In more recent times, individuals who were once on fire and were zealous about their faith have been faced with life challenges that have left many, even those high profile persons, turning away from the faith. People who were once passionate and made great impact on many people’s lives, yet when faced with life’s challenges, failed expectations and unanswered questions, they turned away from the faith. Now that they have left the faith I can’t help but wonder, what is their belief system now? Who are they serving?
1 Timothy 4:14 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
Looking back over the 10+ years ago youth ministry was buzzing full of excitement and passion for the faith teenagers would get together encouraging, inspiring and ministering to each other using their talents and God-given gifts to do so. It was a time when creativity was at its peak, where young people expressed their faith through performing arts such as grime mc, dancing, singing etc. Lives were being transformed, young people, were coming to know Christ, being invited to various gospel events by their friends. I recall on most days after prayer meeting long after church had ended, I would have to ask the young people to go home, in order to lock up the church building they literally enjoyed fellowshipping in church together it was a place of acceptance, love, encouragement and freedom of expression of their faith, which further ignited their zeal. Yet even during this time each individual had their own personal challenges, but still they were pro-active about their faith and continued to build each other up. Fast forward to today, the zeal is no longer there, many have walked away from the faith, which caused me to ask the question, ‘was it all a hype?’ Did they really hear the voice of God? Did they not experience God?’ I have spoken to a few who were once believers and have now confessed to being unbelievers. In these conversations they have expressed disappointment, saying Christ did not meet their expectations, and Christianity no longer made sense as they still had unanswered questions. Whilst I extend a hand of compassion and am cognisant of the fact that life sometimes can throw us some curve balls which can cause us to doubt our very faith, the very foundation on which we stand and profess to believe, this is common, 1 Cor 10:13.
Matthew 11:3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
I can just imagine John the Baptist saying to himself, when faced with death and gripped by fear, ‘if you really are the messiah, you will save me, that’s my expectation, if you are, deliver me from prison, you simply cannot be the messiah, there is no way the real messiah would let me go to prison’. His language was that of disappointment, confusion, anger and frustration, surrounded by fear. Yet the Lord did not work on his agenda, timing or meet his expectations, the Lord was not moved by his whirlwind of emotions. But isn’t this the basis of our Christian walk, it’s not about us but all about Him. Didn’t Christ say that we are to deny ourselves pick up our cross and follow Him? Did not the Word of God say that we were created by Him for His pleasure (purpose/will)? Didn’t the word of God say my sheep knows my voice and a stranger they will not follow? The word of God also states ‘they went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us’, 1John 2:19. This has caused me to question what their foundation was to start with. Did they really believe or ‘was it all a hype’? Did they really hear the voice of God? Was all that excitement about self- gratification rather than it was Christ centred? Believers, it is important as Christians to spend time in the presence of God away from all the excitement, seek after the deep things of God, the bible says ‘deep calleth unto deep’. The deep things of God are not fame and fortune. Have a deep meaningful connection with your creator, ask Him about His will, His purpose for your life, ‘live on purpose, God’s purpose!’ Remember we were created for Him, for His pleasure. The scripture says that we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Remember Christianity is about a relationship, a one on one with our heavenly Father. It’s about acknowledging, accepting and believing the finish work of the cross. Let us continue to hold fast to our faith, let’s not neglect our faith, friends that also comes at a cost, Hebrew 2:2-3. Let us lay aside every sin and weight that so easily beset us, and run our race. The weight might be our agenda, our purpose, and seek the face of God and be taken over by His purpose for our lives. The word of God is truth and life, Hebrew 4:12’ His word says He is able to exceed our expectations, Ephesians 3:2. Many want the power and the glamour, but what about the suffering? Oh that I may know Him in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, Philippians 3:10. It was David who said ‘it was good for me to be afflicted’ because after his suffering and even during his suffering God showed himself strong in David’s life!
Fans come and go, but Followers are committed, no matter what. which are you?