Am I losing faith?

losing faith

I am not the person I used to be.  I used to pray to God frequently.  I used to regularly attend church.  I used to read the Bible a lot. But not anymore. Does this mean I am drifting away from God?  Does this mean I am less Christian?  Or worse, I am not Saved anymore?    For those of you who have followed my blog ( and thanks for visiting and commenting), know that I am not a traditional believer.  I was raised Catholic, then turned to a Pentecostal, and now I consider myself a Reflective Christian.  Reflective because I have learned to welcome doubts and questions as a way to grow spiritually.  Christian because I strongly believe in the message that Jesus taught us about the Kingdom of Heaven.  But I have found myself not having a close contact with God.  However, I am strictly talking about the traditional kneeling down and praying.  What I have been doing is reflecting more, reading the Gospel with a different perspective (when I have time), and trying to serve the people I live and work with with more compassion.  But lately I have been so busy and so tired, that I have forgotten to reflect, or pay.  And I have felt more stress and more fatigue.  I can imagine people of “more faith” suggesting that probably I need to seek God , attend church more, and so forth.  I can appreciate these suggestions, but I have tried those things before and did not work for me.  It might work for others.  I am not sure what will work so that I feel closer to God.  But God himself is a mystery to me, which I long to know more about.

This is why I have started with the simple message of “loving my neighbor as myself” by serving others unconditionally.  I guess I am doing some of this by working with the mentally ill people at my job.  But it is truly exhausting.  But at the same time, who said that living the Kingdom of Heaven was going to be easy?  I try to pray that God somehow brings me extra strength to continue to work with these people.  But I remain careless about reflecting (or praying) more about this life. I know I am rambling here, but I just wanted to express my thoughts in this post.  Maybe I have already turned closer to God and I have not noticed it yet.  Maybe I am actually growing in my faith by reflecting more on how to serve others, instead of thinking about when to read the Bible and figuring out the next time I can attend church.  I am no longer a religious person, like I used to be, but I can safely say that I have become more curious and reflective about the spiritual world.  So the question remains, am I losing faith?  I rather say that I have a different faith, and that I am growing in a different way.

Am I not Saved?  Salvation is rather a complicated word, to me.  I used to believe that it involves being saved from eternal damnation in a physical hell.  Now I believe differently.  Being saved is more like being free from the selfish habits that keep me away from living the Kingdom of Heaven.  Being saved is no longer having to ask if I am saved. But it also involves a process that takes time, not a single event.  So turning to God, being saved, or whatever you want to call it involves a step towards the lifestyle of serving other human beings with genuine care and concern.  It is showing love and compassion without expecting an immediate reward.  It involves putting my own selfish tendencies aside and reaching out to others.  It is living the Kingdom of Heaven.  But it takes time and effort, and I think this is probably what I am going through.  Thank you for reading.

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About Noel

I am a person who has realized that the teachings of Jesus are centralized in the genuine care and service of others. I have evolved from fundamentalism to a moderate spiritual approach. I am a reflecting person who has grown to not fear doubt but to embrace it as a means to growth and increasing closeness to God. View all posts by Noel

29 responses to “Am I losing faith?

  • A Living Christian

    From what I just read, it sounds like you are still being a good Christian and serving God in a way that is new for you. We all go through ups and downs with faith – just because you might feel like you’re on a down right now doesn’t mean you won’t be headed back up soon. These things just take time – we aren’t perfect, but God is, and He would never give up on you. 🙂

    • Noel

      Thank you for your kind words, Living Christian, I still believe God loves me regardless.

      • facade321

        Noel, I just read your post about losing faith. As a believer, there’s been times when my faith was strong, and other times, not so much. In regard to prayer, learn to ‘walk’ with LOVE/God. Be in constant awareness of His presence with you. For me, such a state is like having a ‘sounding board,’ internally. He/LOVE will guide you, ‘if’ you are ‘tuned in.’ He will call and send you, if you answer and go. So, in my opinion, from what I’ve read so far, YES, you are saved. You can ‘cry out,’ without saying a word. :c)
        Walk with Him, and He’ll walk with you!
        God bless!
        Bill

  • spiritualheight

    I’ve been through that feeling before you should consider wether those feelings of losing faith is the devil. I’ve been through that you are not alone.
    -spiritualheight.wordpress.com

  • Cindy Holman

    Sounds to me like you’ve got more figured out than the “average” Christian – tradition or not. You believe much the same as I and I have the same questions – even being raised in a tradition Pentecostal home. I don’t think we’re meant to have all the answers – and I believe that the Lord is much more concerned with the condition of my heart than anything else I could do for Him. I believe that our values as a Christ follower will be known to others around us – if He lives in and through us. That is what the world is craving – and looking for – real love and real grace.

