Please God…Are You Real?

 

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At some point almost everyone ponders the question, “Is there really a God?”

For years I kept that thought to myself. Even when I was on fire for the Lord. I wondered in the back of my mind if He was real.

I prayed thousands of prayers asking for clarity. I was conflicted. I still am conflicted. Is God real?

One thing that I am NOT conflicted on is the fact that if you live by the laws of the Bible, you’ll live a righteous life.

Early on in my incarceration, I turned away from religion. However, I continued to pray to a God that I didn’t know for sure even existed. I want to believe in God. But for some reason, my mind questions Him.

So for 15+ years I lived without God. I attempted to rehabilitate myself and to live a righteous life without Him. I attempted to do all the right things without God.

How’d that work out for me?

Not good! I continued to get in fights. I still had excess turmoil and conflict in my life. There was a key element I couldn’t figure out. There was something I didn’t quite understand. As a result, I continued to suffer.

For example: On 8/13/12, I went to the hole for no reason. They placed me on “Administrative Segregation”. (also known as: Ad Seg.) The Ad Seg Referral looked like this:

Image (5)

I couldn’t believe it! It all was a lie! At my Ad Seg hearing, they read me the entire referral then asked, “Do you understand why you’re in Seg?”

I said, “No.”

“What don’t you understand?” he said in a curt voice.

I said, “Everything in that statement is a lie.”

He responded, “The investigation will determine that.”

Then a lady on the committee asks, “Did they take $400 in your commissary from you?”

“No. They took about $195 in commissary. And I have a receipt for everything. My receipts are in a green folder marked “RECEIPTS.”

At this point a coupe committee people look at each other then shuffle through a few papers. The statement I just gave them is either true or false. There’s no gray area. There’s no debate. I have their full attention.

I break the silence by saying, “Some inmates are just mad at me, so they told you guys lies to get me in trouble. I’ve never strongarmed anyone. And I surely don’t need any protection.”

The lady quickly asks, “Why would inmates be mad at you?”

I pause for a moment of thought then say, “I’m not exactly sure. The only thing that comes to mind is something that happened last week.”

“What happened last week?”

I told her, “Some weirdo (see: Prison Glossary)  kept on trying to talk to me. At first I was polite. But then he started to make a habit of it. So I told him to “get the f**k away from me and don’t ever talk to me unless I talk to you first.” Then I turned to his little weirdo crew and said, “That goes for all of you.’”

Again, the Ad Seg committee all looked at each other.

I offered one last statement, “I was telling people to leave me alone…not strongarming them.”

Three days later I was cleared of all charges. No infraction was written. They put me back in the same unit, and in the same cell. They apologized and gave me back all my commissary. I had to show receipts…but they gave it all back.

***

These type of things littered my life. I was not in harmony with the word of God. I did not live by the scripture. I would pray every now and then, but that was it.

Proverbs 18:7 says, A fools mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul.

Ain’t that the truth!

Today I use the Bible to guide me. I believe in the fundamental teachings. I apply the scripture to my daily living.

Does God exist? I don’t know. I can’t lie to myself. And I won’t lie to you. I am still conflicted.

But one thing I know without a doubt: When I live according to the Bible, my life is so much better. I truly feel blessed.

1 Peter 3:8

 

My humble prayer request: “Please God, show me the way.”

 

 

thYE93MG9I

Steven Jennings

 

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27 thoughts on “Please God…Are You Real?

  1. dennisjmartinek says:

    Steven, I believe even on my worst days that there is a God…faith is all about believing without seeing. We don’t get every prayer answered, but usually, we will at least get guidance. Always stay strong in mind and body.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Steven D. Jennings says:

      If a honest person who never lies told you,”I can flap my arms and fly like a bird”. Would you believe them? I would’nt. Because I don’t have faith like that. One million people could tell me its true. And I still wouldn’t believe it. I’d have to see for myself. Believe me, I wish I could have your faith. But it is what it is. My mind simply doesn’t work like that? I can’t trick myself. And I wont lie about it. For years I used my lack of faith as an excuse to stay away from God and the Bible. Today I refuse to do that. I’m going to continue to seek. I’m going to obey the teachings of Jesus. I’m going to do the right thing in life and live in the spirit of love. I’m going to read my Bible and pray to God. Thats all I can do. The rest is up to Him. A Him that I don’t even know exists. But I will serve Him as if He does. I will seek guidance through scripture. I will stay strong in mind and body. Thank you.

