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How can we love God when we can't see Him and He feels distant?

levnishbar

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Intellectually, I know that God made the universe and me. I know Yeshua died for me. Personally there have been a few miracles in my life too which I ascribe to divine intervention. Sometimes God "talks" to me through the Bible or the right person at the right time saying the right words.

Using a human analogy, it is mostly like a long distance relationship. Occasionally you get a letter or call from the person. Occasionally the friend helps you out.

The relationship feels distant, and more so when in my human failings, I fall short. And my life is afflicted in so many ways that some help from God would be nice.

I won't share my problems with my church (we call them Kehila here) anymore, and will probably leave it too because at the last prayer meeting I was met with disbelief and accused of making up my problems because they are so many and so continuous; lightning could not possibly strike the same spot so many times. Psalm 41.

How can I love God under these circumstances? I want to know God but He hides His face. I want to be loyal but I keep failing. I know I am called to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength but I can't find it in myself to do it.
 

Brother-Mike

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Levnishbar, I can only share my own experience as response to your questions, so I'll do so in hopes that perhaps any of this resonates with you.

I am a very new Christian, having spent my entire life up to about a year ago as a secular materialist. But then God's providence came into focus - the constant, unwavering shower of gifts and grace from God, along with the realization that my role is to devote myself to the enjoyment and thanksgiving of them to the glory of God.

Every breath of air in my lungs, every bit of food, every drop of water for my thirst, these are all gifts. Every single person, every animal and plant, every mosquito annoying me when I hike, these are all my brothers and sisters in this Theatre of God's Glory. And the question isn't "what have you done for me lately?" but instead an unceasing "Thank you that I have another day in your Creation."

I can't speak for Messianic Christianity, but I suspect that there's a Messianic version of John Piper out there who you'd be wise to seek out.

Here's an interview with Piper when he released his latest book Providence that seems to be a decent summation of this perspective, and I'm sure you can find many others from like-minded theologians:


From a different sermon of Piper's I remember him recounting (roughly): "I was out walking just at dawn, you know that golden, magic moment when the sun is just coming up and everything is lit with magical, clear light. And then it dawned on me - there isn't just one dawn, but instead God's glory of dawn is ALWAYS happening as the Earth is rotating, always moving Westward 24/7. The dawn never ends."

I hope this helps.
 
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Mr. M

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I won't share my problems with my church (we call them Kehila here) anymore, and will probably leave it too because at the last prayer meeting I was met with disbelief and accused of making up my problems because they are so many and so continuous
This is precisely at the center of the issue.
The fellowship of the saints is the place where
we draw near to God together through the
Holy Spirit, who is able to minister to the group.
You should stay where you are and try to work
through these issues on the possibility their
words may bear out, even if only partially.
In other words, unless God tells you specifically
to leave, you could be compounding the issue.

2 John 1:9 Whoever moves ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
In other words, you need to stay plugged into the
body of Christ, until YOU ARE hearing Him clearly.

Ephesians 2:
5
even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up together, and made
sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.

The Lord desires that we work out our salvation
TOGETHER.

Ephesians 4:
3
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.

Of course, I remain at your service, but that is
kind of a long range relationship.
:)
 
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levnishbar

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Every breath of air in my lungs, every bit of food, every drop of water for my thirst, these are all gifts. Every single person, every animal and plant, every mosquito annoying me when I hike, these are all my brothers and sisters in this Theatre of God's Glory. And the question isn't "what have you done for me lately?" but instead an unceasing "Thank you that I have another day in your Creation."

Amen & thank you. I used to try to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) but lately that has become muted too.


This is precisely at the center of the issue.
The fellowship of the saints is the place where
we draw near to God together through the
Holy Spirit, who is able to minister to the group.
You should stay where you are and try to work
through these issues on the possibility their
words may bear out, even if only partially.
In other words, unless God tells you specifically
to leave, you could be compounding the issue.


Yeah I know the verses on this topic well. But if it is a choice between hating my brothers/sisters because of the arbitrary, ignorant judgements, or isolating myself from them, the pragmatic decision is to leave. At least in synagogue things are a bit more formal and not so personal as in prayer groups, the (Amidah) prayers are raised silently to God.

