Stop Trying

It’s been a little while since I’ve updated any part of this website. No, I haven’t forgotten about The Rebel Christian, I just haven’t had the inspiration to write. I kept asking myself, what do The Rebel Christian readers need this week? I prayed about it, thought on it, really sat down and tried to write something—anything—but nothing came to mind.

I never plan the articles I write; I just realize the website needs to be updated and I find something relevant and encouraging to write. Each article has a purpose and I believe each one impacts every reader differently. I don’t know what each subscriber needs but I try to write something that can be encouraging to every reader who stops by here, no matter their age, race, gender, or their closeness to God.

It’s hard to find something that can affect such a large range of people. That’s how I came up with the topic for today’s article.

Stop Trying.

That could apply to myself in so many different ways, but it came to me when I was listening to a sermon from a favorite pastor of mine—and again when my own pastor said the same thing to me.

You see, I never realized that I was my own worst enemy in my struggles with my faith. I’ve shed a lot of tears and prayed a lot of prayers, wondering why God never answered me. So many times I’ve pulled my mother aside and asked her questions, prayed with her, cried to her, always getting the same patient response; ‘Wait on God, trust God, believe in Jesus, lean on Jesus, depend on Jesus’

You should know I would get very frustrated whenever I left those prayer sessions. I didn’t get it. I was praying, fasting, reading my Bible, singing my heart out in worship service, reminding myself to stay positive. Yet nothing worked. I felt stuck in the same place—always. Then it hit me. I was depending on works. I thought the things I did would get my prayers answered. Kind of like running around doing this and that screaming; look at me God! See what I did??? Now it’s your turn! Do something for me now!

Really, God didn’t ask me to do any of those things. In fact, I distinctly remember being told by God to ‘Be Still’

The thing about the Lord is, He is not an equivalent exchange service. You don’t do this…and then get this. You don’t perform that…and then obtain this. That’s not how it works—and I use the word ‘works’ very lightly because that somewhat implies that there is a system in place within the Body of Christ. Sure, we all have a purpose, we have order, and we have rules to obey in the Kingdom of God. But we do not have a system that we can look at and pinpoint which actions will get us which blessings.

That notion completely disregards the Will of God and the plan He has for us. If that’s how it worked then Jesus’s blood was shed in vain. The Bible was written in vain. Why go through all of that when God could’ve sent us a one-page chart on how-to-get-blessings?

What I’m getting at it this; we—myself included—need to stop trying to do things.

Stop trying to have faith.

Stop trying to believe.

Stop trying to tithe.

Stop trying to trust Jesus.

Stop trying to pray.

These are not things that you try, they are things that you do.

You TRY broccoli.

You TRY spicy kimchee soup.

You TRY a new shampoo.

But you don’t TRY to have faith—you’ve either got it or you don’t. Plain and simple.

You believe in the power of God or you don’t.

You tithe and give offering or you don’t.

You trust Jesus with your problems or you don’t.

You pray or you don’t.

You’re saved or you’re not.

Don’t get me wrong, you can always work on growing in faith. You can yield fully and trust Jesus in every aspect of your life and you can always pray more often. I’m not saying there is no room for improvement, I’m saying that trying these things is the wrong way to approach your faith. You don’t wake up and say, I’m going to try to believe that Jesus will get me through this. No, you believe He will or you don’t.

Ladies and gentlemen, there is no grey area in our faith. The Bible is written very plainly and very simply. I’m not saying anything controversial or rude. I’m just pointing out that our everyday worries, doubtful attitudes, and the mindset of trying to do something may be hindering our spiritual growth. If all you do is try things, you never truly accomplish anything.

Now let’s look at some scriptures for reference.

“And Jesus answering saith unto then, Have faith in God.” Mark 11:22 KJV

Notice Jesus didn’t say, try to have faith, or do you think you can get a little faith? Or, hopefully, if you want, get some faith up in ya.

No, He said simply; have faith. He wasn’t encouraging us; Jesus was actually issuing a command. Have faith. Do it. Believe it. Trust in Jesus.

“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16 KJV

If this scripture doesn’t encourage you to make up your mind, then I don’t know what will. You cannot get away with kind of believing. You believe God will or you don’t. You cannot get away with sinning a little. You are either a sinner in need of salvation or you’re a Believer covered in the blood of Christ. If you’re a Believer, you acknowledge when you sin and repent. You don’t do it over and over again, running back to the same issue justifying your actions because you’re trying to get better. No, you either turn from your wicked ways—get back up when you stumble and fall—or you don’t.

“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:22 KJV

Notice this scripture says ‘believing’ not, believing as much as you can. Or just hoping somewhat, 50/50 chance—give or take. No, the Word says believing. Nothing more, nothing less. We cannot call ourselves Christians and straddle the fence when it comes to our faith. If you don’t believe that God can take care of you, then what do you believe? Why are you wasting your time praying prayers you don’t even believe will get answered?

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 KJV

This scripture sums up everything I’ve been saying. You cannot please God by trying to have faith. You’ve got to simply have it. You can’t even approach God without first believing that He exists, beyond that, when you pray you have to already know that God will answer you. This isn’t something to be tried like it’s a new food or an experimental procedure. This is your faith we’re dealing with—the only thing that will determine where you go when you die.

Have faith or don’t. You decide.