It has taken me quite some time to begin to understand God’s character. When I grew up, I was not taught the truth about God, or about who Jesus Christ is. I began to believe that God was a distant God, who was mean and judgmental. I also believed that Jesus was not God, but a man. A man that did horrible things to hurt me. I lost trust in God, and wanted nothing to do with a God that would hurt me, abandon me, and leave me to suffer mercilessly. So that is the image of God that was created in my mind, and what I carried with me through my life.
When I first started to read the Bible and learn about Jesus, I was in awe. This man I had spent so much of my life hating was nothing like what I believed. I did not even connect my beliefs about Him to my past abuse, because when abuse is very bad, we put it away into the dark recesses of our minds. So I had no memories of what had happened to me to led me to any conclusions about why I hated God so much.
So here I was, reading the Bible and seeing Jesus in a whole new light. A God of love. A personal God. A God that wanted to have a relationship with me. It all seemed so wonderful and too good to be true. Yet as I grew to know Jesus through spending time with Him, I began to see His love was indeed very real. More real than I could ever imagine. Yet as I continued to read the Bible I began to fear there were aspects of God that were indeed cruel and vengeful.
I am sure I am not the only person who has ever read the Old Testament and wondered how God could seem so cruel and harsh in contrast to the God of love in the New Testament. With my religious upbringing it was hard to not see Him that way. I begin to fear if I was doing good enough or being good enough or pleasing God most of the time. I wanted to make sure I was making Him happy and staying in His good graces. I began to see the Bible more as a book of rules than a story of love and redemption. I became enslaved to the ideas I had, of who God was and how I should act.
It got to the point where I began to judge everyone around me by their behaviors: how they dressed, what they watched, how they acted, etc. And soon no one was a “real Christian” according to the standards I set by what I determined the Bible said. It is so easy to get lost when you are allowing your beliefs to shape and mold you, instead of the hands of God. You see, I was born to be a daughter of the King, but the enemy decided to try very hard to steal that from me.
So I have lived my whole life believing lie after lie, about who I am, and who God is. Not only did I believe God was mean and cruel, but I also believed I was ugly, fat, worthless, stupid and deserved to be punished constantly. All the exact opposite of what God says in His word.
It has only been through healing these false belief systems inside of me that I have been able to start to understand the true nature of God’s character. These false belief systems have been so deeply rooted inside of me, I didn’t even know they were there. It was just natural that I thought all these horrible things about myself and God. And I think that is where a lot of people get hung up. They begin to believe the lies that God is not a loving God, and that they are not worthy of His love.
That is why we need to build ourselves up in His truth. It is a wonderful thing to read them in the Bible, but for some of us, that is simply not enough. For some of us, we have clung too tightly to false beliefs and only God Himself can restore our minds to what He has created us to be. We need to surrender every bit of ourselves to God, until we can be stripped away from all of the lies, all of the shame, doubt, fear, and hate we have hidden inside of ourselves. It is only then can we see who God has created us to be.
Take a moment today to pray through these truths about who God is and just sit and be with Him today. Let Him love and adore you. You are so valuable and loved to God.
God is love 1 John 4:8
God is eternal Revelation 1:8
God never changes Hebrews 13:8
God is righteous Psalm 145:7
God wants every person to come into relationship with Him John 3:16
God is slow to anger, and full of love Exodus 34:6-7
God does not want to punish us or be afraid of Him 1 John 4:18
God made the heavens and the earth Psalm 102:25
God is good, and everything He does is good Psalm 119:68
Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love Romans 8:38-39
You are God’s crown of beauty Isaiah 62:3
God is your healer and your redeemer Psalm 103:2-4
God knows we are sinners, and died for us nonetheless Romans 5:8
God created you and set you apart for Himself Jeremiah 1:5
You are precious to God Isaiah 43:4
God takes pleasure in you Psalm 147:11
God is your helper and provider Psalm 54:4
God gives you power and strength Isaiah 40:29-31
God gives us defense and refuge Isaiah 25:4
We were made for God John 1:3
God is our peace Philippians 4:7