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  2. maddmombetty says:

    God is real. And He is showing it to you by showing up…by showing you the way through His word. We all must walk by faith, and perhaps this is your test. But I testify to you that God lives and loves you and hears your prayers. That His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, Atoned for our sins in Gesthemane and on the cross at Calvary, that He rose from the dead and now lives! So we can live again with Him and our Heavenly Father. And I know this the same way you can…by the testimony of the Holy Ghost, which testifies of the truth of all things.And I leave you my testimony in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

    Liked by 3 people

      • sonniq says:

        I’m going to give you a different perspective than the other people who replied trying to tell you that God exists. The culture we live in makes us want to believe the way people around us do and none of them can say anything other than what has been repeated often enough that you feel it has to be true. There was something you said early in your post. I’m paraphrasing. When you live by the principles that are taught, you have a better day. The bottom line of most religions tries to teach you how to be a good human. If people lived by these principles our world would be a better place. But largely, people don’t. If you ask most people if they believe in God they will say they do, but they can’t tell you why. Mostly they say, “It’s the way I was raised”.

        Is there a God? No.Not the way Christians believe. Is there power in the universe. Is there a law it runs on? Yes. Think of it as the law of life. There are 4 stages for every living thing. Birth, aging, sickness and death. Then it repeats. Winter is always, always followed by Spring. There is no thinking entity out there who alternately loves me and punishes me and hates gays and Muslims and anyone else we don’t like and also has. “a plan” for us. We just don’t understand out life and want something else to be responsible when it fails. Likewise, there is no Devil trying to make us do bad . What we have is a human nature. Our very own nature we were born with that we fight against. What people call “The Lords will” when we don’t understand why something happens to us, is simply the law of cause and effect. Everything is the law of cause and effect. But some causes are so old we don’t understand when we made them. Christians call it, “You reap what you sow”. Some say, you get back what you dish out, or what goes around comes around. It’s all the same thing. Think about that. Do you reap what you sow only part of the time? What happened to you in this post, you reaped what you sowed at some point.

        You can’t pick and choose the law of cause and effect. Just like you can’t choose when the law of gravity will work. Take responsibility for every effect in your life. Own it. Learn from it. I am a Nichiem Buddhist . Our “10 commandments” of how to be a good human is almost identical to Christianity, although they were taught more than a thousand years before Moses supposedly had a talk with God on a mountain. So who did Moses talk to? But that is how it was perceived at the time, and repeated enough times it became truth. Buddhists pray, but not to some force outside ourselves to change things. We pray for the wisdom to understand our nature and make those changes ourselves. But whatever your belief, if you put what you learn into action and constantly try to have better reactions to life as it hits you, raise your life condition so to speak, you will have a better day.

        Liked by 2 people

        • sonniq says:

          Sorry, I found some typos I didn’t catch. Spell check often has it’s own ideas of what I’m trying type! I’m using my Nook instead of my laptop. ( warmer as I lay bundled under my blankets! One typo I wanted to correct is this – I’m a Nichiren Buddhist – for 26 years. I grew up in the Luthren church and walked away from it age 18. It
          was a big church. I was there almost every single day for one reason or another. I realized it was mostly a social event. What was taught didn’t actually affect the way people lived their life. My family included. In addition to all the activities like choir practice and Bible school our family always said grace at dinner and prayers before bed, but did the teachings come into play when decisions were made about life issues? Did all that going to church make any difference at all? No. We just belied in God. Why? So we could go to heaven. We believed because it was all about what happens when you die. “If I die before I wake”. Not, “Give me the wisdom to live my life in a way to help others, when I wake. ” For many it’s all about what happens when you die. It’s better to believe, just in case. When I was in my twenties I tried again, for two years. I went to a small church with a friend. I tried. I really tried. I kept reaching out to this unseen entity to help change things in my life that were important to me. I realized that the problem was that I was reaching OUTSIDE myself for the answers. I prayed to God so why was there still this big hole? What didn’t I understand? So I kept searching for answers. I searched for another 10 years because I couldn’t have blind faith in something out there. I needed to have faith in myself to acquire the wisdom to understand my life and why I am the way I am. I found those answers in Nichiren Buddhism through the lay organization of the SGI-USA.org. I am in no way trying to “convert” you. This is only an explanation of my journey.