I felt I made myself vulnerable by sharing in the Christian prayer group and got unwanted judgement or suspicion instead.

2 John 1:9 Whoever moves ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
In other words, you need to stay plugged into the
body of Christ, until YOU ARE hearing Him clearly.


OK but what does it mean abide in the doctrine of Christ? Can one abide in the doctrine silently?

Most of the prayers in synagogue on Friday evening for example are from the Psalms. There is one song a believer shouldn't sing (which says that God cannot be incarnate). But, one can find doctrine in most churches which one wouldn't agree with, like Health & Wealth, holy laughter, etc.

Of course, I remain at your service, but that is
kind of a long range relationship.

Thank you, your willingness to help a stranger is much appreciated :)

But going back to the question, how do we work out this long distance, yet ideally personal, relationship with God?

By the way, one can read with incredulity how Israel can keep complaining in the wilderness after everything God did for them. I'm regretfully telling you it is very possible to do that. Lord I believe, help my unbelief!
 
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Akita Suggagaki

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Every breath of air in my lungs, every bit of food, every drop of water for my thirst, these are all gifts. Every single person, every animal and plant, every mosquito annoying me when I hike, these are all my brothers and sisters in this Theatre of God's Glory. And the question isn't "what have you done for me lately?" but instead an unceasing "Thank you that I have another day in your Creation."
And too keep that in mind during the day is to practice awareness of God's mysterious and hidden presence.
 
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Mr. M

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I felt I made myself vulnerable by sharing in the Christian prayer group and got unwanted judgement or suspicion instead.
I agree, that is inappropriate. You definately need
someone close enough to confide in, even just one.
These people sound more like strangers. I will pray
for you to find a close inner circle (1 or 2 other
godly men), that you can open up with, until then
remain faithful, and the grace of God found in
Yeshua will sustain you brother. You are seeking,
therefore I am confident by the Word of Truth,
that you will find.
 
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com7fy8

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Hi, Levnishbar :) Welcome to Christian Forums; we are so glad to have you. Already you have talked about some good things, and this can be encouraging for us, right while you also share about your difficulties.

Intellectually, I know that God made the universe and me.
I would say this is not belief only that is intellectual. But possibly God in you has developed you to become understanding that He created the universe. So, you could be closer to God, than you know! I mean, if He in you has brought you to believe He made the universe . . . in you is close.

I know Yeshua died for me.
And how did you come to believe this? Certainly such believing can be what God in a person has a person doing.

Have you somehow become stronger and in more peace, as you have come to believe these things? This peace and increase of strength could indeed be God blessing you so.

Personally there have been a few miracles in my life too which I ascribe to divine intervention. Sometimes God "talks" to me through the Bible or the right person at the right time saying the right words.
So, you can relate to these things; a lot of unbelievers can not. And the Holy Spirit is the One who changes a person to believe in such things . . . acting within the person . . . not long-distance!

Using a human analogy, it is mostly like a long distance relationship. Occasionally you get a letter or call from the person. Occasionally the friend helps you out.
I offer that I understand this. Ones come to believe in God, but then find they are not in touch. And they can feel homesick to feel at home with God. And our Heavenly Father does want us to so personally share with Him in His love so we are family with Him and one another.

So, yes, do trust God to do this with you. He is committed to so sharing with each of His children. Being intimate with God is not some status thing for only certain super-spiritual out-of-reach saints.

The relationship feels distant, and more so when in my human failings, I fall short.
There is something to learn from, I consider. If we sin, this can keep us so we are not with God the way we could be. The spirit of sinning is not in God's love. Arguing, for one example, can wreck things . . . with God and with other people, so we can suffer deeply and miss out on how we could be loving with God and with one another.

Worry is another very abusive and anti-love sin problem.

So is unforgiveness. Perhaps you need to get your forgiving up-to-date. This can help a lot. Because if we are unforgiving, this can keep us weak and not in God's way of loving.

And my life is afflicted in so many ways that some help from God would be nice.

