If we don’t ask God why, that means we don’t expect Him to answer.
If you are a believer that lives in a year that follows Jesus resurrection, you are a new testament kinda guy or gal. As new testament kinda folk we are branded with the Great Commission. We are commanded to go into all the world and tell everyone about Jesus good news aka the gospel, baptize them and disciple them to go and repeat that cycle. So it is a natural thing to want to share the amazing hope that Christ gave us. But what happens when people just don’t give a darn? (Thats right, darn. Keeping it ultra PG for my holiness friends :))
Paul ran into this mentality on repeat in the book of Acts. They tried to kill him, and they did kill his friends, and all because he wanted to tell people about Jesus gospel of freedom. But the murderous guys weren’t street thugs lurking in a back ally. Today this group isn’t your super sinner friends that you wouldn’t trust to give you a high five in public. This group was inside of the synagogue. Inside the group of people who declared publicly that they were following after the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They were people of faith. Just like Paul.
People of faith are quite often the last ones who want to hear about the gospel. When we are so sure we have all the answers, we can become quite standoffish to anyone that brings a contrary statement. We often build walls with these pieces of our faith that might need some Jesus. Pentecostal, charismatic, pre trib rapture, partial preterist, calvinist, vegan, minimalist… and the list goes on. These words define who we are so that we don’t need to add anything that goes against the flow of our thought stream. We wear these words like badges of honour and often use them to replace the term Christian. These words are statements of where our intellect and hearts land in times of stress or confusion. We pull them out when we hear a message we disagree with. “That’s very a very interesting idea, but I think I will keep getting my eschatology from Kirk Cameron. I would rather be afraid of God.” Yes! I finally worked in a Kirk Cameron joke.
Do you remember a few years back when Rob Bell wrote Love Wins? This book asked some seriously important questions about topics that were once no go zones. But it gave few answers, that brings instant tension. What it did was create an environment where we can ask why. But this book for some reason made people go cra cra! Somewhere along the journey ‘people of faith’ forgot to ask questions.. I remember posting a picture of the book cover on my instagram and within minutes I was taking backlash from pastors and friends accusing me of losing my faith. The question started being asked following this, “you are a literal hell guy though, right.” Now because I read a book and found it interesting, I have classifications made up for me with no questions asked. Just assumptions. For the record, I thought it was a good book and have recommended it to a few friends. I don’t have to agree with every statement in order to recommend something, and neither do you. I was always taught by my pastor to eat the meat and spit out the bones. You can learn from many sources, even if there are elements that you could never agree with.
In Acts 18:1-6 Paul ran into the anti Bell anti Shack crowd in Corinth. When the arguments started he simply walked away from the group that didn’t want to hear about the gospel and ask the questions. He went to the non-religious crowds that wanted some hope. Not that the first crowd didn’t need hope, but they were too busy finding hope in themselves and how their actions could control the old covenant that they were used to. When Paul left this crew in Corinth he made this statement “Your blood is upon your own heads – I am innocent.” (Acts 18:6b NLT) That’s pretty condemning. You refuse to ask why, dig deeper or even talk it out. You refuse to rest on the spirit of God and instead only want what you have always known… good bye.
In the gospel there is freedom, life and liberty. If you walk up to God afraid of his wrath, judgement and are petrified to make a wrong move incase he has a lightning bolt with your name on it, you are not living in the freedom of the gospel. If you feel like you need a 3 hour worship set incase you didn’t get to the ninth heaven, you aren’t doing it right. This is the stuff Jesus came and fulfilled, He came and gave us a new lease on life! He gave us the ability to come to Him anytime, any day and just talk and hang out. We can worship freely without going through the ceremony and procedures of the OT. We can share our joy and pain with him. He changed the cartoon impression of God we grew up with and changed it to Jesus. We can even ask questions and give pushback on stuff that bothers us. I have found that my faith has become deeper and more meaningful, the more I ask why. I now expect more from my prayer times and everyday communication with the Holy Spirit. I expect him to take me on a journey and teach me things, I like that way better. It has made me want to spend time in prayer instead of prayer being another spiritual chore to cross off the list.
Making adjustments along the faith journey is healthy, those adjustments keep us on track. Let’s keep asking why, and asking the spirit of God to illuminate our paths to more freedom. If we don’t ask God why, that means we don’t expect Him to answer.