I remember years ago, on April 8, 1966, the cover of Times Magazine printed in bold red letters, “IS GOD DEAD.” Perhaps that was a statement of those times because back then it did not feel that God was very present upon the earth. Wickedness seemed to have engulfed the entire planet. It appeared to be more fashionable to be bad than good. Part of that was a generational shift from our parent’s days of more strict religious fever turning into the baby boomer generation that did not like that strict lifestyle of our parents. We rebelled because we did not feel they were authentic.
In truth, the way religion was taught during previous generations was based upon half-truths and mankind’s version of what they deemed to be godly. At the same time, they were hypocrites attending church on Sunday and parlor halls the rest of the week. Politicians ruled unjustly. The rich looked out for the rich and thumbed their noses at the poor. Whites ruled over people of color with all the cards of the deck stacked on their side. To say that religion was hypocritical would be an understatement. They, the establishment, are the ones who were asking “Is God Dead?” Perhaps that was a good thing because the god they served was not the true God. They served themselves and made rules and laws that benefited the ungodly.
I have been barking for a while now about how ungodly this country is. It was founded based on lies and cruelty. There was not even a sliver of God in it! Our founders claimed to have been one nation under God with liberty and justice for all. Everyone knows that was a big lie! Plus, we are still attempting to live that great white lie today. If you know the true God, you would know just how ungodly this nation has always been. This goes back to the point I made regarding how wickedness flourishes over our entire world. The most natural state of being is that of wickedness and unrighteousness. No, God is not in that picture! We have been conditioned for centuries to believe the great white lie America has sold.
Before continuing I must state that people are not evil because they are white or because they are rich. They are evil because they are evil! It matters not what color they might be. However, when you grow up in a country that practices bigotry and racism for hundreds of years, you might not even consciously think you are practicing racism because it is your most natural way of being. You must focus upon the true God before He will take the blinders off your eyes so you can see yourself and shed the façade you have been living. On the other hand, people who were the victims of the racist system always knew what was really going on because they were at the brunt of the blows that were cast. Unfortunately, hate has consumed many who were so abused.
Here is where we stand currently. Just as a fish does not realize that it lives in water, which would be unusual to us who live on dry land. Similarly, people who grew up in a system that has practiced racism and bigotry do not think it odd to be as they are. To counteract this one must go beyond what is their natural way of being into a righteous way of being. The best way to do that is to get to know the real God. The one that IS NOT DEAD! God IS the righteousness. God is Truth and Love. God is the epidemy of positive attributes that are contrary to how people have been indoctrinated in this country for centuries. The main problem is that we must unlearn all the lies and retrain ourselves based upon God’s truth. That is a monumental task for us to tackle but if we want to be made whole and complete, we must turn and face God as the scriptures tell us.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.
This passage says a lot about the topic at hand. God specifically spoke to His people of then and is speaking to us now. We are all God’s people by birth because it was the same Creator that created us all. Just because God made us does not mean that we belong to Him. We have the power of free will to separate ourselves from God. Therefore, those who do not wish to be God’s people, are free to do so. With that stated, for those who wish to remain as God’s people, there are things He asked of us.
Firstly, He asks us to humble ourselves. What does it mean to humble yourself? It means not being proud or arrogant. Instead to be modest. It is defined as having the feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience: low in rank, importance, status, or even quality. This is how the dictionary defines humbleness. I tend to disagree with part of this definition because it is a state of mind that one should have when approaching almighty God, then all these terms should apply but not in the sense of comparing oneself with other people. God’s people are the highest of the high and lowly to no one, but we do not need to prove this to anyone but God. Being humble to God allows Him to fill us with His power and His glory. He has already placed in us something that is far superior to anything in this world. Knowing this to be the truth we do not need to play games with those who do not know God. Our status is within God and not in those who oppose Him. We do not need to prove ourselves to them. By this, we do need to be humble so God can reveal Himself as He wishes.
