Misconceptions About The Man Upstairs (Part III)
Of all the lies we believe about God, there are three in which I believe are the ones Christians are quick to fall prey to. Sadly, these are ones that are not always quickly recognizable. Those misconceptions of God are:
- God Is Not Really Enough
- God’s Ways Are Too Restrictive
- God Should Fix My Problems
I know, you may be looking at these and going, I do not believe any of these. When I took a first glance at these particular deceptions I was shaking my head. Yet, as I began to read I found myself singing another tune entirely.
God Is Not Really Enough
All I need is Jesus. All I need is God. This mantra is one that I have told myself countless times. Perhaps you have told yourself the same? Maybe you have even shared this mantra with someone else? When we say these words though, do we really believe them? When we urge our friends, family, and loved ones with these words do they?
An ugly truth here is we struggle. When things are difficult, challenging, or beyond our comprehension we may not feel that God’s Word is sufficient enough to deal with our problems.
The reality is… we are really thinking:
- I need Him plus I need that job.
- I need Him plus I need that relationship.
- I need Him plus my good health.
I need Him plus… really equates to I need Him BUT. Have you ever caught yourself doing that? I need God, BUT…
Over the past six months, I have found myself saying this a lot.
- I just need Him but I need more money.
- I just need Him but I need my health better.
- I just need Him but I need a car.
What I need to realize is this one simple truth:
God Is Enough. If I Have Him, I Have All I Need.
Money might pay bills. My health might allow for my days to be a little better spent. A car might allow me to travel more freely. However, none of these things offer me unconditional love, unending grace, mercy, peace, or eternal salvation.
Ask Yourself Is God Enough?
God’s Ways Are Too Restrictive
Repetitively it is said within Scripture that God’s ways are good and that they are for our protection. We do not always do as God instructs us. Why? Simply because Satan has suckered us into a single way of thinking. The great Deceiver has managed to convince us that somehow God’s will for us is a burden. Sometimes, perhaps it may even feel like a burden as following Him can be challenging sometimes. Especially when it means:
- Not going out drinking or partying with your friends
- Not having your boyfriend or girlfriend stay with you overnight
- Lying to a friend, family member, or acquaintance to spare their feelings
- Taking your room mate’s last little Debbie because you were hungry
The truth is it can be hard to do what is right sometimes. However, a falsehood that Satan is able to quickly draw us in with is: If it feels good, it cannot be bad or no one has the right to tell you what you can or cannot do.
It is also true that we do have the right to choose our actions. However, all our actions are not without consequence.
God Should Fix My Problems
What are our expectations when we pray? Do we have any? I admit, I have had some pretty high hopes when I have sought God’s aid in certain matters. I also have become quite bitter with Him when I did not get exactly what I desired. When I did this, my perception of God was far from the truth.
How do we see God when it is based on our expectations?
Nancy Leigh Demoss paints a vivid as well as accurate picture of our depictions of God especially when it comes to getting what we want. God is reduced to:
- A Cosmic Genie who exists to please and serve us
- A Servant that comes to wait on us at the ringing of a bell
In short, when God does not solve our problems, we tend to fall into the misconception that He has not come through for us.
The Simple Truth
God Is Enough.
Psalm 23:1 New International Version (NIV)
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
Psalm 73:23-26 New International Version (NIV)
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
God’s Ways Are Best.
Joshua 1:8 New International Version (NIV)
8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
God’s Restrictions Are Always For My Own Good.
James 1:19-27 New International Version (NIV)
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Resisting God’s Word Brings Conflict and Heartache.
Proverbs 15:32-33 New International Version (NIV)
32 Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. 33 Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.
Life Is Hard.
Romans 8:21-22 New International Version (NIV)
21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
God Has An Eternal Purpose He Is Fulfilling Amidst My Problems.
James 1:2-4 New International Version (NIV)
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.