Doubt

I’m struggling. I’m struggling badly with the Christian faith, with what to do with my life, with sin, and with reconnecting with God. Like I said in my previous post, I seriously doubt if I’m a Christian. In the book The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, there is a part which talks about a man in an iron cage. Now, this man was once walking in the light but backslid badly, making him believe that he can’t repent or believe in God’s promises again. He’s an apostate. His heart is hard. Despair and sin plague him.

I feel like this man. I don’t know if I am this man, but I’m finding it extremely difficult to reconnect with God. My heart is hard, and I don’t have a passion for Christ like I once did (albeit for a short time). Christianity isn’t about a list of dos and don’ts. An obedience gospel is frustrating and ultimately plunges a man into despair. It’s no gospel at all. The gospel is about God’s grace poured out on His Elect, changing hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, resulting in faith in Christ which produces an affection and longing for Him, which in turn creates obedience. How can I obey God when my heart is so hard? Do I push against my will and infuriate myself? I need a heart set on Christ. One that loves Him and longs for Him.

We’re inclined to hating God from the time of birth. And after God seeks us out and points us to Christ, we love Him because He loved us first. Now people equate love with obedience, but that’s a wrong notion. I don’t want to get into the details, but I’ll say this: A cold, ‘Obey the Ten Commandments, do this, do that gospel,’ kills more than it saves.

Moving forward, I wish I could connect with Christians who do believe in religious affection and aren’t cessationist and aren’t bohemian or rule-making but Reformed and preferably Baptist in their views in my city. Talking with them, and having them pray for me will certainly help me now. I feel that way at least. The pastors I’ve talked to in the past haven’t helped me at all.

Finally, I’ll end by saying that I hope that there’s hope for me. If God has left me, I hope He returns for me and grants me repentance. I hope He sets my mind on Christ and not on the things of this world. I hope He helps me make a full recovery towards being a God-loving Christian. I hope He helps me do away with sin and addiction, and makes me thirst for Christ. I can’t do it alone. I can’t will my heart to obey Him when it’s cold. I need God. I need Christ. I need His Holy Spirit.

A new beginning

I deleted all my posts because they don’t represent me or who I live for anymore. Looking back, I consider them misery-plagued, self-indulgent, self-pity soaked garbage. Today, I live for Christ, and I want to live for Him until the day I die without anymore backsliding, without suddenly chasing the will-o’-the-wisp like I’ve often done in the past. I’m honestly sick of that life. It’s just one constant chase for appreciation and flattery. All I wanted was the likes and comments; the fame and the glory and the limelight. I even ended up hurting people writing bitter, caustic comments.

Now, the Christian life isn’t easy, and I’m just a Christian recovering from an intense period of backsliding. I still smoke. I’m trying to quit porn and an addiction to video games. I’m trying to quit reading literature that is antithetical to the Christian message, and promotes a hedonistic, bohemian worldview or an utterly despondent, nihilistic one. But I’m sick and tired of swaying in the wrong direction before going back to Christ. I’m tired of embracing culture or counter-culture that only gives me misery. I’ve realized that yes, mental health issues adversely affect one’s mood, but there’s also a spiritual aspect to depression. One that stems from sin. Sin brings guilt which causes despondency. But I also believe that God will help me quit every addiction because He’ll strengthen me through His Holy Spirit.

Now, I often wonder if I’m a Christian at all. My life hasn’t reflected it, and my writing definitely hasn’t. A part of me believes God saved me when I was 27, and another doubts it. And there is every reason to doubt. I’ve lived like the lowest of the low. But whatever the truth is, God is drawing me to Him, and I’m not hardening my heart and doing my thing anymore. David Platt’s ‘Radical: Taking back your faith from the American Dream,’ and of course, the Bible helped me greatly. God used the former to convict me and make me realize just how unbiblical and perverse I’d let my life become. Christianity requires total and absolute surrender to Christ, and God helped me count the cost and say, ‘yes.’ There have been times when I’ve felt some Godly peace after listening to gospel music, only to revert to my sinful ways the next day. But I pray that God will hold me fast and help me persevere this time, until the end, no matter what. And that comes from soaking myself in His Word with the help of His grace.

I won’t be posting frequently from now on. My posts hereafter will also reflect my Christian journey, and I pray that God helps me through all this. Christ died in my place, and it’s my job to glorify Him.