          I do want to leave you with something to think about. This is from a writing of Nichiren Daishonon in the mid 1200’s as he is explaining a teaching (sutra) of Shakamuni. This is something I have read hundreds of times. I write this to explain some of what I am seeking to understand. “If you wish to free yourself from the sufferings of birth and death you have endured since time without beginning and attain without fall unsurpassed enlightenment in this lifetime, you must perceive the truth that is originally inherent in all living beings. That truth is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. That translates into the law of cause and effect. Your life and everything in it is the result of cause and effect. Cause and effect. The causes you make are different depending on the life condition you possess at that moment.

          I apologize for such a lengthy reply. I’m a writer. I write. Have a wonder holiday season Steven. I love your smile. Since my blog is also concerning the prison system I see you as a positive light in a place that is often considered to be hell.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Steven D. Jennings says:

            I’ve been hearing a lot about this,”blind faith”. But you said it best,”I needed to have faith in myself to acquire the wisdom to understanding…” To me, that says it all. I love your lengthy comment. Thank you for sharing. You’ve come a long ways. Praise…yourself!

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        • Steven D. Jennings says:

          I completely agree. Spiritual teachings are all very similar. How one chooses to get their wisdom is up to them. For me, I choose my spiritual enlightenment through the teachings of Jesus. I believe in the Law of Attraction. I believe in science. I don’t believe in mythology as the absolute truth. I’m a realist. I believe in practical teachings. Thank you for your logical perspective.

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          • Will says:

            The concept of faith always ran in to my constantly asking Why? It’s a Miracle. Why? Needless to say discovering George Carlin’s Class Clown in Catholic Jr high didn’t help. Then Monty Python. My parents gave me a choice of going to church or not. The Sunday morning repeat of wrestling had better moral story lines with more engaging players. Twenty five years of reading, thinking and trying to find that elusive that called faith left me exhausted. The day I chose non belief was the day the weight disappeared. Universal truths don’t need a smear of religion on top of them.

            I can’t be in a relationship till I like myself. Peace comes from the inside by following ethical core values. Words are cheap. Actions show dedication. All religions have a political controlling element embedded at the time of inception. Why does their holy book begin with the Torah? The gospels and the psalms. Especially the Sermon on the Mount. The rest is controlling page filler. Keep the faith has you take the journey. This Dudeist will keep Abiding.

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  3. Jenom says:

    Hello Steve, thanks for sharing your uncertainty about the existence of God. God is aware of your dilemma. Just ask Him to reveal Himself. Keep an open mind, and He’ll make Himself real to you, in an unmistakable way, through His word and your everyday experiences. Praying for you. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. D.A.Ward says:

    I absolutely agree with the above commenter, mitchteemley. But if I could add a little more of my personal perspective..

    We always look at the world as a Christian in black or white, is or isn’t, true or false, wrong or right. We don’t believe in the gray areas. But the truth is there is gray area. It’s the area we enter when we do something new or foreign from our individual norms. It’s the area of spiritual growth and development. It’s the area where choices and decisions are made such as, “Do I trust that God sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins and now, through belief the size of a mustard seed, exists in me as the Holy Spirit?” As a seasoned believer the answer is yes, completely yes. But for a new believer it can raise doubts and questions. And My friend this is where I believe you are and is your question… Not if He exists because He has proven to YOU He does. But if you trust in yourself to believe?