Secondly, God asks us to pray. I just recently learned how to pray fervently. My usual way of praying was only on the surface. I would ask for what I desired, and I really did not dig deep down to the level of sincerity. I thought I was being humble in doing so to allow God to answer according to His divine will. But God says that we don’t have because we don’t ask. If our prayers are only surface level, they do not penetrate the spiritual realm. They barely penetrate the physical realm. Therefore, when I pray, I must clear my schedule and go over every single ounce of what I am praying for. I include a long list of names of people that I pray for. Most of them are my circle of love including family, friends, and associates. I have a very long list of names there alone. I also must pray for our nation and the people of the world who do not know God as we do. I pray for the conditions of the world, those who are poor and suffering due to no fault of their own, and the like. When I pray deeply it could take hours therefore, I usually pray at night that leads into my sleeping time. By the time I finish praying I am certain God has heard my prayer requests.
One additional thing I have learned about prayer before I come to God’s altar I seek His forgiveness for all my sins. It is like washing your hands before you eat. I ask God to wash me of all unrighteousness before I petition Him on behalf of others. This goes to the third statement regarding seeking God’s face. I know that I cannot look into God’s face as an unclean specimen. To come to God’s altar, I must be given permission. God will not allow the unrighteous to come before Him without the covering of something that is clean. The blood of Christ would be such a covering because it washes us of our sins and grants us the right to come before God’s face.
Fourthly, God asks us to turn from our wicked ways. That would be a very long list for most of us but it is what He requires. To petition anything of God you must be willing to first turn from unrighteousness. It does not mean that we will become angels in the physical sense but that we have been cleared from our sins through Christ and the desires of our hearts are to please God knowing that we are weak in the flesh, but our intents must be to please God. When we slip and fall Christ is there to catch us and pick us back up because our intent would be to do better at pleasing God. Personally, I still sin daily but I do not wish to always do so. I may say or think something that is unrighteous. I may judge others by my standards and not leave judgment to God alone. There are many ways that I sin or practice wicked ways but the fact that I turn to God is what assists me with my wicked ways that oppose God. The more I turn to God the more I am assisted in turning from my usual wicked ways.
And fifthly, then God will hear from heaven and heal our land. This entails all the four that preceded the fifth. I use the analogy of hitting a home run. When you hit a home run you must go through all the bases before you can get to home plate. If you do not go all around all the bases you do not get the full credit for hitting the home run. Similarly, you must do all the requirements God asks of us before He will heal our land. Our land is not just geographical, it also includes our immortal souls. God will hear from heaven and come down to us to restore us back to Himself. If God were dead, then none of this would apply. God is not dead to those who love Him and keep His commands. On the other hand, God is dead to those who do not!
With all this stated I want to go back and address the question of the Times Magazine article: “Is God Dead?” Yes! God is dead to a lot of people because they do not revere Him, respect Him, know, or acknowledge Him, nor are they willing to do the four things God asks of them before He is willing to heal their souls. I pray for these unbelievers because I sense that if they knew the real God like many of us have been taught to know Him, they would feel the same way we feel and then do all God requires of them to be healed. Therefore, I pray that they could only touch the hem of His garment so they would be healed. If they insist upon disbelief, then I turn them over to God.
But, to those who believe in God by faith and trust and are willing to do all that God commands of us… God could not be more alive and present amongst us right here and right now. This living God wants to have a personal and up-close relationship with all those who love Him and keep His word in us. God lives in His people right here upon the earth as He lives in the heavens as well. Christ told us that He was sending us a Helpmate that will live in us and be with us through all we face in this life. He said what is in us is greater than what is in the world. That would be the indwelling Holy Spirit that is in all those who have accepts Christ as their Lord and Savior. I can’t make any such promise to those who have not or to those who are not willing to accept Christ as Lord. That arrangement would be between the Maker and those He made. The Father alone has jurisdiction over such matters. I can only ask the Father on their behalf to show them grace and mercy as only He can.
Here is my final verdict: GOD IS REAL, HE IS ALIVE, AND HE IS ALREADY IN THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND KEEP HIS COMMANDS. You may look in the mirror and see Him if you so dearly love Him and keep His word in your heart. To almighty God be the glory, Selah!