What is God saying to us in the midst of our pain? On the show today, we’re talking about the questions we ask when life goes wrong. Some people say you shouldn’t even ask God the why question, but that’s what we’re going to do in this episode. We’re talking about how asking God questions is an act of intimacy, what God’s heart is in the midst of our pain and suffering and what to do when there seems to be no answers at all.
There was a song that hit the top of the charts in the early 1980s – first in Australia and then in the US. It was re-released in Australia in 2004 and spent a long time at the top of the charts again, this time hitting the charts in Ireland as well. The song was called what about me?
What About Me?
It isn’t fair,
I’ve had enough,
now I want my share…
It’s a song that asks a lot of questions from a position of pain. Somehow, the lines of this song resonated with thousands of people around the world – perhaps because when we find ourselves going through hard times, we end up asking the same sorts of questions. What about me? What about God? and What about them?
Money, sex and power are some of the most powerful agents in the world. Any one of them can take down presidents and pastors, politicians and kings. History is littered with stories of people who have been able to conquer nations but not their own lives. So how does God call us to handle them?
I’m going to be honest with you. Travelling the world, I have the opportunity to hear a lot of stories – and tragically, they’re not all good. Many of them involve abuse and hurt at the hands of leaders who haven’t been able to handle one or more of three areas of life: money, sex and power.
Of course it’s not just leaders who are susceptible – we are all subject to their misuse. But when money, sex and power are not handled well by those in authority, there are far-reaching consequences.
In this episode of the show, we look at:
- How money, sex and power are morally neutral. They are tools that can be used for both good or evil. The key lies in how we use them and what place they take in our hearts.
- When it comes to money, sex and power, God calls us to operate by kingdom principles – which typically are the opposite of what our selfish nature leans towards. So, when the self says, use power for your own ends, Jesus says, use it to serve and empower others; when the self says, use money to indulge yourself, Jesus says it is more blessed to give than receive; when the self says, get as much out of sex as you can, Jesus says to seek the benefit of it for others in covenant love.
If you have a God-dream in the African church, no-one thinks you’re unusual. Hearing God’s voice in dreams is common in this part of the world. Some churches even have a resident dream interpreter who offers counsel to congregation members! What can we learn from the African church where Christianity is growing at a rapid rate and where hearing the voice of the Spirit in dreams is a regular occurrence?
On the show this week, we’re talking to a friend of mine and a fellow PhD student, Anna Droll. Anna is an ordained minister with the American Assemblies of God and founder of Kairos Global Missions. Her ministry is focused in Africa and she is an adjunct professor at Southeastern University and Northwest University. She is also a woman who is passionate about prayer and healing, has a heart of compassion for everyone she meets and offers some profound insights into this interesting and important area of spirituality.
In this podcast, we talk about:
- Anna’s spiritual journey and how she ended up studying dreams and visions in Africa.
- Why dreams and visions are more accepted in Africa than in the Western church.
- What we can learn from Anna’s studies and from the church in Africa.
- plus some great stories including how a God-dream led a former drug addict to help others find freedom.
You don’t need to be a Christian to live a good life. Plenty of my friends live a great life without God. They are well educated, hold successful jobs and live in beautiful homes. For the most part they enjoy happy, contented lives – even with a few bumps along the way.
In our Western world, it’s not difficult to live a good life. There are common sense decisions we can make, self-help books to read and plenty of resources at our disposal. In the Western parts of the world, we are blessed with opportunity and prosperity. Even with a bad start, you can turn things around if you make good choices and work hard.
But God has a very different life for those who choose to follow him. It’s a good life, but it’s more than good. The ‘God life’ is not an ordinary life because it involves walking with a supernatural God. This week on the show, we’re talking about the God Life – and how to live it.
The God life involves walking with a supernatural God. It involves living with an expectation of the supernatural intervention of God working through our circumstances. That means our lives will look different. We will make illogical decisions in the face of impossible circumstances. We’ll take risks when there’s not enough resources. We’ll step out into areas of fear just because he told us too. And when we do, we see the miracle working power of God.
How could God have created the world in 6 days when geological data shows the earth is over four billion years old?
How does the Bible’s description of human creation align with scientific evidence supporting evolution?
If Adam and Eve were the first couple, where did their son Cain’s wife come from?
These are the kinds of questions that come up today when Bible-believing Christians read the story of creation in the opening chapters of Genesis. The various answers are often fuel for furious and acrimonious debate that has led to an artificial division between faith and science. While these questions may be important in our progressive world, our pre-occupation with them has meant we’ve actually missed the main point of the story.
The problem lies in the questions themselves. Genesis was written at a time when people were not asking the same kind of questions we’re asking today. Theirs was a world where science hadn’t even been invented – when there was no such thing as the “scientific method”. Understandings about the world was simple – the earth was a flat disc separating the waters below and the waters above. All of it originated at some point of time with the gods.
In the Genesis story of creation, God didn’t bother taking time to correct readers’ cosmology and explain that water isn’t held up by a dome with windows that allow the rain to fall through. Genesis 1-3 is not a scientific account given to explain how the world was created. Far more important issues were at stake. Genesis was written to show us who we are, why we’re here and what we’re supposed to do. The answers it gives have framed the foundation of Christianity and have become the bedrock of Western civilisation.