My past does not determine my future. In the economy of God, what I have done does not determine what I will do. Under Jesus Christ, my past holds no power and my future is filled with freedom.
That is what I know. But, what I know and what I believe are two very different things.
I’ve been known to be really good at dishing out advice to others, only to turn around and question whether the same thing holds true for myself.
I can tell a friend all day long, “God is good. He loves you. He is for you.” And I mean it. And I believe it. I could sell that line all day long.
But, as soon as my own difficulty comes, I immediately assume that those same truths don’t apply to me. Intellectually, I know they are true, but emotionally I doubt. Basically, I throw rationale out the window. Oh, and reason, and truth, and wisdom…blah, blah, blah…
My flesh tells me that God doesn’t really care. How could He? I’m not number one on His list. I’m somewhere further down–you know, like #13,874,462. And hey, in a world of billions of people, that’s not so bad.
And so, my flesh and my spirit war. One speaks truth, the other lies. One aligns with scripture, the other does not. One brings freedom, the other sends me right back to where I used to reside.
I start to see God for someone He is not. A teenager. A former boyfriend, who used to think I was ahh-mazing and what not, but now finds me boring. Snooze. Who used to want to spend time with me, give me gifts, kiss me under the bleachers (did anyone actually do this? ‘Cause it’s kinda weird…). You get the point. He dug me.
And then, not so much.
Suddenly, I feel forgotten and unloved. Unlovely. Ugly.
I feel like I’ve been broken up with and He’s taking another girl to prom.
I want to scream. I want to feel beautiful in His eyes again. I want to pass Him a note in Algebra and ask Him to check ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
But the Lord is gracious, and patient, and kind. And thankfully He is nothing–nothing—like a teenage boy. He is love. He is my hope. He is my future.
And, He continues to remind me of His love for me–not because I’m one out of 7 billion, but because He sees me as His one and only.
He loves me…
…as I am and for who I am. He does not tolerate me, He delights in me.
I don’t need to compete. I am never forgotten, even when the lies would try to tell me otherwise.
And it is His love for me, that slowly melts away those lies–the lies that tell me He loves me less–and in their place His hope takes residence. The Living God, living in me.
31 thoughts on “The Biggest Lie I Believe About God”
I am completely guilty of the things you just mentioned. So many memories come flooding back when I read through all of those words!
I think one of the lies I have continuously found myself believing, is that His love for me is all performance based. If I do xyz, God will be happier with me and love me more and maybe even bless me extra. But if I choose not to do something, or mess something up, He is going to be upset with me, and I am going to suffer because God’s pretty irritated with me right now. And the really stupid thing, is that I am telling my kids all the time that God doesn’t work that way, and that as their mom, I would never act that way towards them either. But still, that nagging voice will still occasionally come… “You’ve really ticked God off today!” Lately I have been purposing to take the negative thoughts that come and replace them with the true Word of God, immediately. The more I do that the more I recognize those little thoughts creeping in and I’m better able to deal with them.
The biggest lie I believe is that God wants me to solve my own problems. I pray about them (sometimes I don’t even do that) and then set about conjuring up my own plan to solve them. I started to do that very thing yesterday, but them declared out loud that I wasn’t going there this time. This time I’m muting my mouth and mind, and am going to wait for God to speak.
Me too – and that’s the biggest things He’s been working on with me right now. Heard clear as day “Who said you are capable of fixing this yourself?”. Um…ok, but I will say it’s much harder than it sounds!
I know it’s not an answer to your question, but I want to thank you for this post. It spoke right to where I am right now…like you I can comfort others, tell them that G-d is for them, but when it comes to me, to my stains, I’m too broken… Thank you for reminding me of the Truth.
The biggest lie I believe is that I actually need God. I have a tendency to minimize my sin and think that I’ve got it together and I can handle it. I know intellectually that I need Him and that I don’t have it all together but it’s really hard to believe it.
Not to be all stereotypical and make a blanket statement, but I think a lot of men struggle with the same thing–feeling like they’ve got it together and they can “handle” it. You are not alone in this, so be encouraged. Praying for you in this specific area, friend. Thank you for sharing.
