Ask Your Preacher
The question I have: I believe six years ago, the Lord placed in my heart the desire to become a nurse, and ever since I received that, I've been pursuing this, taking classes and asking questions. This quarter, I'm taking a biology class, but for some reason, I'm starting to wonder if this is what God wants me to do. The reason why I'm asking myself and asking God this is because this quarter, I find myself struggling to sit down and study and do the homework. I want to do well in this class; I want to understand what I'm studying; I want to be that nurse for God that knows what she is doing.
What I want to know is why it is a struggle for me now. Is it because I'm out of God’s will? (I hope not.) Or is it something I'm not seeing?
Nursing A Career
Dear Nursing A Career,
God doesn't miraculously imbue us with what profession we should take and the power to sail through classes. The fact that you are having to work hard for your degree isn't a sign from God one way or the other. Hard work is a blessing, and hard workers are pleasing to God. Ecclesiastes says that we have the freedom to pursue whatever things we want in this life – as long as we remember that God will judge us in the end for the life we lived (Eccl 11:9). Being a nurse is a noble and kind profession, and there is nothing wrong with pursuing it, but don't think that God directly spoke to you that you need to be a nurse. God doesn't work that way. God speaks to us through His Son's Word, the Bible (Heb 1:1-2). We are faithful when we listen to that Word and obey it (Rom 10:17). Nursing school is a difficult challenge for even the most agile minds – you aren't struggling because you've done something wrong.
In reference to Heb. 1:14, how do angels minister to christians today?
Dear Angelic Asking,
God says angels are regularly involved in influencing and protecting human lives.
- They report to God on behalf of christians who are abused, persecuted, and mistreated (Matt 18:10).
- They watch and rejoice when the lost repent (Lk 15:10).
- They are watching and see when we sin (1 Cor 11:10).
- They carry the souls of the faithful to Paradise (Lk 16:22).
- They protect and fight over the spiritual direction of nations (Dan 10:13).
The end result is that we don’t know much about angels, but we do know that they influence the lives of all of mankind. Their very name explains their role. ‘Angel’ means ‘messenger’. Angels are the messengers of God, daily fulfilling tasks on His behalf. Wherever God’s will needs to be fulfilled, angels will not be far. In the case of Jesus – He had been given specific authority to call upon angels to protect Him at any time (Matt 26:53). The Bible never states that all christians have been given that kind of authority. However, when a righteous person prays, God listens (Jas 5:16)… and if God listens, He may very well send His angels to do His bidding on our behalf.
Why does life stink? I try to believe in God, but life is full of misery. If God is all-knowing, why did He even create us to be so miserable? I would have preferred to be like a robot and have all in common with everyone instead of such ups and down. Sorry, but I am really feeling that God is just a superstition.
This life can be miserable because of sin, not because of God. God does not desire anyone to suffer. God made the world perfect, placed mankind in the Garden of Eden, and gave us a joyously blissful existence in that paradise. Who caused the pain? We did. It is sin that has brought all of the death, disease, decay, pain, suffering, troubles, and heartaches into our world. We all, in varying degrees, are reaping the benefits of a world with sin in it.
People suffer for various reasons:
- Sometimes we suffer for our own sins (Gal 6:7-8)
- Sometimes we suffer because of others’ choices (Like David’s sufferings at the hands of Saul – 1 Sam 20:1)
- Sometimes we suffer in order to glorify God through our suffering and recovery (Like the blind man – Jhn 9:2-3)
No matter what, God tells us that we can rejoice in tribulations (Rom 5:3) because eventually, if we suffer faithfully, our tribulations produce indestructible hope… a hope that cannot be taken away from us. God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him (Rom 8:28). God isn’t a superstition; He is a very real and faithful Lord. We recommend reading the post “Does God Exist?” for some of the evidence that proves God’s existence.
How do you completely surrender to God?
Dear White Flag,
You completely surrender to God when you allow Him to guide your life through His Word. When we place our faith in God, we become soldiers in His army and follow His commands (2 Tim 2:3-4). Jesus is our King, and we must bow our knee and our will to Him (Php 2:9-11). We have faith in Christ when we hear and obey His Word (Rom 10:17). We surrender our lives by following the Bible. The very first acts of obedience to Christ involve the five steps to become a christian (read “Fives Steps To Salvation” for specifics). After you have become a christian, it is a matter of growing and living by the Bible to the best of your ability.
When I am playing the piano in our worship, I hardly ever feel the presence of God. But when I have the Sunday off, and I am worshipping, I feel God's presence. Why is this?
Not Feeling It
Dear Not Feeling It,
There are two parts to your question that must be dealt with. Before we answer your concerns about how and when you feel close to God, we recommend you read the post “Music to HIS Ears”. After reading that, it may make the second part of this question obsolete because it explains how using instruments as a part of worship isn’t a biblical practice.
The second half of your question deals with emotion. The Bible never talks about us feeling the presence of God. In fact, mankind hasn’t been allowed in the presence of God since Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden (Gen 3:8). The angels are in God’s presence (Lk 1:19), but mankind won’t be until the Day of Judgment. God is certainly close to us and affects our lives (Acts 17:27-28), but we don’t have direct contact with Him. So when we talk about “feeling the presence of God”, what we are really discussing is when we feel emotionally close to God. Emotions are fickle. There will be times when you will feel like God is far from you… but you are wrong because He is still watching over you (Ps 9:10), and there are folks that believe that they are close to God, but they are separated from Him because they are living wickedly (Matt 7:21-23). Simply put, we can’t trust our emotions to be accurate. The only way to confidently know that God is near you is to live faithfully by hearing and acting upon His instructions (Rom 1:16).