“I don’t believe in God anymore”

September 13, 2019

My husband walked up to me, phone extended in his hand. "Did you hear about this?"

I'm not a big Facebook person, and due to trying to gain momentum in kicking off our homeschooling year I hadn't been on Facebook much for weeks.

I'd missed how Marty Sampson, a prolific songwriter and worship leader with one of the most popular worship bands today (Hillsong United), had shocked Christians worldwide with his announcement that he was losing his faith.

Sampson leaving Christianity hit like the second wave of a tsunami following Joshua Harris' recent announcement that "I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is “deconstruction,” the biblical phrase is “falling away.” By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian."

I have walked away from faith in Jesus, too.

 

Not now... but when I was 17 years old.

 

You may know my story - but I was the first of the older kids in my Christ-following family to turn my back on Jesus.

 

If you are interested, you can read (or listen to) my abortion story here.

So: Why did I walk away from Jesus? Why did I come back to Him? Why do I trust Him now?

Versions of these questions are what I have been asked over, and over, and over.

My story. People want to know:

What have you experienced of God that impacted your actions? Your thoughts? Your feelings? What do you know of God that has actually made a difference in your life?

To disciple the next generation, and to strengthen our own faith we MUST know the answer to these questions:

What influences the faith of the upcoming generation?

Why do teens from loving Christian homes turn their backs on God?

Why are adults burning out in their Christian faith?

How can we intentionally disciple our children to help them experience a personal relationship with God so they have a clear understanding of His love and involvement in their life?

There are many answers. But one of the biggest influences on faith is: Stories.

One of the biggest influences on faith is stories.

Stories stick in our minds. They move us to action.
Action that influences our faith, and the faith of those around us.

God has clearly told us how to overcome the enemy of our faith - and it is time for his people to lean in attentively and obey God's strategy for victory:

“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony”– Revelation 12:11

I knew my parents loved Jesus. But I didn't know why they had hope in Him. I didn't know their personal stories. I didn't know why my Grandmom believed in Jesus. I didn't know any of my grandparents or great-grandparents stories of God's faithfulness to them. I didn't know why anyone in my church placed their hope in Jesus.

Stories of God's faithfulness have stopped being passed down from generation to generation (except in the cases where a family member is an author or speaker etc.). So those who testify to God's goodness remain an author we will never meet, or a speaker on a raised platform. Everyday miracles of God seem to remain in a third world country. The lack of His-story sharing has had a greater impact on the faith of subsequent generations than can be calculated.

The lack of His-story sharing has had a greater impact on the faith of subsequent generations than can be calculated.

At the same time, stories of embracing other views on "truth" and "love" have exploded over social media for the last decade. These stories come from inside our homes, churches, and local communities. These testimonies have faces and names and real lives we witness with our own eyes. This has had a greater impact on the faith of subsequent generations than can be calculated.


Can I get a witness?

 

So - can you do anything to strengthen the faith of those in your family, in your community, in your church? YES. We are all connected and affected by one another. Your private choices have public impact. Your personal choices have generational impact.

Private choices have public impact. Personal choices have generational impact.

So what can you do?

First: know your own story. Recognize and actively remember what you have experienced of God. Spiritual Alzheimer's is a real disease. Fight it.

Spiritual Alzheimer's is a real disease. Fight it.

Second: Be prepared to share your His-story.

Those are simple sentences, but preparation requires intentional work. Could James have used stronger, clearer language than to say:

"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead." - James 2:26
That's pretty dead.

The command God has had on repeat in my head for years is:
"Always be prepared to share the reason for the hope you have." - 1 Peter 3:15

"Always be prepared to share the reason for the hope you have." - 1 Peter 3:15

I share a lot of my story in the Hope & Reason course where I guide adults through writing down their personal stories of God's faithfulness in a powerful, effective way.

I also have a fun and simple way parents can help their kids see and understand what God is doing in their life. It's called a Jesus Story Box. I recently created a Jesus Story Box Starter Kit for Kids.

Last Thought

 

I know it's hard to do the most important things because to-do lists never end and the tyranny of the urgent is a real, daily battle.

But this battle is worth fighting.

Your testimony is a critical part of how we defeat the enemy of our faith.

I'd be honored to coach you step-by-step through getting prepared to share your story. Go here to sign up and get started with me today.

Remember:

You are so, so loved.

- Elise

P.S. Share this post to the person God brings to your mind who needs to write their story. We are in this together!

 

Scroll to Top