How God inquires about us
All these questions… One of them is hardly worth answering, but the rest are worth paying close attention to and waiting for the echo from our own soul. Here is how God the Father and the Son lead and guide us with their questions.
“Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’” The question from this Bible text from Genesis 3: 9 was only one of a total of seven questions that were treated in a divine service on 15 August 2021 in Dodoma, Tanzania.
“I know you have to deal with many hardships and afflictions,” Chief Apostle Schneider said to the congregation. And every time one faces difficult times and circumstances, the same spirit comes along with the same old questions. “Where is your God now? Why doesn’t He help you? Why didn’t He prevent this?”
But we know the answer, the Chief Apostle said: “God is here!” Because
- God the Father, the Creator, is still at work. He cares for His creation. He is the One who provides the air we breathe and the food we eat.
- God the Son is here. He died for us on the cross, He went to His Father to prepare a place for us, and is now our advocate.
- God the Holy Spirit is at work. He is at work in the Church. He is at work in our hearts.
More important and much more effective than the questions of the adversary are the questions that God asks human beings.
“Where are you?” This is what Adam and Eve heard when they hid from God full of shame. With this question God makes it clear that He cares for every human being unconditionally, the Chief Apostle translated: “Don’t be afraid, I love you. I am ready to forgive you.” God also wants to help those who are disappointed and help them adjust their course with this: “Please examine your soul. Haven’t you noticed that you are slowly drifting away from Me?”
“Why do you hesitate? This is what God asked His people through the prophet Elijah. God asks us the same thing today: “We once decided that we want to follow Christ and renounce evil, and we should stick with this decision even if the way of sin seems easier and shorter to get what we want.”
“What are you doing here?” is what Elijah heard as he hid in a cave, discouraged and depressed. The idea behind the question was: “Go back to work. Don’t fear, I am with you. Carry out your mission and you will see that I will bless you.” This does not only apply to ministers, but to all of us as witnesses of Christ.
“Where is your faith?” Jesus asked the disciples repeatedly. Sometimes we are confronted with seemingly hopeless situations. If this happens, it is important that we trust in God’s love and allow Him to guide us.
“What are you talking about?” is the question the disciples were asked on the way to Jerusalem. A similar question applies to the bride of Christ. “How do we talk about the Church? How do we talk about our brothers and sisters? How do we talk about God?” This has an effect on our family and the atmosphere in the congregation.
“Why are you persecuting Me?” was the question Jesus asked the later Apostle Paul. Jesus wanted to make clear: “What you are doing to my brothers and sisters you are doing to Me.” This has not changed. And that is why the Chief Apostle recommended in his sermon: “First of all, we should consider all that Jesus has done for us. And only then should we decide what we do to our neighbour.”
“These are just a few questions the Holy Spirit wants to ask us,” Chief Apostle Schneider said in conclusion. “Let us carry these questions in our heart. After all, this is about our salvation.” Jesus’ answer is always the same: “Whatever happens, wherever you are, come, I love you. I forgive you. I want to save you. Follow Me until the end. With My help you can do it.”