    • Noel

      Cindy, as always, your words are encouraging. I also believe that we are still learning and don’t have all the answers. I hope I am pleasing God and continue to reflect His light. God bless.

  • Mark D Ketchum

    Because I believe, once saved, always saved, I don’t believe you can be unsaved. If you are granted eternal life and then you lose it… it wasn’t eternal, now was it?

    After reading your post, however, I am certainly not on board with some of your beliefs. Being saved has nothing to do with works… sure, works are a reflection of salvation but they have nothing to do with being saved.

    Salvation is God choosing to work on your heart followed by repentance on your part. It is always and totally about Christ, not about us and what we are doing. I am not sure what you are getting at, but it seems like you believe your salvation is hinged upon what you are doing, not about what Christ already did.

    If I am wrong about what you are saying, I apologize.

    • Noel

      Mark, thank you for visiting and commenting. People often interpret my views the same way you do about salvation through works. I tried to explain on a previous post (“Who Wrote This?”) that in the letter of James, it is written that faith without works is dead. If I claim to have faith in the teachings of Jesus, but continue with my selfish lifestyle, I am truly deceiving myself, I am not saved from my self (which leads to a life without God or hell). Practicing the Kingdom of Heaven (Mathews 5) is not about giving myself the credit, but actually giving God the credit, because it is through God that we can actually love our neighbors as ourselves. God bless.

    • QuestionAll

      Mark – so how does one get saved then? Don’t you have to do something? Seems like you are saying it is not about “works” or what you do but yet we have to repent and accept. But it is not about what we are doing? You say salvation is about God choosing yet don’t we choose to believe in God?

      I find your position confusing. Please forgive my ignorance of your position and clarify.

      • Mark D Ketchum

        QuestionAll… it is not about what I am saying… it is about what Scripture says. The Bible clearly says that we must repent and believe… but we cannot do that unless God has already done a work in our heart. So our repentance and belief is because of what God did… nothing we have done. Just like if you were raised to hate a certain race… your decisions would be based on how your heart has been worked on your entire life… you cannot choose God unless God has chosen you first. John 6:44, John 6:37, also http://www.gotquestions.org/unconditional-election.html

      • Noel

        Mark, in the letter of James, it clearly says that faith without works is dead, so we are justified by works AND faith (Ch. 2:24). I also understand that without God’s decision to create and love us first, we cannot even exist to make the decision to do the right things. So whenever we do the right thing, we are making this decision because God allowed us to; it is a matter of giving God the credit. I also believe that God’s grace is greater than we can ever imagine. His love is greater than the limited love that we have which is conditional. This is why Jesus taught us to love our enemies, turn the other cheek, and walk the extra mile, so that we can be perfect as God. My understanding of salvation is being free from the selfish lifestyle that keeps me from making the right decisions to serve others unconditionally.

      • QuestionAll

        Mark – so there is no choice in it? You have to be lucky to be rasied a certain way or lucky that God chooses to “do a work in” your heart?

        Interesting how you put so much faith in scripture. How is it that you have come to know the truth of the scriptures? Don’t you have to rely on your interpretation of them and in doing so rely on yourself first? Isn’t it therefore completely about what you say? And who is to say you are interpreting them correctly? Who is to say that God may intend you to interpret scriptures in a way that you judge them to be incorrect? That is, that perhaps he has some scriptures that are totally wrong so as to test to see if you can figure that out?

        -Kermit

      • Mark D Ketchum

        Noel… works does not justifiy us… faith alone justifies us. You take the verse out of context. Every tradtional, orthodox, and historical understanding of Scripture points to faith alone. There are many trusted resources out there that point to this. Read http://carm.org/are-we-justified-faith-romans-or-works-james This is a very good resource trusted by most scholars. Read http://www.gotquestions.org/salvation-faith-alone.html as this is also a great resource. I would appreciate it if you would refrain from stating that I am saying these things. This is what Scripture says very clearly. We do have a choice in the matter… but as with all choices, they are influenced by who we are… and as fallen, depraved, people, we will only choose evil. But with God’s intervention, we will choose Him… He is the influence we need to make the right choice.

      • Marianne Lordi

        Noel, you are NOT save by faith AND works! Paul wrote in Romans 11 concerning salvation through grace alone:
        “And it by grace, then it is NO LONGER works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace”. As Paul also wrote, if you add anything to the cross of Christ then you empty the cross! Your works have no power to get you even to the gate of heaven. They are filthy rags according to the bible!

        What James was getting to when he said that faith without works is dead is that IF you think you are saved but your life has not changed, are you really saved?? When you are saved, your heart should be radically changed. And when you are saved, the Holy Spirit works in you to do good works which he has planned ahead of time. As you surrender to God and allow him to work in you, it is an indication that you are truly saved. Works are an outward SIGN of an inward change. Works have no power to save. Noel, read your Scripture. Please understand that you are saved by grace ALONE through faith ALONE, through Christ ALONE!

