Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Lie or the Truth?

Someone shared this with me recently and it has changed my relationship with God for the better so I thought I’d do my best to share it accurately here.

We all know about the fruit of Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. There are fruits, however that are not of the Holy Spirit. In Genesis 3, the story of when woman and man first agreed with the Deceiver, you can find the fruit of their agreement in their actions. They were ashamed, they were afraid, they hid from God, and they blamed anyone available.

None of those four things, shame, fear, blame or hiding, come from knowing and trusting the Truth. In fact, these things are directly opposed to God’s plans for us. So, when we experience any of these things working in us we know that we have believed a lie and that the Truth as well as release from these things is available to us.

This was especially important to me because I have felt for a while that afraid and hiding presence of God, ashamed of myself in front of him. I knew that this was related to all the lies I had been taught growing up in the name of God. I was taught that he was disappointed and grieved by me and that if I came into his presence he would condemn me.

I knew that these were lies, but I didn’t know how to separate them from God in my mind. I knew that God wasn’t like that but I didn’t know how to stop reacting to him as though he was exactly like that. I was afraid of hearing his voice because I had heard so many lies from what I thought was his voice in the past.

I blamed him for all this too. How could I trust him now when I thought I was trusting him then? I accused him of not protecting me and I couldn’t see any way around these thoughts since they were based on the truth of my experience.

I was asked whether these questions, thoughts, and blame directed at God were producing the fruit of the Spirit or the fruit of deception in me. Well, no question there, they were making me miserable. But I didn’t understand! They weren’t lies, they were relevant questions based on my own life!

Then God gave me a picture/story/idea. You know how in many stories there is an unlikely hero who is more or less guided by a wise, slightly mysterious figure. Think Bilbo and Gandalf or Frodo and Gandalf or Harry Potter and Dumbledore. The hero trusts his guide until some point in the story when the guide is suddenly absent in his time of need.

Then the questions come; sometimes from the hero’s own thoughts sometimes from someone else. I don’t have the books to reference but I seem to remember that Aberforth (Dumbledore’s brother) asks Harry exactly how much he knew about Professor Dumbledore and implies that he might not be entirely trustworthy. Or with Gandalf I mostly remember how he was accused by Wormtongue and Denethor.

The point is that as the reader of the story you know the hero shouldn’t be doubting the guide. You’re reading it thinking, “Don’t fall for that! I know it’s basically reasonable but you really can trust him just like you thought you could!” I assume if you were the hero of the story then it isn’t quite so obvious.

So God spoke to me in this way telling me that my questions were real and valid. They were based on my real experiences. But the Accuser doesn’t only accuse humans, he accuses God as well and these questions, real though they were, came from the Enemy not me.

This made all the difference to me. If they came from me then I couldn’t go on with God until they were satisfactorily answered. But if they came from the Enemy then why would I even give him the satisfaction of having me question God with them? Why would I do even a reasonable thing from his suggestion? I trust God because I know him, not because the Enemy can’t come up with a good sounding reason not to.

Suddenly, I let go of the questions and accusations that I was using as a barrier between God and I. I admit I am still curious, since God said they were valid questions, if he will choose to answer them one day. Ironically, since I was using them as a barrier between us, I don’t think I was actually willing or capable of actually hearing the answers.

I am not at all saying that it is wrong to question God. He can absolutely handle your questions and will often answer them. I’m not saying it’s wrong to be honest with God, he will definitely not be offended. I’m not even saying it’s wrong to rail at God for a while. What I am saying is that if your thoughts toward or about God are making you miserable and creating a barrier between you, you don’t have to let them.

If your thoughts are causing you shame, fear, blame or the desire to hide from God then realize they are lies and you don’t have to agree with them or put up with them no matter how reasonable or logical they sound.

There is also a difference between the facts of a matter and the Truth. The facts of the matter are that virgins don’t ever get pregnant. But the Truth is, one did once. The facts for me were that I was abused in God’s name and didn‘t know how he could be trustworthy. But the truth is that I do trust him and he is trustworthy.

I am not sure that I explained this well since I was trying to keep it reasonably short. If it brings up any questions please ask me.

No comments: