In all honesty, Lord, my main desire in life is to limit suffering as much as possible. I am most concerned with limiting my personal suffering, but I also care for all other sentient beings and don’t want them to suffer either. You have given me a taste of suffering through mental breakdown, torture, depression, pain, and hopelessness. I am desperate not to experience terrible suffering in the future.
I believe You are in control of all suffering, and that any solution to the problem of suffering lies exclusively within Your power. You are clearly unfolding a plan for creation, and have shown me beyond any doubt that You are completely sovereign over my life, and all our lives.
You know my predicament, Lord. On the one hand, the person of Jesus Christ has had a huge impact on my spiritual journey. You know that I have been in tears of joy declaring Jesus as my Lord and Saviour from a place of complete brokenness and humility. You know the hours I have spent on my knees, writing out passages of Scripture and begging You for mercy. You know that through obedience I have repented and been baptised both in water and in the Holy Spirit. You also know that I have struggled intensely with the contradictions concerning Your sovereignty and ‘free will’ that affect so many central Christian doctrines.
Although I have withdrawn somewhat from the Christian faith, I don’t believe I have done so due to pride, because I am still petrified of Your power and the fact that You could make me suffer endlessly and excruciatingly if that were Your will. My problems with the Christian faith come from a place of earnestly seeking after Truth.
I would much rather sell all my possessions and lead an itinerant life sharing the gospel than end up in hell. Truly! There are no benefits to living outside of the Christian faith, other than a few carnal pleasures that one can enjoy when one is not concerned about sin. But You know, Lord, that I have fasted and continue to fast, and that I strive to live a holy life and flee from sin, and that the pleasures of this world are hardly tempting to me in comparison to paradise after death.
Logically, I should become a Christian. But I don’t know that I can do it. I have been a Christian, and totally immersed in Christian evangelism, serving in church, attending house groups, studying the Bible, being sacrificial, believing in Jesus, praying and worshiping, and loving the peace and joy that come with being His disciple. But every time I have thrown myself wholeheartedly into the Christian life, the contradictions and inconsistencies of Christian thinking have risen to the surface of my mind and taken hold of me with great force, causing me to draw back from the faith.
Surely, Lord, these doubts come from You. Christians will deny that, and this is one of the reasons why I can’t be a Christian, because Christians pick and choose which thoughts and beliefs come from You and which come from our own ‘free will’ or the devil. I know that You are in control of all things, Lord, and I’m grateful that You have given me that understanding. But it is not the Christian understanding!
I know that life is so much more meaningful when living for Jesus. I cannot see any meaning outside of the Christian life. And yet it seems, for whatever reason, that You won’t allow me to fully submit my life in that way. You have made certain aspects of reality plain to me; things that most Christians fail to see, and this is both a blessing and a curse.
The plain truth is that we do not have free will! If any Christian is reading this and wants to tell me that my destiny is up to me and not You… well, You know the truth, Lord. You know that Christians pray to You about their lives; their jobs, their health, their marriages; knowing full well that You are in control of every aspect of their lives. Prayer would make no sense if this were not true.
I beg of You, Lord, don’t send me to hell. It would only demonstrate cruelty. Again, Christians will disagree with this and say You would be perfectly just sending me to hell because I am a sinner. But You know the truth, Lord, that I have never done anything that has not been completely under Your control. It’s so obvious to me that this is true. How would I know how to manufacture thoughts, beat my heart, circulate my blood, digest my food, dream, grow my hair, grow from a baby into an adult, or do anything else? It is absurd to think that I am in control of myself!! And yet Christians cannot see this, and refuse to consider any position that compromises freedom of the human will.
Perhaps I should suppress the truth and become a Christian? Okay, Lord, I will. If that’s what You want. If it will save me from hell. But You are in control, so You have to make it happen. Or do You have other plans for me? Can I not be a Christian and still escape hell somehow? Because You are sovereign, I believe it’s within Your power to do whatever You want with my mind, body, and soul. So would You please, please, be merciful to me, Lord, and not make me suffer torment in hell? Please, Lord?
I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the LORD, do all these things.
I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself,
that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
I have disabled comments for this post owing to the fact that it is very personal and I feel the matter is between me and God. If you would like to discuss anything with me you can always email me via the Contact page. In general I always allow and encourage comments, but that didn’t feel right for this post. I hope you understand and thank you for reading.
One response to “From My Heart, to God”
[…] On Tuesday I got a bit emotional and shared a lament about my predicament concerning the Christian faith and how it doesn’t quite square with my beliefs concerning free will. It’s the first time I’ve ever turned off comments for a post, because it was super-personal. Thank you so much to everyone who emailed me with feedback, I’m very grateful. You can read the post here. […]