  • Marianne Lordi

    Hi Noel, I always respect your honesty. I think I am in agreement with Mark on the works issue. Being raised Catholic myself, I think I know where you get some of your thoughts. The truth is that the rich young ruler was generous to others, helped people and tried to help others but he was not saved. Although he did these good things, his heart was not surrendered to Christ. As a Catholic, I did good things, I always helped people and I liked to give to help anyone in need. I walked to mass every day for a while. And I believed that Jesus was the Savior. I was not saved. I had a head knowledge of Christ not a heart one. I had religion not a relationship with Jesus. Big difference. I started reading the bible to show these born-again believers that they were wrong. In the process, my eyes were unveiled and I saw my need for Christ. I wanted more of him!
    The works I do now is actually Christ doing them through me so I can never boast. I am learning to let him work through me to do good for nothing I can do will ever be good enough. I pray you understand that Noel. It is not works, not religion, not anything but Jesus Christ living in me to will and to work as he determines. One last thing, you said you have found it hard to pray. You find that you get too tired to reflect or pray. Maybe you are trying too hard. Jesus wants your heart, not your words. Talk to him as a friend. Prayer is never to be a burden. We are blessed and privilege to be able to go right up to throne of Christ in heaven every time we call out to him in prayer. How great is it that the King of the universe wants time with you, Noel! Think of that. Prayer should never be an afterthought. It should be first.

    Bless you, dear brother. I know your heart.

  • Petra

    I was raised Catholic, and then was Pentecostal, and from there became more and more deceived and very confused until God opened my eyes. And I found myself in this place, “Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing.” Acts 9:8

    I had an encounter with the living Christ, which opened my eyes, but left me confused and unable to see. Although the Lord opened my eyes, I saw nothing. Everything I was ever taught or had believed was wrong, dead, gone! But God was faithful, which brings me to the next part: “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

    Could it be that you are losing faith in your own efforts? If reading the Bible, reflecting, and/or caring for others is based on your own efforts, then yes, you will get tired and weary. Look at Philippians 2:13. “It is God who works in you!” It’s not by your own strength! That is why faith, the size of a mustard seed, is sufficient, because God works in you, and only He can move mountains! “God works in you to will.” See? Still it is God. Have faith in God to give you the will to study Him and to reflect on His word. And “God works in you… to work for His good pleasure.”

    Have faith in God and He will work with that mustard-size faith in you to show that faith with works is indeed good. But it is a faith that is willed and worked by God, to His great pleasure! Have faith in God (not your own strength, willingness, or effort). Have faith in His omnipotent ability and unshakable faithfulness, and find great peace, joy, and strength. It sounds like I’m telling you to go “do”, but what I really mean is for you to go “rest” in Him, have faith in Him! “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28. Probably not a folding of hands doing nothing kind of rest, but a rest from trying to do it all (the law, the love, and the faith) on your own. Blessings!

  • Noel

    Petra, your comment was extremely inspiring! Today I was reflecting more on my post, and realized that maybe what Jesus meant by “If you have faith like a seed of mustard” was that whatever faith I have should be enough to be able to do great things, even if it is small. In other words, I should not try to have more faith, it’s almost like having faith that I will have faith, and things still will happen (in spite of my doubts). I think you are right, my lack of faith is faith on my own effort, or ability to please God. Maybe I have been getting ahead of myself. I will definitely let go and have less faith on myself and trust that God will give me the faith in Him that I need. God bless you and thanks!

    • Petra

      Oh, Noel, I think that is precisely what God is after, for us to let go of ‘self’ and all of our self-sufficient and self-persevering efforts, and to take hold of Him and His faithfulness. It’s not the size of our faith that matters (have you ever seen a mustard seed?) but whom we have faith in! God bless you too!

  • QuestionAll

    Upon reading this post I think, “boy, religion can really screw with your mind!”

    Religion, has taught you that faith is the most important thing. But yet you struggle with the fact that logically faith alone never makes sense. Thus a battle ensues within you. Religion, in order to preserve itself, tells you that questions are good, your doubt is natural, just as long as you don’t doubt or question the truth of that religion and it’s God. That is a contradiction!

    And in religion it is even greater when, in the face of great doubt, you still believe. Kind of an “against all odds” faith. Our society focuses in on this notion alot! We LOVE stories of people that have lost it all and had no hope left yet still believed in something and in the end survive. Whether it is a sports story or life struggle story or religious story – we LOVE the story of a man with no hope that went on, in spite of this, and achieved greatness.