I won't share my problems with my church (we call them Kehila here) anymore, and will probably leave it too because at the last prayer meeting I was met with disbelief and accused of making up my problems because they are so many and so continuous; lightning could not possibly strike the same spot so many times. Psalm 41.
Well, for all I know . . . having been with a variety of church groups and people > the one or ones so accusing you possibly do not know what they are doing. Meanwhile, the mature one or ones in the group could be quiet and now already simply praying for you . . . and praying for the ones who can be so vocal and not know what is really going on with you.

I now consider that your group could be people who were brought up "kosher"; and so may be they have never even heard of sin things and sin caused troubles that you have had. They might have been in a status culture where such things are never mentioned; so they don't even know they exist.

So . . . may be . . . what they are doing is helping you to get to know them!

And it is possible we should not say things which can get people distracted and their attention away from God. And in case you discover someone who is mature and aware of the real world of sin and evil, you can talk privately with that person. Prayer meeting can be used for dealing with problems, but it is first for attention to God and trusting God. And there should be unity.

"And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved." (2 Corinthians 12:15)

"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." (in Luke 23:34)

Now, can you just love and forgive, like this? I would say no. There is a wavelength issue. Our Apostle Paul and Jesus are on the love wavelength which is gentle and quiet and humble and soul-resting and all-loving unconditionally and generously forgiving with hope of prayer for the person who needs forgiveness. Now, you can have that wavelength right inside of you . . . but not be on it . . . like how a smooth jazz radio broadcast can flow right through a radio but the radio is on the acid-rock setting so it is not affected by the soul-soothing smooth jazz radio waves. We need how God in us tunes us to His love, as He changes us out of our sin problem stuff.

"Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:31-32)

We all need to do what you need to do > trust and depend in God in us to change us so we are loving, like this. And this will be in His love, so we even experience sharing with Him in us while He does this in us. We are all the same, meaning none of us has gotten ourselves to become so truly and deeply loving in sharing with God. So, you qualify for what God is able to do, the same as all of us.
 
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levnishbar

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I agree, that is inappropriate. You definately need
someone close enough to confide in, even just one.
These people sound more like strangers. I will pray
for you to find a close inner circle (1 or 2 other
godly men), that you can open up with, until then
remain faithful, and the grace of God found in
Yeshua will sustain you.

My confidante used to be my ex-girlfriend. I was appalled when I found out she was into fortune telling.
 
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levnishbar

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Hi, Levnishbar :) Welcome to Christian Forums; we are so glad to have you. Already you have talked about some good things, and this can be encouraging for us, right while you also share about your difficulties.

Thank you com7fy8. Your welcome is much appreciated

I would say this is not belief only that is intellectual. But possibly God in you has developed you to become understanding that He created the universe. So, you could be closer to God, than you know! I mean, if He in you has brought you to believe He made the universe . . . in you is close.

It is God who opens our eyes. With an open mind and curiosity like a child, I see evidence of God's intelligent design everywhere.

But I think to whom God chooses to reveal Himself, He does so in ways that are appropriate for the person. To the rational thinkers, God reveals Himself in a logical way.

And how did you come to believe this? Certainly such believing can be what God in a person has a person doing.

Again by logical conclusion and deciding on the balance of probabilities. If we can accept the Tanakh (Old Testament) is true, and the prophecies were indeed fulfilled by Yeshua, then we may also assume that His death and resurrection were also true.

Also, God drew a line on the possibility of any other Messiah coming afterwards - for example records of Davidic lineage have been lost and in Jewish tradition, the Messiah needs to come in through the Golden Gate which has been sealed.

Not from my head, but from my heart, I recognize the Suffering Servant and His personality as the personality of God - how God is merciful, just, lends His ear to the weak and afflicted and humble.

Have you somehow become stronger and in more peace, as you have come to believe these things? This peace and increase of strength could indeed be God blessing you so.

There was a time when I read the Bible first thing in the morning, a chapter of Proverbs before bed, pray often and tried to keep His Commandments better. But the troubles of the World and everything just has made all this seem more difficult to do.

So, you can relate to these things; a lot of unbelievers can not. And the Holy Spirit is the One who changes a person to believe in such things . . . acting within the person . . . not long-distance!

Sometimes I doubt if God really was talking to me through His Word. One of the biggest decisions in my life, I read Scripture the night before it was due and decided God wanted me to do X. So against what I wanted, I did it, and now lived to regret that decision. Of course I do not know what would have happened if I did what I wanted.