    It’s hard to trust you hear the voice of God directing your path when you first chose to believe, sometimes, because of the circumstances surrounding you but mostly because you don’t know if it’s really Him.. But as you continue to study His word (in a group as iron sharpens iron) & how to apply it and then applying it…YOU will have Faith that works. To have Faith that works you must be willing to die of yourself daily, by surrendering unto His will. Please remember that it does not mean you do not believe just because you have moments of doubt. That alone does not make you a non-believer. You have to completely and unequivocally denounce the name of the Lord and His existence for that to happen. We Christians judge one another so harshly instead of reaching back and teaching the next. Some Christians just get spiritual amnesia as my Pastor says concerning where they once were in their faith walk. We expect everyone at the moment of Faith declaration to have arrived. You are instantaneously supposed to know and operate as a Christian. But I tell this from the application of the Proverbs you read…Faith to Faith, moment to moment, season to season. Your belief in your Holy Ghost will increase. (I say YOUR Holy Ghost because what God has for you is for you, what he has purposed in you is for you, and what He will birth through you is for His glory and the benefit of all His Kingdom.)

    I don’t claim to know everything about everything but I know God does not judge a willing heart, but He counts it as His. After all, Jesus chose 12 disciples here on Earth who all at some point in time had unbelief in Him.

    My prayer for you is the same as before. May God continue to work on and in your heart. May you learn to capture the enemy at thought. May the full armour gird and keep you for His namesake. In the matchless name of Jesus, Amen!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sonniq says:

      I can understand and relate to what you are saying. From my above post you know that I am not a Christian. I am Buddhist. Many Christian teachings come from Buddhism, but from a much earlier time. It helps to understand some things by studying how different religions came about. I might clarify your truth for you. I do respect each person’s choice to understand life the way they have chosen it to be. It’s not for me to say I am right and you are wrong. That ends all possibility to communicate on any level. You completely believe that what you perceive to be true – is true. i believe the same about what I believe. I think, in many ways, that we are on the same path, but we call it different things. It’s how we have named the power in the universe. Even if you were to closely examine what you believe as a Christian and what I believe as Buddhist you would find many of the same teachings. If someone were to actually put his beliefs into practice on a daily basis they would be a much better human, no matter what religion we practiced ( without going out on a limb with certain cults). We would make better causes in our lives which would translate in to better effects in our lives. If you prayed, really prayed to understand what the phrase, “You reap what you sow” really means in your life, you would become more conscious of every thought, every word, every deed you did. But when you do these things, the causes you make, the effect you get from what you sowed would also depend on what kind of life condition you were in at the time. Simple ones to understand are the life condition of anger, of animality ( when you want to treat someone badly so you take it out on someone else ). Were you happy or depressed? There are more life conditions. Many things affect how we “sow” and later “reap”. The law of cause and effect. Life is a constant challenge is it not? Buddhism is not actually classified as a religion. It is a philosophy of life – because we have no deity that worship that is outside ourselves. We believe it is within us.

      You are right about another thing. One does not just have faith because they say they do. Real faith does not come that easy. It comes from the experiences you have in your life that come from putting the teaching into action and seeing the results. Then you have a tiny grain of sand of faith. Eventually you have enough sand to build a castle. If you were to build a happy life with that, then could I say your Christianity is wrong? No, it is right for you. No one can point a finger at someone and say they are wrong, if they are honestly seeking to understand their truth and become happy. But there are so so many Christians who say they are Christians, but they do not walk the talk. They believe in God for no other reason then because that was what they were to told to believe, but it doesn’t alter in any way how they live their life. They never searched to find, for themselves, what made sense for their life. It would be hard to find a Buddhist, who called himself a Buddhist, to be one just because he was raised that way. At least not in the US. We are Buddhist because we kept searching for what we believe is the truth. You write well. I enjoyed reading your post. I wish you happiness in your life..

      Like

    • Steven D. Jennings says:

      Your perspective is one I haven’t heard. I haven’t completely and unequivocally denounced Jesus and His existance. My prayers are evident of that. But when I pray, I feel like I’m talking to my inner being, prepping myself for whats to come. It’s a way to get my mind right. A form of meditation, if you will. One thing is clear, I have a willing heart that’s open to the teachings of Jesus. I love what I’m learning. And I love how my life is transforming. Thank you for caring.

      Like

  5. brianbalke says:

    Hello, brother!
    Do you ever worship with others? There’s that teaching “Wherever two are gathered in my name.” I found my proof in the existence of God in the incredible power of spirit that entered my relationships when I engaged with other people of faith. Things like the room filling up with light when I spoke after hours about faith with my boss, who was a Mormon.

    Like

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