I have struggled with these same lies since the day I was saved. There came a time when I became very orthodox and religious, and I felt safe and secure hiding behind a wall of “rules” I followed, and thinking if I did enough or followed them all I was safe,! Safe from sin, safe from my ugly self that I was running from. God showed me that I was hiding and it was behind a wall of self righteousness. So I slowly came out from behind that wall with some courage I struggled to find and decided to believe God loved me for me. I struggle so hard some days bc I am my worst enemy and biggest critic. I struggle to believe if I can’t love me how can a big God? So I just grab scriture abd hold on. Some days are good and I feel loved, love myself a little more, and give that love freely. Other days I’m drowning under the attacks of my mind that leave me feeling worthless and so it’s hard to give what I don’t have. So thank you for a reminder of tge truth
Thank you for sharing. Your honesty is lovely. You said one thing that really stood out to me and I think it is so critical. You said, “I decided to believe God loved me for me.”
You decided to believe. You chose to trust God. You changed your mind.
This is powerful and so important. SO often we wait for God to do something–anything–when sometimes it takes us, choosing to trust like Peter and step out of the boat. Trust, choose, decide, commit, believe.
I enjoy your posts bc they’re easy to relate to, and I used to struggle with those lies as well. I think one of the things that has helped me feel much better about myself, my life, and life itself is that God is a cosmic consciousness, not a dude. We tend to program ourselves to believe God is a “He” because of how it’s written in the Bible. I’m not saying it’s wrong, but we subconsciously start to think we aren’t good enough for God’s universal love, and that can be detrimental to our souls, emotionally and mentally. It has just personally helped me to learn that when I look up at the sky at night, when I see how a flower grows, or how you can hear God if you just stop the noise in your head, we are all part of this huge Universe and God is love and loves you. “He” is not just an entity and creator but creation itself.
I figured you would at least tweet me if you were going to tell me secrets on your blog;-)> Why is it so easy to believe these things for someone else and so tough to do so for myself?
I look at so many situations with friends and have such wise, sage advice clearly given to me by God for them at that time.
Then hop in my car to leave and search for a way to grab His attention for a second. You know, the One who has NEVER taken His eye from since the dawn of time. i try to research and find that recipe to provoke His action in my favor when I had it all along and just don’t believe it. Good stuff, Nicole.
THIS: “I try to research and find that recipe to provoke His action in my favor when I had it all along and just don’t believe it.” Yes! That’s it, right there. Glad to know I’m no alone, even if that means I’m not alone. ;)
You are definitely not alone…
I did this today: I prayed for God to show me the thing I was doing wrong that was causing me so much frustration and preventing Him from blessing me. I did that. Today. But it was before I read this.
I’ll just pray for you then. I have far more faith for you r circumstance than my own.
I am strugglign with a lie right now…That God isn’t as strong and powerful as I know He is. I know it, but I can’t believe it. I can’t feel it. Because He failed me, or circumstances did. I know He didn’t actually fail. I used to believe that when I put my life in His hands He’d keep me safe. But two months ago, I was proven wrong. I was attacked by 3 young men, they got me down on the ground, kicked me all over including several kicks to my head and face. And then they stole my bag and ran away. Intellectually I know God was there, His angels protected me, made sure I didn’t get more serious injuries. I didn’t even get a concussion, despite all the violence my body was subjected to. But…I have this voice in my head saying: But if He could protect me, why couldn’t He save me? Why did I have to go through that?
I used to believe everything happens for a reason. But this is so pointless. Meaningless. And if someone tries to tell me otherwise I get upset. I don’t care if someone else can learn something by what happened to me. That’s not a good enough reason for God to put me through this.
Jesus and I aren’t best friends right now…But I still believe in Him. I still want to fix this. I’m not giving up. I don’t want to believe the lie, but it’s hard not to when the situation is what it is. To accept that some things can’t be explained…is difficult for me right now.
Hi Emelie-I’m so sorry you were attacked so brutally. It is difficult to find words that bring confort to someone after such a painful experience. Many Christians in particular tend to offer Christianese band-aids the person may need to simply have grief and anger for a while. I’ve had some unnecessary and bad things happen to me in life. I read the Bible for answers. Of course there are situations like Joseph, where abuse was redeemed in his earthly lifetime, but Job spoke to me about situations that are not always redeemed on earth. I noticed that although Job asked God many times to explain his suffering, God’s response was to communicate His attributes. It seemed strange to me that God did not offer more of an explanation. The truth is that we live in a world where terrible things happen, and it is not ok to minimize someone’s suffering by trying to find a positive. Sometimes the only thing we can do is cling to God and the people who love us. Despite the lack of explanation, we can find comfort in the cross. We have a god who willingly experienced suffering because of His love for you. He knows what it feels like to be beaten and violated, and for this reason He can comfort you. When you cannot feel God, remind yourself that He is and was with you, that the attack angers him, and that he weeps with you. I hope you have good friends, Jesus with skin, who will also weep with you. God does not promise explanations or even safety, but He does promise to never leave or forsake His children.
