Have You Believed Lies About God?
"Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear me and always keep all my commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!" Deuteronomy 5:29 The image of God that many hold is one of sternness and judgment. And surely, he can be that. But sternness and judgment IS NOT HIS WILL. The Lord yearns for the heart of man. He desires that man follow his commands THAT IT MIGHT BE WELL WITH THEM. Where does one get the image of God as a harsh and cruel judge? Surely he is portrayed that way in parts of the Bible, but it's not because he wants us to know him that way. If you had a child prone to running out into the street in heavy traffic, you would first explain to your child how dangerous that is, and your hope would be that your child believe you and never run out into the street. Why would you warn him? Because you take pleasure in restricting him? Of course not, it's a command that comes from the depths of your love for your child. But if he refuses you and takes it as a command he just does not want to obey, and then runs out into the street, you'll have to take more drastic measures to save his life. Whatever it takes, you'll do it. You'll do anything to teach him that he must not run out into the street. The Lord conveys this very sentiment in this passage in Deuteronomy. "Oh," he says, "Oh that they had such a heart in them that they would fear me and always keep my commandments ...THAT IT MIGHT BE WELL WITH THEM…" God doesn't have "control issues." He doesn't give us commands because he delights in controlling people. God is love. He loves us and he watches over us jealously. He has told us HOW to walk "that it might be well" with us. God wants our trust. Children forever ask their parents "why...?" But there are things you can't explain to a young child. If you tell your child not to take candy from a stranger, the child will ask "WHY?" But it's difficult, if not impossible, to convince a child that someone offering them something good can actually be doing that with evil intent. Children are innocent, and if a stranger comes up to them with a gentle smile offering them something good, the trusting child is easy prey for that wolf in sheep's clothing. So the parent simply says "don't do it," because the innocent, trusting child isn't going to understand the "why." God did not place us on this earth and then leave us saying, "see you at the end, hope you make it." No, God gave us a Book explaining everything to us. He reveals to us who he is, who we are, what our purpose is, where we're going, and how to get there. For the parts where we fail and incur guilt for disobedience, he sent his Son to bear the judgment for us. How can anyone think he is a terrible Father who only wants to smack us when we do wrong? That is SO FAR from the truth! He has told us he is love. He is a wise Father who wants us to obey him because he wants our best ...that it might be well with us. If you had a stern or unloving father, if your father was rigid and hateful, then that's the image you'll probably have of God – but it's a very wrong image. If you never received love from your father, it's going to be very hard for you to believe that God loves you. If your life has consisted of bad things, trauma, loss, and rejection, then you're going to blame God for all that. But you're blaming the wrong one. God has very, very clearly showed us in his Word that there is an enemy bent on your destruction. He said this about him: "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." 1 Peter 5:8 Seeking whom he "MAY" devour. What does that mean? It means Satan is a legal expert. He is constantly watching for disobedience because when a person accepts a lie from Satan, the rebellion in that acceptance opens the door to evil. He tells you God is mean and unfair in commanding you not to run out into the street. If he can get you to believe that, then he'll suggest that you have the right to freedom of choice, so why not just follow your desire and go ahead and run out into the street. Then when you get hit by a car, you blame God. THAT is how Satan works. If your life has been trauma-filled, it's usually going to be because the laws of God have been violated - whether by rebellion in your life or rebellion in the life of your parents, because the Scriptures tell us that the results of the sin of rebellion can come down on the children to the third and fourth generation. Apply your heart to understanding God's Word because it is his revelation for you, that it might be well with you "AND with your children." Never, EVER believe the lie of Satan who presents an incorrect picture of God for you to believe. That very thing caused the very first sin (Genesis 3:1). Satan is THE FATHER OF LIES. Jesus said of him: "When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it." John 8:44 God is LOVE. He loves YOU. Believe him!