So, yes, do trust God to do this with you. He is committed to so sharing with each of His children. Being intimate with God is not some status thing for only certain super-spiritual out-of-reach saints.

I agree, Yeshua came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). And the holier or more knowledgeable about Scripture one thinks they are, the more will be required of them (Luke 12:48).

There is something to learn from, I consider. If we sin, this can keep us so we are not with God the way we could be. The spirit of sinning is not in God's love. Arguing, for one example, can wreck things . . . with God and with other people, so we can suffer deeply and miss out on how we could be loving with God and with one another.

I used to be described by my friends as one of the coolest headed and calm people they know. Several years ago, a friend of mine was in a car with me when we almost had a head-on collision by a car overtaking another car in a two lane road, around a bend. When she saw what was happening, she gasped and screamed. I just swerved the car into the oncoming lane and back into my lane, missing both cars by the skin of our teeth. After that I looked at her and started laughing, joking that we just missed an appointment with God.

Now, all the other irritations in life has worn my patience out and made me easy to get angry. Honking, getting irate at stupid drivers, davka* blocking people who cut queues in merging traffic (a very Israeli thing to do) - I see how I am losing my sanctification the moment I get out of my house.

*A Hebrew word that is difficult to translate, but best illustrated with an example. You are driving behind a slow driver, and honk your horn to get them to speed up. They then slow down even more. This is davka - something deliberate in response to something else.

I really feel I showed more fruits of the spirit when I was outside Israel and the idealistic notion of this place being the Holy Land filled with righteous people welcoming immigrants was in my head.

Galatians 5:22-23
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Let's take a look at things - my love has gone cold after seeing so much wrong and injustice (Matthew 24:12). Joy - none, it has become bitterness. Peace - some. Forbearance - lots because I am suffering and contrary to my fight or flight instincts, staying in painful situations. Kindness - when the opportunity arises. Goodness - it would be wrong to self-testify that I am good. Faithfulness - to God I hardly feel so. Gentleness - probably. Self-control - very limited.

In some other translations - generosity. Very little - my salary is 1/5th of what I should be getting for my qualifications, because I am the mild mannered, rational immigrant who won't do the hot headed thing and break the system if they don't get what they want. I don't see why I should be generous with anything when every day I feel exploited.

If you look at Israeli politics, you can see that it is not uncommon for leaders to break the system and make everyone suffer if they do not get what they want.

Worry is another very abusive and anti-love sin problem.

Fortunately I don't have a problem so much with worry or anxiety. I'm used to problems.

So is unforgiveness. Perhaps you need to get your forgiving up-to-date. This can help a lot. Because if we are unforgiving, this can keep us weak and not in God's way of loving.

Yeah, I understand. But after enough traumas, you start keeping score. It is hard to forgive deliberate and long term harm caused knowingly by other people. In Israeli culture there is a thing of not wanting to be a fryer (someone which everyone takes advantage of). So you need to push back or else you will be known as a fryer, and piranhas will take advantage of you.

Edit: Removed story of a friend and will prefer to stick to things in the news.

Also I don't know if anyone of you is following the whole Israeli prison scandal of letting young female army recruits doing their Army service be sexually abused by prisoners. What kind of system.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news...rael/00000182-63dc-d454-a5aa-e7ddab2b0000?172

What kind of system knowingly feeds its young women to predators and then tries to cover it up? Multiple women have come forward now and the trickle is becoming a torrent. When it happened, does one suppose the women voluntarily kept quiet? Like many other things (including what happened to my friend above, and myself), we keep quiet because we are threatened with consequences if we do not.

I hope you all understand I bring out some of these concerns with a heavy and embarrassed heart. It is like talking bad about your family. Being Jewish and seeing my own extended family do this is very saddening. It's like Moses got us out of Egypt, and now we are acting like Egyptians to each other.

I now consider that your group could be people who were brought up "kosher"; and so may be they have never even heard of sin things and sin caused troubles that you have had. They might have been in a status culture where such things are never mentioned; so they don't even know they exist.

It is probably people who do not believe or do not want to believe that the Holy Land is a work-in-progress (aren't we all) and that there is evil and corruption here too.