Also, I know this isn’t very popular to talk about in churchy circles, but God is among other things a god of vengeance. God says that vengeance is His and He will repay. Again, this may not happen in your lifetime, but it will happen. Revelation and the minor prophet books spoke to me about God’s anger toward those who hurt His beloved. I believe that one of the reasons we can forgive the debt of those who abuse us is knowing that we will get justice. God’s wrath is much greater than ours, and he takes your situation very seriously. I don’t mean to push you into forgiveness and I believe that forgiveness is more complicated than most churches teach. What I mean to do is highlight God’s attributes of justice and protectiveness which enable us to rest in Him. God has a braveheart, bad-a** side that American Christianity tends to ignore.
Thank you. Your messages mean a lot to me. I think I need to open my heart a bit more to reading about suffering in the Bible. So far I’ve been hesistant to do so…But I can see how I could possibly find comfort in the stories of Joseph and Job…even Jesus suffered so much, for what? For all of us. It’s powerful stuff. Thank you for sharing!
I am so very sorry for what you endured…and survived. I cannot imagine the fear and terror that such an attack would create. You are braver than you know.
I think Ellen put into words vey much of what I would say to you, as well. Joseph was beaten, abandoned, dropped into a pit and left to die…by his very own brothers. But scripture says that what Satan meant for evil, God used for good.
WHile we live in a world where terrible things happen, we also battle in the spiritual places against a very real enemy who wants nothing but to kill and destroy us. Satan would love for you to use this horrific attack to keep you from Jesus. He would love to let this become a wedge between you and your God. But, if through the power of the Holy Spirit, you can slowly allow God to use it for His glory, well then, Satan loses.
I have struggles and asked many of the same questions. Even if God didn’t do something to me, isn’t He complicit if He didn’t stop it or if He allowed it? God allowed Job to also suffer greatly–beyond what many humans could bear. Yet, God allowed Satan to strike Job. And why? To bring glory to God, for God knew Job would never curse His name, but only give praise.
ANd like Ellen said, we have a Savior who knows great and deep suffering–sufferings which scripture says we are able to share in with Him–and in doing so, might know Him more. I am praying Emelie, that the Spirit brings healing and freedom to you, but also that what the enemy would want to use for evil, God would be allowed (with your permission) to use for good.
Thank you for sharing friend. Love and so many hugs to you.
Thank you, I’m really happy I decided to check your blog today (haven’t checked it in a while) beacuse this post spoke to me. I’ve slowly been absorbing thins that my Christian friends have been telling me over the past week whereas a couple of weeks ago I coudn’t really take anything in…I’m stubborn and I don’t give up easily, I don’t want to let the Devil use this. I want to fix it. And I believe God wants the same, I don’t doubt He wants to get back tot he relationship we used to have. Though I sense it might be different in the future because this incident has changed me wether I like it or not – I still hope when it comes to my faith the change will eventuallt turn out to be for the better.
Emelie, (your name is beautiful…very french!)
My heart hurts for what you’ve endured. I can’t imagine…not at all. Not at all…
Some of what you’re saying about your relationship, questions, and doubts towards God during this time remind me a bit of the struggles I went through (and still sometimes do) when I was suffering from extremely severe depression. Many months and counseling sessions later (with a GOOD christian mental health counselor), the new understanding I have of God’s grace and the freedom from bondage I’ve experienced has been completely incredible. I never realized what a scewed view I had of God, his grace, and my pain…and now know what it looks like to be much more REAL with him, so that he can begin to bring healing and grace to my places of pain and doubt and fear.
I’m a huge advocate of counseling, if a person can find a good one…and they do exist. But a practice that has brought much freedom into my life has been become as brutally honest and raw with God as I possibly can. This often is through journaling (on the computer is faster for me)…in which I will type out EVERYTHING I’m thinking and feeling…I love that I can tell him anything…regardless of how “un-christian” it may seem, and know that he loves and accepts me and gives me his grace right where I’m at. Over time, it’s been through these times that I’ve learned to hear his voice and let him speak his grace into my current pain…which brings healing overtime. Grace brings healing..not a slap on the wrist or list of rules…but grace. Grace!
You’re beautiful…your doubts and questions are normal and beautiful and God is not threatened by them or surprised by them. I’m so glad you are willing to be honest about them, rather then try to ignore them as perhaps many Christians might tend to do. (or at least I used to)
Bless you and I pray you can rest in grace.
