I believe God is real, despite not having seen him. If you’ve ever read UpGradual before, you know this is true.
In fact, even though scripture says there’s zero chance that I’ll see him, in this lifetime, I’ve had experiences that lead me to file God under the heading True.
On the other hand, even though I believe in God, I’ve had experiences that make me doubt some passages in scripture.
Yes. I believe some things the bible says but not others. It’s not right, as a Christian, but changing beliefs is no small task.
And, there is no way I’m the only strong, intelligent woman who struggles in this way, so it needs to be said.
You’re not alone.
If you doubt yourself in some way, if you doubt that God is on your side, if you doubt that he is able or good enough to move on your behalf, you’re not the only one.
Obviously, the Good News is the gospel, but that’s not very helpful when you’re struggling with belief. So, here’s some more good news.
Even unbelief is a belief.
My belief is not either on or off. I’m always believing things. But I’m responsible for looking at a statement and deciding to file it under either True or False.
And so are you.
Here’s another good thing.
You’re allowed to re-file misfiled items.
Let me use myself as an example. (And, just a heads up – it ain’t gonna be pretty.)
There’s a stronghold in my heart.
Somewhere inside my onion layers, despite years of working, praying, talking the layers off, I still believe that I’m unloveable. Unworthy.
(Yes. I know that Jesus died for me and that should clear things right up. Thanks for the info. Wish it were that easy.)
At some point, long ago, I filed a lie under True and let it be written on my heart. Now, Like clockwork, when triggered – and I’m not even totally sure what the trigger is – it sets off this belief:
The world is safe for other people, not you. You deserve rejection, blame, and shunning. And you’re going to get it.
I didn’t always believe that. But, at some point, something enticed me to look through that lens, and keep it.
And that’s the important point.
Whether someone in my life did something, said something, treated me in a particular way that gave me their lens, or if Satan himself offered me that lens, I decided to keep it.
And I’ve been misfiling lies under True ever since.
Sure, as a young child, I may not have had any idea of the belief I was letting settle in my heart. But I do now.
I look at the world through that old lens, but I can read about God’s lens. And, holy crap, is there a big difference.
Mine sees abandonment. His says he will never leave me nor forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5)
Mine sees unloveable. His says things like ‘precious in his eyes’, ‘honoured’, and ‘I love you’. (Isaiah 43:4-5)
Still, I can’t just understand, with my rational brain, that my lens is wrong and decide to see it God’s way.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
Neither of these verses is saying that understanding that you’ve misfiled a lie under True is going to, automatically, shift it over to False.
Nor do they say that, once the lie is properly labeled, the real truth will simply slide into place in your heart. That would be like saying that understanding that being overweight is unhealthy would automatically make a person thin. That’s not how it works.
Take decisive action
These are actions we are to take. And not namby-pamby actions, either.
These are Put down the doughnut! Press the window up button, and Wave as you cruise right on by the girl in the drive-thru actions. I’ve done it, chanting, “I don’t want a doughnut. A doughnut will make me unhappy,” over and over again.
That’s a lighthearted example, but this is not a date at Starbuck’s. We’re talking prowling enemies, warfare, destruction and captives. We’re meant to be sober-minded and watchful.
And these are just the first two verses that caught my eye when I Googled, “What does the bible say about negative beliefs?”.
Just like we would if we were on a diet, we have to take action.
We have to do the research, meaning, read the bible, to find out what the real truth is. Then we have to repeatedly remind ourselves – chant out loud even – that what we thought was the truth is actually a lie and replace it with the real truth.
Again, the real truth is the one that we’ve uncovered in the bible, not the ‘truth’ that we’ve seen through someone’s broken lens, no matter how convincing.
We have to fight to see things through God’s lens. Everyone does. But those who have filed a lie under True in our hearts have to be extra vigilant, like a dog on a bone.
Satan wants you to let down your guard. He wants you to forget the chanting and swing into the drive-thru for a double-double and a Boston cream.
Actually, that’s not true. The devil doesn’t give two shakes if your abs are hard or soft, just as long as your heart is hard and your back is turned toward God.
But you don’t have to let that happen. It’s your filing system, remember?
You’re allowed to re-file lies under False, the Bible will tell you which ones, and God will give you the power to do it.
You don’t have to suffer the pain of believing lies forever.
FREE e-Book: Want to pre-read the first UpGradual e-book ever?
Yes, I’m working on creating a short, devotional e-book. I’m a little nervous to make the leap and feeling a little alone in the process, so I thought I’d invite a handful of readers to join me.
Message me on Facebook or leave a comment below, if you’re interested in pre-reading and commenting, as I go through the editing process.