And it is possible we should not say things which can get people distracted and their attention away from God. And in case you discover someone who is mature and aware of the real world of sin and evil, you can talk privately with that person. Prayer meeting can be used for dealing with problems, but it is first for attention to God and trusting God. And there should be unity.

I agree there should be unity in prayer meetings. That's why after there was discord I left the group.

Now, can you just love and forgive, like this? I would say no. There is a wavelength issue. Our Apostle Paul and Jesus are on the love wavelength which is gentle and quiet and humble and soul-resting and all-loving unconditionally and generously forgiving with hope of prayer for the person who needs forgiveness. Now, you can have that wavelength right inside of you . . . but not be on it . . . like how a smooth jazz radio broadcast can flow right through a radio but the radio is on the acid-rock setting so it is not affected by the soul-soothing smooth jazz radio waves. We need how God in us tunes us to His love, as He changes us out of our sin problem stuff.

I am trying to find the Bible verse in the New Testament that I read some time ago, along the lines of "Those you condemn, I will condemn." Can anyone find it?

I understood it at that time to be that some bad things people do will be subject to peer judgement on Judgement Day, but obviously our judgement against these people must be justifiably so.

"Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:31-32)

This is a hard thing to do!

In fact I would say that a balance must be struck between 100% mercy (which is unjust) and 100% justice (which is unmerciful).

I think the often Christian view of forgiving everyone for their transgressions against us leans towards being unjust.

Remember that King David also hated his enemies with perfect hatred (Psalm 139:22). What is perfect hatred?
 
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Mr. M

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My confidante used to be my ex-girlfriend. I was appalled when I found out she was into fortune telling.
Micah 7:
4
The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation comes; now shall be their perplexity.

5 Trust not in a friend, put no confidence in a guide: keep the doors of your mouth from her that lie in your bosom.

6 For the son dishonours the father, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.

7 Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.

9 I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.

10 Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the Lord thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.
 
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timf

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Many people get confused about the emotional component of the Christian life. This can be because the English word "love" can mean different things. It is most often used to describe feelings of affection and attraction.

If we use 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 to define "love" (agape), we can see a different definition, that of selflessness.

It has been said that the cure for the disease of adolescence is parenthood. By this is illustrated that the natural selfishness of childhood is replaced by the selflessness demanded to care for a child.

It can also be seen in the contrast of giving versus taking. A child often feels happy when he is taking. A parent can feel happy when he is giving to his child.

In our relationship with God, we can have good feelings as a result of the confidence we have that we are serving him. If we start chasing after the things that make us feel good, we start to become takers and like the alcoholic and drug user chase a hunger that can never be satisfied.

If we follow truth and grow in faith, we can experience emotional satisfaction as a natural result of growing closer to the Lord.
 
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com7fy8

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But I think to whom God chooses to reveal Himself, He does so in ways that are appropriate for the person. To the rational thinkers, God reveals Himself in a logical way.
I think of this > I might be the more intellectual type and more logical, but I need to get beyond myself and my tendencies so I can relate with other people and be able to understand them and feel for them. This is included in becoming an all-loving person the way Jesus wants, I would say.

Jesus does say I need to deny myself, right? So, yes I use my abilities to be logical and I enjoy how I am able to do things practically; but also I trust God to make me able to be intuitive and funny and able to do dishes and doggy massages and loosen up and not be practical and proper . . . so I can share with and understand and enjoy being with ones who are not like me.

I think of how Jesus left His element in order to reach us - - - "yet without sin."

"I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." (in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

So, yes enjoy how God has blessed you, but if He has reached you at your level . . . this is your example of how He wants you to become able to relate with various others at their levels :) And minister for each other to become like Jesus and love like Jesus.

With my lady friend I have been through a major project. I do not insist that I have done things really right with her, but I will offer this >

For some time, I walked from state to state in the U.S. I could find a full diet thrown out behind stores, and I learned how to shelter myself and sleep using trash materials, in zero-degree plus wind chill weather in New England. So, I could be independent of other people, plus make up for a lot of lost time camping which I have always enjoyed. And I and some others were quite impressed with how I could "leave all for Jesus"; yet, I more and more noticed how ones who were able to relate well with me were family people and professionals living in houses and having cars. And they could be a good example of how I needed to become able to relate with ones not like myself so I could personally love and care about various other people.