    And this is how religion is taught to us from a very young age. We are taught to “keep hope alive” to “never give up” to “never stop believing” and religion takes that a step farther. “Blessed is he who believes but has not seen.” It takes this notion to a place that makes no sense. That is, it takes it to the place where the faith is the ONLY thing that matters, the ONLY way to survive. But if you notice closely none of our stories take this approach. Take the movie Rocky where he loses badly and everyone counts him out yet he still believes and then wins! Was it because of his faith alone? Did he just have strong faith? No, he worked out and his hard work ethic payed off, not faith alone. It made logical sense.

    Anyway, all I am trying to say is that the battle you seem to be having, Noel, is precisely because you seem to have accepted this notion that faith is all that is required. The religious will tell you it is but your mind knows better. Thus you battle. You are trying to follow it and do the right thing but something seems a-miss. Why does it not make sense logically especially if it IS the truth? Why does it take such wide interpretations of the Bible to make it make sense?

    People seem to be telling you to just trust and to accept the doubt. It is like they are patting you on the back and saying, “don’t think so hard about it! A mustard seed of faith is fine… it doesn’t matter how much faith you have…just have faith in the right God.. your lack of faith IS faith…” Wow – I don’t think that is helping.

    The giant Elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring is the fact that religious faith makes no sense. And if making sense of thngs is important to you then religion is not going to look too good to you. Alot of people are OK with it not making sense. They are putting their bets down on Christianity. They have no clue if it is the right answer – they just hope it is….

    I sicerely hope to not offend anyone in this. Just speaking my mind and please realize I know I am often wrong and welcome your criticism.

    -Kermit

    • Noel

      Kermit, I understand where you are coming from. I have felt the same way. However, I am not ready to give up on faith, since I also understand that I can have faith on so many unreligious things in life (news, government, my employer, the next door neighbor) and not question it. Why not with spiritual things? I believe God (or whatever you want to call it) provided me the reason I am using to question and explore. So I don’t think that doubting offends God. It actually gives me more motivation to seek the Truth about Him. By the way, I can’t enter your blog for some reason. I’m interested to read more from you. Peace.

  • SuziCate

    As terrible as this sounds, I no longer rely on religion but I wholly rely on God. I’ve lost trust in organized religion, but I trust completely in God…and now I am closer to Him than I ever was when I was regularly attending services and participating in religious activities.

    • Mark D Ketchum

      SuziCate… I am sure you love the Lord, but I always find it concerning when a believer loses trust in Church but says they are stronger in their faith with God. I don’t believe that is possible, because the Bible clearly says we are to share our faith with others and church is one of the most important things Jesus consistently talks about in Scripture. I would be curious as to why you lost your faith in the church… and curious how you maintain a relationship with God without the fellowship He demands of us. Your statement that you no longer rely on religion but now rely on God kind of shows what happened. We are never to rely on religion… only God… religion or church is how we gather with fellow believers to strengthen our reliance on God.

      • Noel

        Mark, I apologize if what I wrote sounded like you stated what you believe, instead of the Scriptures. I appreciate the links you provided. I will read them and study them further. God bless.

    • QuestionAll

      Makes sense to me SuziCate! What concerns me is that you said, “As terrible as this sounds,” Boy religious guilt is tough to erradicate! Nothing sounds terrible about this! It sounds quite logical and sensible.

      -Kermit

  • QuestionAll

    Noel – you really “have faith on so many unreligious things in life (news, government, my employer, the next door neighbor) and not question it.” ??? I think you do question those things. The faith you have in your news paper is directly realated to your observation of the truth of the things it writes about. And no one, especially the news paper would expect you to continue to believe it if what you observed in experience was contrary to what it said. Religion is asking of you a quite different faith. An unconditional faith. A faith regardless of condraticted experience.

    – I am not quite sure what you mean by “enter my blog” I am newly returned to WordPress though somehting my be blocked on accident. I will check it out… Thanks!

  • avantgarde87

    Thank you for writing this. I have read it so long after you posted it and told me about it. That is a small metaphor for what we struggle with as Christians, about finding what is good for us at our own pace. I think we live in a world where people are always coercing us into different things, we are apprehensive about these people in the church and if these types of people have wrote the bible. When I say we I mean Me or I because you are dedicated (I can see it through your great blog). My problem is trusting Him at his word. Anyway, your blog has inspired me to keep searching myself for faith in this world!

    • Noel

      Avantgarde, Thanks for commenting.. you are right, this world is full of deception. But what I have learned for sure is that we are here to serve one another,, don’t give up on loving others which IS the same as loving God .

  • Tuned in: Testing God once again | Living the Kingdom

    […] journey in the following posts:  Spiritual Roller coaster,  Is this all there is to Life?, Am I Losing Faith?, Embarrassed by the Church, How NOT to be a Good Christian,  Religiously […]

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