Who is God? What is He really like? How on earth is it possible to have a relationship with God?
These are questions I struggled with for a long time. No matter how much I wanted to know God (or wanted to want it), no matter how hard I tried to do the right things, I always ended up back in the same place.
A place of hurting. A place of depression. A place of frustration and ignorance. I knew I was missing something. I felt like the people I saw that seemed to have joy and that looked happy and full of life were actually full of, well……something else. There was NO WAY their faith was authentic.
Either that, or there was something wrong with me.
Why couldn’t I have that? Why couldn’t I get there?
Turns out, there was something wrong with me. But not the ME that God created me to be. Not the NEW CREATION me. The problem was in the thoughts I allowed to run rampant in my head. The problem was in the wounds I had from growing up, from life.
I am a systemic stuffer. I take pain and emotions and I stuff them into little shoeboxes in my brain, and then bury them deep.
Because I had done this for so long, I had a thousand openings for the enemy to come in and whisper lies to me. Lie after lie after lie. Lies that said I was worthless. Lies that said I was not the same as others. Lies that said that I was broken, and could never be what I wanted to be. Could never have dreams. That life would ALWAYS be the same.
On the outside, I looked okay. I looked happy…I was always joking around and making people laugh. I loved to lead worship, and I had a lot of the right answers.
But I didn’t have a clue.
My God was not the God of the bible. The God who not only delivered the Jews from Egypt, but healed them all. Millions strengthened and healed for the journey ahead. The God that found a shepherd boy and would not let any man get in the way of making him a king because God saw His heart when no one else did.
The God who loves me so much that He has sought after my heart my whole life, giving me individual attention, even though there are billions on this planet. The God who pursues me, unrelentingly, longing for more of me. Of me!
My God was a pale comparison. The God I believed in didn’t exist, and because my faith was misplaced, I was full of insecurity. Deep down, I doubted constantly if God was even real. Deep down, I wondered what the point was. Deep down, there was darkness and sadness and despair.
So how did it change?
My heart was longing for the real God. I wanted it. And when I found people who had genuine faith, even though my first instinct was to run away from them, I didn’t. I watched them. I read the word, and God began to unravel who He was. This great mystery began to unlock doors full of darkness. I found out that God heals and that He is real.
I began to truly believe that God was good. It’s as simple as that.
I allowed hope in.
If you have experienced any of this, you know that there is something that isn’t lining up inside. But you know what? It’s completely possible to get to the root of issues simply by asking the Holy Spirit to reveal things to you.
Here’s a good starting point. Go somewhere quiet, ask for revelation, and then ask yourself these three questions. Give yourself time, trust the Lord to guide you to the root of things, and see where it takes you. Journaling your thoughts will be very helpful.
How powerful is my God?
How loving is my God?
How trustworthy is my God?
It all comes down to God’s goodness. How good is He really? And how kind is He? He IS goodness. He IS love. He IS power. There is no other source of these things. It all comes from Him, flows from Him, and everything is either truly from Him, or counterfeit.
Go through each question again, and then read these passages from the bible. If there are any that resonate with you, copy them down, print them off, and put them where you can read them and say them and learn them. Allow them to be written on your heart. Your heart will take ahold of truth a lot faster than lies. It’s the difference between giving someone who’s been in the desert for days water vs. mud. However, it’s also vitally important to get to the place where you are spending more time meditating on truth than on lies.
How powerful is my God?
Your right hand, O LORD, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy. Exodus 15:6
His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Rays of light flash from his hands, where his awesome power is hidden. Habakkuk 3:4
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:28
[Abraham was] fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Romans 4:21
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. Romans 16:20
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us… Ephesians 3:20
How loving is my God?
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine….because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you… Isaiah 43:1, 4
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ Ephesians 1:4-5
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious 1 Peter 2:4
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
How trustworthy is my God?
Now, O Lord GOD, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant. 2 Samuel 7:28
All he does is just and good, and all his laws are right, 8 for they are formed from truth and goodness and stand firm forever. Psalm 111:7-8
Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You. Jeremiah 32:17
Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
How do your feelings and gut reactions weigh against scripture? Who is God, really, to you? How do you reconcile these things? By continually going back to truth. He is good. He is love. He is power. He near, at hand, beside you, pursuing you, wanting more of your heart.
The Lord always keeps his promises;
he is gracious in all he does.
The Lord helps the fallen
and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
The eyes of all look to you in hope;
you give them their food as they need it.
When you open your hand,
you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in everything he does;
he is filled with kindness.
The Lord is close to all who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him in truth.
Father, I have the hardest time believing that you are really completely, totally good all of the time. The things I see and the things I have experienced, they make it so hard to understand. But I know that I am to trust you and to not lean on my own understanding. I see things through the filter of my life, while you see all, and you are the Creator. You are my Father in Heaven, and you are holy and good. I trust in you. Show me your love, show me your power to heal my brokenness. I am at your feet, weak but not ashamed because in my weakness, I am strong. I declare that you are a good God, and that you love me exactly as I am right now, no matter what I feel or experience. I trust in the unseen, I am holding onto you with all I am. Thank you, Jesus, for showing me how to think and how to live. I love you, God, and in your holy name I pray, AMEN.