In the last post, we talked about the lies that hold us back from reaching our full potential. Specifically the lies we believe about God and our relationship to Him. When lies are repeated over and over, they start to sound like truth and we incorporate them into our belief system and worldview. From there, they negatively influence our decisions, behaviors, and peace of mind. They act as roadblocks standing between us and our destiny.
A lie that trips a lot of us up is believing that God is mad at us. There is a prevalent view of God as an angry old man. Crotchety and unforgiving. For revenge and entertainment, He floats around on the clouds, thunderbolts in hand, ready to rain them down on the heads of those who dare step out of line. Since his only concern with mankind is to measure how they stack against the Ten Commandments, it is with sadistic glee that he catches us with an electric jolt. This can manifest as sickness, the loss of a job, or other tragedy. Best to stay out of striking distance, hide our misdeeds, and keep a low profile. It worked with dad during high school, didn’t it? (Maybe that was only me…)
There are a few problems with this scenario, starting with the fact that it is a lie.
It is true that in the Old Testament, after much provocation, God punished the Hebrew children for their rebellion. If you read the prophetic books foretelling those calamities, however, you will find God’s anguished pleas for them to change their ways and lavish promises to restore them once they returned to Him.
God calls himself our Father. He uses the names of human-to-human relationships to describe spiritual truths so that we can understand His heart toward us. A good father teaches his children what is expected and allows for slip-ups and learning curves but is quick to call out defiance. Punishment may be administered, but even so, love is simultaneously extended.
Listening to the culture and the fearful voices in our own heads won’t reveal this to us. We must seek truth in the Bible.
Exodus 34:6 (NIV) states, “Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
This isn’t the picture of the angry, vengeful God we are sold; but it is what He had to say about Himself after the Israelites had been discovered worshipping the golden calf while Moses was on the mountain receiving the first copy of the Ten Commandments.
Additionally, there is more than a turn of the page separating the Old and New Testament. The Good News of the New Testament is that Jesus accepted the punishment for all our sins and fully satisfied the Father’s requirement of righteousness for all time.
The Amplified Bible Translation explains it like this:
He [God, the Father] made Christ who knew no sin [judicially] to be sin on our behalf so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and be placed in right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness.] 2 Corinthians 5:21.
What if you haven’t accepted Christ as Savior and figure it’s too late? God’s love reached out for all of us in that position: But God has shown us how much he loves us—it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 GNT). He hopes to draw you into repentance and relationship with kindness, patience and tolerance (Romans 2:4)—not frightening shows of anger and flashy lightning bolts. You can ask for forgiveness for going your own way, believing lies for far too long, and accept His gift of Salvation right now. At the moment you do, you walk out of darkness, into his marvelous light! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Whether you have been a Christian for a long time and labor under a cloud of guilt and shame, figuring you have messed up beyond redemption, or someone who’s never claimed the promises of eternal life that Jesus offers, you can recognize the lies that have kept you captive.
Last time we explained how Jesus talked back to the devil, stating, “It is written…” and giving Scripture to counter the enemies lies. Now you can talk back to this lie when it tries to tell you that God is mad at you and your sinfulness has separated you from His love.
It is written, “Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38 NLT).”
Hiding from my earthly dad cost me a lot of years of relationship. I didn’t get to know and enjoy him until a few years before he passed away at 89. What a shame. There were so many good times and blessings I missed out on. I don’t want to miss any opportunity to come to my Heavenly Father for His love, support, protection, and wisdom. I’m going to keep saying, “It is written…” every time I hear those lies that He is my enemy!
How about you? What other lies are keeping you away from God?