Seeds of Faith: Lies Women Believe About God
I remember a good friend of ours, Nathan, preaching on Fathers’ Day. He had a rough childhood – poverty stricken, no father in the picture, mothers’ boyfriends and husbands who would mistreat him or abuse him – he said that it took him a long time to reconcile God as his Father in Heaven, because he had nothing positive to say about having a father. I really had no way to relate to that. I have an amazing father, someone who is wise and loving who led our family with grace and strength.
Being able to look to God as my heavenly Father really took no extra work from me, because the word “father” evokes only positives. But Nathan’s sermon really taught me that not everyone knows how to turn to God as a loving and caring Father, and it has me give pause when I’m witnessing to someone whom I know has no positive father influence in their life with which to relate.
Nathan had to strip away his perceptions of “daddy” and step into his Heavenly Father’s loving arms and re-learn what a father’s love really means. Oftentimes, there are burdens and baggage from this sinful world that we carry that we need to release in order to let God love us in His perfect way.
By way of introduction to chapter 2 of of Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss (previously titled Walking in the Truth) “Lies Women Believe About God”, I think what Nancy said best says it:
What we believe about God is foundational to our whole belief system. If we have wrong thinking about God, we will have wrong thinking about everything else. What we believe about God determines the way we live. If we believe things about Him that aren’t true, we will eventually act on those lies and end up in bondage.
I have the companion guide for this book, and out of the dozens of study questions for chapter 2, I have chosen just one discussion question for each of the lies laid out out in the book. This guide is designed for you to work a chapter a week, and work through several self-searching questions every day. You may find it beneficial in our study of this book to have your own guide and be able to go through every question. But, for our purposes here, following are just a few questions:
1. God is not really good. If He were, he would… In a moment of honesty here, this is where I falter regularly. In fact, I’ve been having such a crisis of faith about it that I’m reading The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel. In it he deals with eight stumbling blocks for faith for many people, and God’s apparent absence from the pain and tragedy of this fallen world is one of the stumbling blocks. But, I recently attended a Laura Story concert, a singer and songwriter who wrote a song called “Blessings”. She talks about that story here. What she said and how she said it, the lyrics of her song just really helped me with perspective.
Study question: Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Read Romans 8:28-39. What perspective about God and His good purposes does this passage provide to help us face painful or difficult life situations?
2. God doesn’t love me. I think it’s hard to figure out how a God who spoke the universe into creation could focus on me and my heart. How He could love me despite the fact that I’m a horrible, wretched sinner. But, He does. He loves you, too.
Study question: It has been said that if we could begin to grasp the greatness of God’s love, our lives would be totally transformed. How would you think differently about God, about yourself, and about your circumstances if you truly understood how incredibly much God loves you?
3. God is just like my father. God is not like any human any of us have ever personally known. He is perfect. He IS love. 1 John 4:8 says, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
Study question: Read Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-19. Personalize this prayer and pray it for yourself or for someone you know who has difficulty accepting the love of God.
4. God is not really enough. I think this is one area where people in today’s society really stumble. I don’t know if it’s because there’s a media constantly feeding us advertisements about all the things that we “need” or if it’s just because there is so much “stuff” around us. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, a rich young ruler said to Jesus that he had kept all of God’s commandments since his youth and he wanted to know what else to do to get into heaven. Jesus said, “Sell all of your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” The rich young man was saddened and left, choosing his possessions over an eternal life with Christ.
Study question: Do your really believe that if you have God, you have enough? What are some of the “pluses” that you tend to think you have to have to be happy?
5. God’s ways are too restrictive. I think this is another myth that plagues us in our “me me me!” society. If you follow God and are a lover of Christ, then you’re bound in chains and can’t have any fun in the world. Because, honestly, how can you have fun unless you can add sin into the equation? I was never more miserable and bound in chains than when I was living a life full of sin. I can’t even express to you the freedom and joy that has come in loving God with all of my heart, soul, and strength.
Study question: In what ways are God’s restrictions actually a benefit and a blessing to His children? How could you explain their benefit to others?
6. God should fix my problems. I think the Apostle Paul could attest to the fact that God isn’t going to promise to fix our problems. But, if you read his words, despite his physical ailments and his persecution on this earth, he knew the joy of the presence of the Lord, and he felt the comfort of the presence of the Holy Spirit. And despite his problems, he penned these words in his letter to the Philippians: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Study question: Why might God sometimes choose not to fix or remove your problems? What greater goals might He have in mind? If God chooses not to remove your difficulties, what does the Bible tell you He may be trying to do instead? (Job 23:10, Romans 5:3-4, James 1:2-4).
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