The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

APRIL  2009

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






A Matter Of Faith

It Wasn't Supposed to be This Way

by Joel Lawler

Have you ever sensed that even at the best, most spectacular moments that there still remains something missing?

We were created for something greater than the daily grind to make it through another day. We were designed for more than just working day to day just to survive to see another day.

There was a time when we lived in a tranquil garden. We lived the life God created us for. In the evening, God would walk with us. This is the way it was supposed to be. This is the life we all desire at the core of our being.

Something went wrong.

We chose to walk away from our relationship with God. We decided to be our own god and abandon our creator.

He designed us with the ability to freely make that choice and we chose the path that took us directly away from him. In doing so, we turned our back on the life we were meant to live. Now we are left with something much less that leaves us empty and wanting more.

We try to fill the void with money, power, sex, pleasure, achievementů but such pursuits only lead to deeper and further pursuits.

Nothing reaches the core issue of us being out of  relationship with God. We were meant to live life with him. Apart from him, there will always be something missing. We will never be complete. He loves us and wants us to return to him.

God loves us so much that he created a path back. Justice demanded punishment for our rebellion.

God stepped in and took the penalty upon himself. He wants you back with him. He wants to walk with you through your days.

God values you just as you are. Unlike people who place value on others because of their looks, wealth, intellect, achievements, God loves you just as you are. There is nothing you can do to make him love you any more than he already does because he loves you completely.

There is also nothing you have done or could do that would make him love you any less. He took all of the wrong we have done upon himself. It is forgiven.
Religion is a distraction. It is a tool used to manipulate and extort.

Religious people will heap rules and standards on others in order to control their behavior. They will pound the podium and scream from the pulpits of churches in order to intimidate those who gather to hear them. They will use fear to control others. They will threaten hell to those who do not believe as they do or act the way they want them to act. Their tactics only reveal their own insecurity.

The louder they are, the less confident they are in their own message. The bigger the spectacle they feel they need to make, the less likely the legitimacy of their cause. Their desire to control and manipulate is not of God. They are trying to fill the void of a lack of a true relationship with God by accumulating power.

You do not need the approval of any person. Your relationship with God is between you and him. You can go directly to him. You do not need to seek the approval of others. God created a path for you and you alone to him. What others believe does not matter. It is up to you alone to work out your own faith. You can seek and find God. Being in a community with others who share the same relationship with God is a beautiful experience. Most importantly, it is your relationship with God that is all that matters.

It isn't supposed to be this way but because of God's love and grace we can return to the way it was meant to be which is a relationship with him.


Joel Lawler