Chapter Seven: False Beliefs about God
“What we believe about God is crucial because it affects what we believe about everything else.”
― Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Have you ever felt that God was mad at you? Have you ever thought that because of your sin and shame that He doesn’t really like you? Have you ever believed the lies that you can’t really talk to God about certain things or that you have to “be holy” in your own strength to please Him? Have you ever “tried and tried” to do enough to be pleasing to God and failed over and over again? If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, take heart! I have felt and believed all of these same, nasty lies too. The Enemy of our souls loves these lies and uses them constantly to torment people.
Because of the molestation I experienced I grew up with a very distorted picture of God for a long time. I knew the Gospel. I knew that Jesus loved me and died for me and that He rose again for me. But, “knowing” in my head was not the same as “believing” in my heart. The truth was not translating for me into my daily experience. I saw God as holy and perfect. I read the Scriptures, memorized Scriptures, went to Bible Study and church yet I constantly felt like an utter disappointment. I prayed to God knowing that He was there, but He still seemed far away in that I felt like when I had “done well” by reading my Bible, praying, being nice to someone, etc. He was pleased. But, when I didn’t do these things or was mean or thought something bad I was completely destroyed by it and a mess of condemnation and guilt. I would beat myself up for days over one simple mistake.
Looking back now, I realize I had a “God complex” myself. I did have a genuine trust in Jesus Christ as my Savior, but I was trusting in my good works and my bad works as my means of sanctification. We were not made to sustain our salvation. Many people do not understand this and can be on a rollercoaster of performance to please God after they’re saved if they don’t understand that discipleship is a process. Jesus recruited the disciples and worked with them for 3 years. Then He died and they all betrayed him before that. Then He rose again and some of them still doubted and were still fearful. It was not until the Holy Spirit came that they changed and were full of faith, boldness and power. Then they knew who their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ really was. They knew Him before and walked with Him. They saw miracles and heard teachings. They even saw the resurrection of Jesus. But, it was not until after the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit was sent to dwell in them that they were willing to live and die for Jesus. Life must be based on the work of God through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit or salvation and being a follower of Jesus is no different than the other religions of the world. I’ve heard this quote below before. It is so beautiful to really understand the power of the Gospel.
How to Overcome False Beliefs about God
1. Know God is not disappointed in you
2. Get to know God’s character
3. Talk to others about who God is in their life
4. See God through Jesus in the Gospels
5. See God through the disciples empowered by the Holy Spirit