And a guy told me I needed to be able to let other people influence my life so I wasn't living like a loner. Of course, I would need to test if and how to go along with other people's influence. Most of all, I needed to gain how people's influence could help me to love while ones rejected me, but also be able to accept being accepted and know how to share with ones who did love and accept me.

And in one church where I then stayed for some time, I had people who were very kind to me and generous with their attention and not afraid to deal with my problems. But with this came what is required > that I also have hope for all the wrong and impossible people who were in their church. The ones so good with me are all-loving people . . . not at all conceited and not welcoming excuses to give up on anyone.

So, yes you may be seeing ones who are not real Jesus love people. And this means Jesus wants you to be the example they need. In case they do not know how to love . . . they need you to be the best friend they could have, by being there for them with good example of how to be and how to relate. Or, in case they can not function with you, always stay ready in prayer ready for love. And this can help to connect you with others who are being love examples while we enjoy sharing as God's family.

So . . . about a guy hoping to marry so he won't have two rents to pay > I think I have found out . . . now at my age of 75 years old . . . a man can be very into using his intelligence and strength, and therefore not invest much in learning to feel for others and connect personally. Meanwhile, in culture a lady can be more depending on her ability to communicate in order to get somewhere, because she does not have as much physical strength like guys can.

And so, here I am with my lady friend, and I can be so practical. But she does not do what I think would be good. And I can become very curious about why she won't do certain things that I feel would be so practical and desirable. But she in her reasoning is caring about other people, and this can have her doing things very differently! She is operating on caring reasons while I might try to control her with my practical dictating.

And when she does not want to do what I am so certain would be good for her . . . practically . . . she does not argue, but she can just give me the slip and not go along with what I am trying to get her to do; she can just ignore something I set up for her, lose what I give her, or forget where something is. Then I can start to get antagonistic inside myself, very upset that she is not so appreciative of my ideas and efforts.

But I know that such anger and bitterness is wrong and not loving her. And it can be trying to lord myself over her. And it is written >

"nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:3)

"Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them." (Colossians 3:19)

So, no bitterness is excused, ever, I understand. And I must not ever try to lord myself over her, no matter how convinced I might be about what she should do.

But as you can see I'm a guy who understands this and that God expects me to trust Him to truly correct me. So, right when that nasty stuff starts, I need to stop, right away, and get real correction, instead of keeping on pushing my lady friend to do what I want.

But in case I a 75-year-old guy am starting to find out how to love . . . in case this is what we guys need to do . . . there can be a number of men who have not even gotten started in this. And so, if they haven't, they are not going to know how to love you.

And there might be men in your church group who have mainly been quite the hard workers and providers, and they just do not get feeling for you and connecting. And you may have told them some things that are not a part of their practical kingdoms that they have established; and they might take pride in how they have set things up. So, you coming along with what is not part of their kingdom can be very culture shocking. And it does not fit with their personalities of being practical and socially acceptable.

And we might not want to be told that our lust is not love and is a problem which keeps us from being sensitive for loving. And so those people might not like being told that abuse of female recruits is related to a major problem they themselves have, of not knowing how to love and care for others. Satan's kingdom is not about caring, and ones of Satan's kingdom watch out for each other, even so guards can help and cover-up for prisoners to do their evil.

So, in order for me to love my sweetie the way God's word means, I have needed to stop being a practical prim and proper perfectionist poopy person, and I need to realize how intimacy with feelings of pleasure in myself are not intimacy of love with another person.

And I have asked her why she stays with me, and she says because she sees I am trying, but she never criticizes me! I have at times outrightly insisted that she tell me things she has discovered about how I am wrong, and she says, nothing! Right!! But . . . when I might be right in the middle of being wrong, then is when she might say something to help me out.

And we share with various other Christian people. It is important how we do not get isolated with our own selves or with just some one other person.
 
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com7fy8

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Now, all the other irritations in life has worn my patience out and made me easy to get angry. Honking, getting irate at stupid drivers, davka* blocking people who cut queues in merging traffic (a very Israeli thing to do) - I see how I am losing my sanctification the moment I get out of my house.

