Thursday, June 23, 2016

How Does God Feel About Trying to Contact Dead Relatives? Do People Have to Have Monumental Miracles Before They Are Willing to Believe in God? Is God Trying to Get Our Attention? posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the Word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it: And inquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse. 1 Chronicles, Chapter 10, verses 13-14.

Saul had his servant contact a woman with a familiar spirit (my Bible refers to her as a witch.)  She called Samuel up from the dead to answer Saul’s questions, but God did NOT like this, which was the major reason that God had Saul die. Not only did Saul turn to someone who could conjure people from the dead, but he did this rather than turning to God to ask His will.

I’m including this passage because it reinforces my belief that God wouldn’t be appreciative of people who get involved in watching TV shows where dead relatives are contacted, even though they try to make it sound positive with some religious connection. We are turning to these shows rather than turning to God. I think God lets us know in this passage that He doesn’t take kindly to us turning to anything other than Him. Actually, why would we want to turn to anything else besides God? God takes care of our every need!

Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the Glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the Glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’s house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the Glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped and praised the LORD, saying, For He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever. 2 Chronicles, Chapter 7, verses 1-3.

This passage never really hit me before, but when I read it this time it left a stronger impact on me. I started thinking about how God has had to do all of these very dramatic miracles to get people to believe He is the One True God. I guess if I weren’t too sure of my faith and I saw fire come down from heaven and burn up a slab of meat, there would be no doubt in my mind that God was responsible for it, even if I had doubted before!

Do people have to have these monumental miracles before they believe in God? It’s kind of sad that some of us have a Missouri (the “Show-Me State”) mentality. Do I have to have God “Show-Me” miracles before I’m truly willing to believe in Him and not doubt His existence?

God does all types of miracles in my life each and every day. When I was taking a heavy class-load of difficult teacher preparatory classes, I didn’t know how I would get through all of them. I had petitioned the college to take 23 units that semester, so that I could have the required classes to start student teaching the next semester. I was praying to God about this on the way home from college one day. God put the thought in my mind that I wasn’t supposed to worry about it, because He was going to give me straight A’s.

I thought, “How could You do this? These are some of the hardest courses I have ever taken and I don’t have enough time to properly study for all of them.” Then the thought that God had in my mind was that He could do it, He’s God and He could do anything. I relaxed after I thought about it a few minutes. He can do anything, provided I trust Him to. I didn’t want to be like Peter who sank when he got fearful, so I asked God for the willingness to trust that He would take care of me.

I would pray a quick prayer over each homework and test question, something like, “God please take care of this one,” and the answer or the way to solve the statistical problem would just be in my mind. God did give me straight A’s through all of that. It was just like the thought He gave me those many months earlier in the car.

God works in my life in a variety of ways. I don’t always say formal prayers to God when I have something on my mind. I just talk to Him and I know God hears me. God answers me in lots of different ways, but I don’t hear the actual Voice of God from heaven saying, “Debbie, this is what you are supposed to do.”

Sometimes He answers me by having things happen, like my stalled car starts right after I pray about it. Sometimes He has things not happen, like when my first husband and I didn’t get a house we were trying to buy. We were so disappointed at the time, but six months afterward my husband got laid-off of work. Later, I realized that it was a good thing we hadn’t gotten the house, because we could have lost everything we owned. When things don’t turn out the way I ask, usually God will show me why at a later time, as in this example. Sometimes, God just puts thoughts or ideas in my mind, just like when God let me know that He was going to give me straight A’s. Sometimes He guides me by the instincts He gives me. The important thing is that I have to listen to them and not go off in my own direction, ignoring those instincts.

God does all types of miracles in our lives every day, if we would only open our eyes to see them. Do we have the “Show-Me” mentality where we need fire to come down from the sky before we believe in God?

And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to Myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people; If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now Mine Eyes shall be open, and Mine Ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that My Name may be there forever: and Mine Eyes and Mine Heart shall be there perpetually. 2 Chronicles, Chapter 7, verses 12-16.
And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath He brought all this evil upon them. 2 Chronicles, Chapter 7, verse 22.
This sounds like sometimes when we have droughts, floods or pestilence like locusts, etc., God is trying to get our attention. I feel like it’s His way of saying, “People down on Earth, you are losing your focus on Me. You are getting caught up in worldly things and doubt My existence by taking credit for the things I do.” God, who is infinitely merciful, goes on to say that if we turn back to Him, He will forgive us.

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