Thank you! Yes, my name is of french origin :) Your words really spoke to me. Iam actually seeing a counselor for the first time on Wednesday. We’ll see how it goes. Journaling too sound like a good idea, I’ve tried it before but always felt sort of awkward doing it. But at this point I’ll try anything, I refuse to give up despite my heavy heart. Once again, thank you!
Biggest lie I believed? – I am less worthy of love than the other person. Second lie? – He hears their prayers but not mine. I am learning, although the process is slow, not to believe the lies any longer.
My heart aches with empathy. Praying for those lies to be disintegrated in God’s power and love.
That exact thing happened to me and I was thinking about it today– I was abandoned by my ex-boyfriend almost 3 months ago. He said all this stuff, that he loved me, etc- and then one day he changed his mind and decided he didn’t want anything to do with me. I think abandonment is one of a girl’s biggest fears, deep down.
But I know this: God will never leave me. And He will heal my heart, one day at a time.
The biggest lie that I struggle with is that it is all a lie…we are just here for a moment and we don’t get to live eternally. I (my conciousness and awareness of being me) will die when this body does. I don’t understand why I struggle with this–I didn’t before being married and having my beautiful girls–but I do. Perhaps because I worry that I love my life and the people in it just a little too much. And perhaps as much as I know we must die to self, I want “me” to be “me” forever. Similtaneously, I know God is real; I know Jesus died for me. I know I want to live my life purely for His glory and to draw people to Him. I have felt His Holy Spirit and seen Him provide over and over and truly experienced His presence in my life…it isn’t current faith I lack. It is faith in the future.
The biggest lie there is about God is that He Loves you unconditionally..
God Loves those who are willing to accept His Love and Love Him in return..
(I’m using capital L in “Love”, if you know what I mean..) :)
spot on – I came across this statement recently, “God is not so keen on our pleasing Him as He is in our trusting Him”. There the lie is exposed that keep recurring in my life every so often. I really work hard at pleasing Him by doing the ‘right’ things with the hope that He’ll come through for me only to be frustrated by the feeling of not doing enough. I know the truth, trusting Him leads to pleasing Him, but I only rest a while before I start working again. I really look forward to the day I shall completely cease my labors and enter His rest.
Man, I’m reading this post and thinking, “Isn’t this everything the Lord has been working out in my heart lately? Is this me writing this post?!” It’s like you stole an excerpt from my journal. It’s good to know there are others out there feeling the same way. I think that is one of the big lies the enemy likes to get to my with: you’re the only one who ever has or ever will feel X and will every experience Y. You are alone and you’re more than likely a whole lot of crazy.
He’s sneaky and he’s a liar. Its good to be reminded of that. He prowls for us like a lion looking to devour us. These lies aren’t just sneaky–they are deadly! God is so good to remind me through sermons, blogs, friends…and all the other ways He slips truth into my life unexpectedly. He’s been slipping that truth in through this book I’m reading a book by Mark Driscoll called Who Do You Think You Are and it deals with this kind of thing–where is your identity? I recommend it (well, up into chapter 5 at least…I can’t say for the rest yet!)
I do exactly the same thing – even though I truly do know that nothing I do is going to gain OR lose anything with God. That He loves me just the same no matter what I do. But it’s so easy to believe, and so prevalent in the church that if things aren’t going smoothly that you must have done something to make it that way, because we all know that if you were really following God then all the pain and suffering your enduring would go away.
Except, not so much for the early church. They got pain and persecution BECAUSE they followed God instead of man. They were doing exactly what God had for them to do and if you look at their lives from the outside, let’s face it, what short life they had sort of sucked. But the point I take away from the early church, Paul in particular, is that no matter how bad it looked from the outside, relationship with God was their source of joy. No matter what Paul went through, he could say that his “easy” life before Jesus was dung. To us, his life before Christ actually seems the better of the two – after coming to Christ his life was full of jail time, beatings, shipwrecks, etc. Doesn’t quite sound like our american gospel of “everything will be alright if you just accept Jesus”, does it?
Sorry, went off on a tangent. ;) In any case, I, like you, know the truth about God for other people, but often can’t or won’t accept that I hold the same place in His heart as everyone else in the world. Somehow, as the clay, I still think it’s my responsibility to shape myself, instead of yielding to the Master potter.
I can relate to this. I mostly a burden to God. A distraction. A bother. I tell myself that this is not true, but you have to remind yourself most difficult truths daily.