*A Hebrew word that is difficult to translate, but best illustrated with an example. You are driving behind a slow driver, and honk your horn to get them to speed up. They then slow down even more. This is davka - something deliberate in response to something else.
Maybe "spiteful" is an English word. I honk at someone, so he or she stays in my way, just out of spite . . . or being "vindictive", maybe. :)
 
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levnishbar

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Micah 7:
4
The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation comes; now shall be their perplexity.

5 Trust not in a friend, put no confidence in a guide: keep the doors of your mouth from her that lie in your bosom.

6 For the son dishonours the father, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.

7 Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.

9 I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.

10 Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the Lord thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.

Thank you Minister Monardo. The Lord has reminded me through you of a personal prophecy He gave to me many years ago. The words from Scripture are the same.

Many people get confused about the emotional component of the Christian life. This can be because the English word "love" can mean different things. It is most often used to describe feelings of affection and attraction.

It was once explained to me that love is about the other person, lust is about the self.

Indeed I feel the Lord is also speaking to me through you, timf. I have observed that as we grow up, the focus of our lives should shift from me, to me + the spouse, and finally me + the spouse + the children. This is even in the secular world excluding God, but even moreso with God in the picture we need to shift our priorities away from ourselves, to others.

Another interesting analogy is from the geography of Israel itself. There are two main bodies of water in Israel - the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. One is alive, and the other is dead. The reason being, the Sea of Galilee has both an inlet and outlet; it gives and takes. The Dead Sea just takes in water, so eventually becomes hypersaline and dead.

If we use 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 to define "love" (agape), we can see a different definition, that of selflessness.

In our relationship with God, we can have good feelings as a result of the confidence we have that we are serving him. If we start chasing after the things that make us feel good, we start to become takers and like the alcoholic and drug user chase a hunger that can never be satisfied.

Amen!

For some time, I walked from state to state in the U.S. I could find a full diet thrown out behind stores, and I learned how to shelter myself and sleep using trash materials, in zero-degree plus wind chill weather in New England. So, I could be independent of other people, plus make up for a lot of lost time camping which I have always enjoyed. And I and some others were quite impressed with how I could "leave all for Jesus"; yet, I more and more noticed how ones who were able to relate well with me were family people and professionals living in houses and having cars. And they could be a good example of how I needed to become able to relate with ones not like myself so I could personally love and care about various other people.


I had a similar experience as well, doesn't sound as hard as yours but for a time I was unemployed and homeless, despite being highly qualified.

But one lesson that comes to mind from all the hardship, was that how can we know "The Lord is my shepherd" or "God the provider" unless we go through a situation where we clearly need His protection and provision?

I believe that this is how we get to know aspects of God, beyond just the superficial knowledge of His Names.

And a guy told me I needed to be able to let other people influence my life so I wasn't living like a loner. Of course, I would need to test if and how to go along with other people's influence. Most of all, I needed to gain how people's influence could help me to love while ones rejected me, but also be able to accept being accepted and know how to share with ones who did love and accept me.

Yeah I find it is easy to socially withdraw and know I shouldn't.

I think part of human suffering, poverty, etc. exists (Mark 14:7) so that God can sort the wheat from the chaff, the sheep from the goats, on Judgement Day. To the merciful, God will show mercy, and to those who perhaps fall short of the mark, an opportunity for reflection and sanctification.


And in one church where I then stayed for some time, I had people who were very kind to me and generous with their attention and not afraid to deal with my problems. But with this came what is required > that I also have hope for all the wrong and impossible people who were in their church. The ones so good with me are all-loving people . . . not at all conceited and not welcoming excuses to give up on anyone.

So part of the difficult situation you were in, was so that those with faith can display their faith with works, James 2, for faith without works is dead.



Maybe "spiteful" is an English word. I honk at someone, so he or she stays in my way, just out of spite . . . or being "vindictive", maybe. :)

Perhaps, but spitful or vindictive doesn't cover the full gamut of davka. For example one can joke in a pessimistic way. Joe Bloggs carries an umbrella every day, and davka on the day he forgets the umbrella, it rains :)

Thank you everyone for your replies and input, I feel much more encouraged.
 
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