What’s the best toy you were ever given? How about the nicest, most expensive item you own? Were you excited about that thingamabob because it was going to give you opportunity to serve others at a greater capacity?
If you’re like me, your answer is “no”. When I was eight years old I asked Jesus to come into my heart to be my Lord and Savior. For me it wasn’t a super-emotional choice. Basically, it was a no-brainer. Either accept Jesus as Lord and go to heaven or reject Him and you can look forward to an eternity of burning hell. I hadn’t received a letter to join the Mensa club, but I did figure out that I’d rather spend eternity in heaven with God than an eternity apart from Him.
I did it because I knew I needed God. I didn’t understand the capacity that entering the Kingdom of God would create in me for good. I wanted the gift God could give ME. I wasn’t even thinking about what I would, in turn, be able to do for others. And I’m not even sad about that, but it does point out my immaturity (again, I was a little girl, so I’m okay with that).
In the flesh, we’re so self-centered. It’s our Adamic nature. We inherited that trait from our forefather Adam. He and Eve unknowingly passed that little “gift” down to us. From the point that they sinned by eating of the forbidden fruit, their spirits (and now all of humanity’s) strive to get their needs met by all sorts of coping mechanisms. The enemy expertly planted a lie that throughout the ages has ravaged our hearts no matter our socio-economic status, political or religious affiliation, gender or sexual orientation. It’s the lie that God isn’t really good.
I marvel at that lie sometimes. How in the world can that one belief wreak such havoc in our relationships with others and ourselves? But it does. I’ve felt it. I’ve believed it. It manifests differently in each person, but the fruit of that lie for me looks like this:
God’s good to others, but He’s NOT good to me so:
- I’m abandoned. If I don’t make it all work, then the world will fall apart and it’ll be my fault. (Think about the crazy cycles that brings about in your marriage and parenting. Anyone else willing to admit that they micromanage when they operate from this place? How well does your spouse like being micromanaged???)
- I’m always in lack. I don’t have what I need i.e. intelligence, money, beauty, education, sleep etc. to make life work so I’m doomed to fail. It’s better to just play in the safe zone so I don’t disappoint anyone else, but especially myself. (How fulfilling is it to never really be known? To sit on the sidelines and never get in on the action that you’ve dreamed of when you were an innocent child?)
So that’s my short list. I could go on and on, but here’s the deal. The root of all that mess is a lie that God isn’t good. For those of us that grew up in a “traditional” Christian family where mom and dad took us to church each Sunday and did their dead-level best to provide opportunities for us to encounter God, we STILL struggle with this lie sometimes.
We think God’s holding out on us somehow, but if we’ll just be good enough, then we’ll feel His presence and get to live in the corner of His house. I can remember feeling like I shouldn’t expect to know God like Mother Theresa or Corrie ten Boom or some other Christian superstar, like the mother whose kids all sit quietly in church, behave, and act like they’ve been somewhere. I wouldn’t really be welcomed to His table to feast and enjoy life with Him. No, my friend, because of all my past mistakes and shortcomings, the very best I could hope for is to sit in the corner and maybe get a simple meal after all the really good people got their rewards from God.
Such garbage. That is NOT who God is. That sad, self-pitying scenario is a big, fat lie. Or maybe it’s a small, dronish, smart-bomb lie. Satan’s mother tongue is accusation (see Revelation 12). The Bible calls him the father of lies. He knows every nuance of that dialect and he knows how to implant some form of it into places (usually traumatic experiences) where we’ll take it up without even knowing it. He knows he can’t defeat God because Jesus Christ, God’s Son, already defeated him on the cross. His only mission now is to hurt those God loves with an everlasting love (check out John 10:10).
So, all of that to say this: Guard your heart against ANYTHING that would lead you to believe that God is good to everyone else, but you. As a new Believer, the most important foundation you can build your life upon is the inner witness of God as a GOOD FATHER.
The most advanced, effective weapons God has given me to counteract the lie of the enemy are the indwelling and empowering of the Holy Spirit and His Word. When I became a Believer, He placed His Spirit inside of me and sealed me forever. The Bible says that Holy Spirit is my counselor and He will lead me into all truth. Holy Spirit confirms in my heart that what I read in the Bible is true for me today just like it was true for the men who wrote the Bible over many, many centuries inspired by the same Holy Spirit who lives in me.
Maybe those are a lot of words, but I want you to know that God speaks to me through His written word (The Bible) and through Holy Spirit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read passages of Scripture that set me straight when I was veering off course.
I can name many different times throughout my life when I heard Holy Spirit speak to my heart. He told me once after I led worship at a small meeting, “Jodi, I’m going to help you.” I can’t tell you what that meant to me. Did you notice one of the lies that I believed pertained to abandonment. Do you think it’s a coincidence that Holy Spirit counteracted that with the truth that He is with me and going to help me? If God Almighty Who created the universe said He’s going to help me, then I think I’m going to make it, folks! He’s not limited by anything! He cannot lie!
It’s my choice now whether or not I’m going to take His word and put them into action in my life.
Blessings ~ Jodi
Note From Jessica:
This month we are focusing on sharing the words of wisdom that we have learned over years so our theme is “If I Had Known Then What I Know Now…”
So If you have some words of wisdom to share please comment below! We had some great comments last week and I’m looking forward to learning from you too!
If you missed last weeks post you can click on the following link If I Had Known Then What I Know Now
About Today’s Guest Blogger Jodie LaFrance:
Jodi is a wife to Big Jodie and a mother to three vivacious daughters. Big Jodie and Little Jodi live in Plainview and decided they’re dug in like a turnip. Jodi serves as a worship leader at Harvest Christian Fellowship’s Plainview campus and loves to connect with friends, enjoy coffee with a lot of cream and sugar, and laugh as much as possible. She hopes one day to write a book about all her misadventures titled “I Didn’t Think It Through”. To connect with Jodi you can find her on her website Jodielafrance.net