down and cried and was praying. I felt a peace afterwards but then that peace left. I believe that deep down I know but I stubbornly refuse at times lately. I suppose I sound like I'm rambling...

    Thank you for the prayers. It means a lot.
  6. Psalm 51....

    That just hit me like a load of bricks....
    DavidG likes this.
  7. Hi BryanWhite, Psalm 51 is powerful. David wrote that I think after he was engaged in some 'deep' sins such as murder and adultery.

    I'm trying to put to words an answer to "how do you know God is real", it is taking some thought. :)

    An additional prayer might be to ask God to show you anything in your mind, heart or life that is standing between you and Him or hindering your prayers and to remove it or help you resolve it.
    BryanWhite likes this.
  8. "How do you know God is real", I would have to say it is because He drew me to Himself and demonstrated to me that He is real. The changes He brought about in me I know could not possibly have come from within myself. I know what types of things and trouble I get into on my own. I also see His work in creation, the sun, the moon, the stars, though that doesn't really prove God is real for some people.

    I was reading Hebrews 11:6 which says "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (ESV)" which is interesting to me because Romans 12:3 seems to indicate faith comes from God "the measure of faith that God has assigned."
  9. Thank you for sharing Porcupine. That part ofme which believes knows that what you're saying is true. I know He is there, but the conscious part of me wants to reject it. I had a conversation recently with a friend of mine of 23 years who reminded me that while I might be presently struggling with faith, I cannot deny what occurred at 16 in youth camp. We were at the altar until 3 crying and shaking and (from what I am told) speaking in tongues. It was a powerful experience that I had forgotten about. I suppose part of me is expecting God to reveal himself in that way again, though I know that I am supposed to be faithful regardless. This is probably a common theme so I apologize in advance.

    To the prayer, I have and will continue to pray that his will be done.

    I'm really glad a resource Like this is available. I feel like I'm seeing small signs.

    Which brings me to something else: how do you know when God is speaking to you and you aren't just thinking to yourself? Maybe that sounds silly...
  10. Hello Bryan. That sounds like a powerful experience. Would you say you saw changes in your life after that experience?

    I would say God speaks to me through his word, the Holy Scripture. For one I know God would not tell me anything that goes against Scripture. As I'm getting back into reading and studying Scripture I feel a more clear sense of direction or purpose if that makes sense.

    I heard a teacher basically say that since God wrote Scripture, and the Holy Spirit indwells the born again believer of God, that it is reasonable to expect God to speak to us via Scripture.
    I have felt urges or 'unctions' I think some call them and I think God can and does signal us to certain things by His Spirit. I have not heard any direct revelation from God, like heard God speaking audibly to me, though certainly in Scripture that has happened, and some people today do say that happens to them.

    I had some trouble with this for a while because I would think things and then wonder if it was just me thinking them or God telling them to me. Some of these things could not have been from God since they were sinful urges for example. So I tended to rely more on praying while reading/studying Scripture.

    I'm heading to sleep for a while but I hope to talk to you more soon. :)
  11. Hello and apologies for the late welcome to CFS. I haven;t had time to read through the comments you've had so far so apologies if I'm parroting something someone has already said. I was like you my friend, I fell away from God during my teenage years and when i came back to him, I was a real mess. I was in danger of loosing my house and my job, my long term girlfriends who is now my wife, had left and things were pretty bad. I felt the same way you did, how could God forgive me when I'd committed so much sin? The truth is, it was him that was drawing me back in, just like he is with you. He will forgive you and he will fix your situation, just lay your pride aside and ask God to come into the situation and I assure you, he will fix every part of it.

    I hope things have got a bit better since you first posted but please respond if you'd like to chat some more....
  12. christianbacktobasics

    Thanks for the welcome.

    That just about sums where I am for the most part. Its been difficult because I stumble daily. Its been so long and I keep praying but Ive made a mess of things. I suppose this might just be Gods way of bringing me back but the problems are big and consume me. I keep praying for God to take these problems but part of me just feels selfish, as though I have no right to be asking when so much is my fault. Part of it, if not most of it, is my own stubborn pride. I dont even want this to be a forum where I air my dirty laundry and make these proclamations about how Im changed. I guess Im just looking for signs. Praying and watching. If that makes sense...

    God bless
  13. How do you know God is NOT real? That's the question you should be asking. Don't just look to the Bible for answers. Just look at the calendar alone. All we know of time is that it was split into two parts by the biggest controversial event in the history of the earth. The birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. It was so controversial that even now, we know time in terms of B.C. and A.D.. B.C. meaning "Before Christ" and the years before Jesus was born. And A.D. is in Latin for Anno Domini which means "In The Year Of Our Lord". This alone is a fact that there was a person by the name of Jesus Christ who lived on this earth for 33 years. And now in the year 2014 of our Lord, Jesus knows you are facing this crisis in your life and He's been waiting for you.

    God is not rational and you can never understand Him rationally. But He is Spirit and you can know Him that way.
  14. Hi Bryan,

    I, too, am a questioning Christian - I'm not finding it to be a traumatic experience as you are, I'm looking the fact that I'm asking questions as a healthy thing and a chance to grow and discover myself. I don't really find myself questioning the existence of God, whom I feel to be present, but questioning a lot of prevalent Christian attitudes and understandings which to me seem to fly in the face of all that is good, sound, and fair. There have been a lot of very well-intentioned people who have made attempts to "instruct" me but frankly some of the things they were teaching were highly suspect and ultimately I didn't believe these people were in a position to be teaching at all, since their understandings seemed to be hallmarked by arrogance and narrow-mindedness. This has been the biggest eye-opener of all, that so many in positions of authority seemed to have the most unbelievable understandings which simply didn't connect with what I believe to be how things actually are.

    Anyway, nice to meet you, I wish you well on your journey, and please don't beat yourself up for finding yourself in an uncomfortable place - I really and truly believe it's a healthy thing to occasionally shake oneself out of our states of complacency and re-examine ourselves.
  15. Don't feel that you don't deserve salvation, none of us can earn it or deserve it, it is a free gift of God. It's obvious He is still calling to you and knocking on the door - answer it, before satan hardens your heart to where you don't hear it anymore. God does love you Bryan! Jesus said He came to seek the lost and to heal - He is looking for you and wants you to come Home. I'll say a prayer..:)
    Euphemia likes this.

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