“God looks at me with disdain. He’s angry and disappointed with me.”
“Maybe the reason I had a miscarriage is that God is punishing me.”
“God has turned his back to me.”
These are true statements from committed, church-going Christians. Interestingly, these same individuals also believe intellectually that God is good, loving, full of grace, and mercy. Is it possible for their private images of God to be in direct conflict with their intellectual convictions about God? Yes. I know this to be true because I too have struggled with this internal conflict.
In fact, I think it’s more common than we dare to admit.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been exploring overlooked reasons that Christians don’t read their Bible.
A flawed image of God will affect our commitment to reading the Bible.
What we imagine when we picture God is akin to whether or not we consider Him as worth knowing.
Think about it. If we see God as rule maker who is never satisfied, always looking for reasons to punish us—then it’s no wonder His followers don’t rush to His Word as a source of comfort, direction, and identity.
Our image of God is different from our ideas about God. Images are pictures we hold in our mind’s eye. They are a powerful combination of thoughts and feelings. Before we were able to think in words, we thought in images. From infancy, we began storing memories and emotional experiences. These images are how we learned about the world around us and ourselves—whether negatively or positively. We store images that help construct in our minds who we believe we are, our value, and self-worth.
The trouble is these negative images and thought patterns interfere with our true identity in Christ and can affect how we view God as well. I have found that in order to get a more accurate view of God, I needed to have a more accurate view of how God sees me. But in order to do that, I needed to identify the negative thoughts or images.
God’s Word is how we change those negative neuropathways in our brain.
Remember to take the negative thought captive first, then counter it with the truth of God’s Word. Below is the list of scripture taken from Priscilla Shirer’s study on The Amor Of God.
Please feel free to print, copy and duplicate this list! Repeat it, rehearse it and remember it. THIS is who you are in Christ! This is what God thinks of you.
As you begin to put off the old images and thoughts about yourself and replace them with God’s, you will also begin to see HIM more accurately.
- I am competent not in my own abilities but because He has made me competent by His Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:5–6)
- I abide in Christ, He abides in me, and I bear much fruit. (John 15:5)
- I have the mind of Christ; therefore I act in a way that is consistent with His actions. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
- He will never leave me nor will He forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5)
- I do no look with disdain upon my weaknesses. I see them as an opportunity for God to display His powerful strength and grace through me. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
- There is no weapon formed against me that can prosper, and every tongue that rises up against me in judgment shall be condemned. (Isaiah 54:17)
- The Spirit indwells me; therefore I am the temple of the living God. (2 Corinthians 6:16)
- The One who is in me is greater than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
- As an obedient daughter of the Lord and receive the prosperous abundance and blessing that He will bestow on me. (Deuteronomy 30:8–9)
- I walk by the Spirit and do not fulfill the desires of my flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
- I am enabled to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22–23)
- The Lord guards my going out and my coming in, today and forever. (Psalm 121:8)
- I have been made in the very image and likeness of God Himself. This is my heritage. (Genesis1:27)
- I have not been given the spirit of this world; rather, I have the Spirit of God that I might know the mind and will of God for me. (1 Corinthians 2:12)
- My steps have been ordained and ordered by the Lord. (Psalm 37:23)
- I am a necessary and useful part of the body of Christ, and I will use my spiritual gifts to edify others. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
- I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
- I have been given victory in Christ Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
- I am meek, and I inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
- My ambition is to be pleasing to Him and Him alone. (2 Corinthians 5:9)
- Rivers of living water flow out of my inner being. (John 7:37)
- I have been chosen by God to bring forth fruit that shall remain. (John 15:16)
- I am a brand new person. My old sin nature has passed away, and everything has become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- No matter my past, I am forgiven of my sins because of the lavishness of His grace upon me. (Ephesians 1:7)
- I have been given every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:3)
- I am known, chosen, redeemed, forgiven, fearfully and wonderfully made, adopted into the family of God.
- Whatever I ask for in prayer according to the Father’s will, I believe that I have received it. (Mark11:24)
- I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation. I am one of God’s own people. (1 Peter 2:9)
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