“God doesn’t love me. He loves the world. Not me.”
My mouth dropped open and I worked to recover from the shocking words spoken from a woman I’d known for many years.
I wish I could tell you why certain truths stick with some people and not others. Or why a fear sucks life from one once-exuberant heart but leaves another person trying to ignore it.
Like the friend who spoke those words, I’ve known people who didn’t believe that God really cared for them, heard them, or actually saw them personally. The belief included the lie that He loves all people as a whole. Not individuals.
Even as a child, when lies were flying around my head like a moth to a lightbulb, and I was deciding which one to reach up and snatch and then plant in the fertile soil of my heart, I knew one thing.
God loved me. I believed it.
I didn’t know He wanted a relationship with me. That truth wouldn’t make its way into my heart for many years.
But there was another lie I did believe. I knew the promises of God intellectually. I taught them as truth because I recognized them as such. I understood God keeps His word. But maybe I was like the woman who thought God wasn’t interested in each individual.
I grasped and held firmly to a lie flying through my mind. I was the exception to everything God taught in His word. It didn’t really apply to me.
I had trouble trusting my ability to do the things He called me to do.
To see God’s gifts and strength in others seemed more natural than seeing them in myself. Relating God’s words to someone else was easier than believing them about yours truly.
I didn’t believe God. Until I stepped into the reality of those promises being for me personally, they wouldn’t and couldn’t make an impact on my heart which kept grasping lies and planting them causing fear to grow roots.
God began bringing Bible verses to my attention which spoke to this precise issue. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 New American Standard Version) Hebrews 13:21 teaches that God equips His children to do His will.
He reminded me of some other people who needed His perspective on their situations.
God gave Moses a staff to lead His people from Egypt. (Exodus 4:2-17) A staff Moses didn’t fully understand.
God gave Paul new eyes to see Him and a new reliance on God to teach people the truth. (Acts 9 and letters of Paul like I and II Thessalonians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians)
God gave Daniel strength to worship Him even with the threat of being dinner for lions.
God gave Noah the knowledge to build what he’d never seen. (Genesis 5-10) Noah had never even seen rain.
God gave Peter a shadow through which people were healed. (Acts 5:15-16) Peter didn’t do anything but walk down the street.
God gave Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego courage and a Friend in the fire. (Daniel 3) They simply acknowledged God.
God gave Esther the courage to stand up to a bully. (Entire book of Esther.) And she had no clue the impact her act would have.
And God gives me what I need for each day and for the challenges, trials, and details of whatever comes along in that day. My job is to listen and obey just like those in the Bible.
There are still times I focus on my fear or inability, my doubt or lack of confidence. But then God reminds me again that He’s already given me what I need to do exactly what He’s prepared for me to. And peace replaces fear, just as He intended.
Believing God instead of the devil only happens when I choose to believe what God says, I choose to trust the relationship He wants to have with me, and I choose not give in to fear. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (II Timothy 1:7 New Living Translation)
What lie are you choosing to grasp and hang on to today?
What verses do you use to battle the devil’s attack on God’s truth? I would love for you to share so others might benefit from what you’ve learned.
Photo credit: Unsplash-Aldric Rivat
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