Accusations

… And the serpent said to the woman, “Did God really say …?” Genesis 3

When life throws a lot of garbage your way, doubt creeps in behind it. It’s pretty normal, actually, to ask questions when facts don’t add up. If there’s no heat or smoke, then why is there fire, we might ask. The fire is often an illusion, and doubt leads us to discover the truth.

For me, doubts have extra punch because my brain chemicals don’t balance without help. I truly cannot think straight at times, and this makes me question everything I know and believe. Every revelation, every deduction, everything that happens in my mind loses all credibility when my balance goes off. It’s honestly terrifying.

Thoughts slither in, asking if God is really there and if He really cares. Did God really say that He would provide? Did God really say that I have a glorious future? If God cares, then why am I suffering so much? Why am I broken? Why does every door close in my face? Where is the victory, the overcoming? God, you promised!

Did God lie to me?

It is the enemy’s strategy to hit us when we’re down, in our weakest spot. He uses the truth against us, spinning lies as thin and strong as spider silk.

“God said He would protect you. Something bad happened, so God failed you.”

“God said He would provide for your needs. Your bills are past due and you can’t find work, so God must have been lying.”

“God said He loves you, but you’re suffering cruel hardships. He’s a sadist, and He’s just toying with you.”

The enemy starts with the truth and spins out lie after lie until we’re cocooned and helpless. As long as we look at the lies that bind, we are helpless. But there is a way out.

When I can’t trust myself to think clearly, I have to look outside myself. Outside my circumstances and the filters I view them through. I look to what I have never thought up, created, or materially influenced. These lifelines come in several forms.

First, I look to the Bible. I didn’t write it or edit it, so my skewed perceptions haven’t tainted it. Though I may doubt my ability to interpret it, the Bible has clear information and promises. I can go off black-and-white print.

Next, I look to inspired teachings based on the Bible. I didn’t write those sermons, so they aren’t suspect because of my doubts. The speaker’s interpretations don’t bear my flawed marks. I can hear someone else’s ideas because they aren’t my own.

I also turn to what others has spoken to and over me. I keep record of the inspired and prophetic words given to me, and I reread them periodically. These could be influenced by me, by my interactions with the people who gave them. But this isn’t fortune-telling, where I give the medium all my life information for interpretation. These words came from only my request to receive a word; I didn’t prime the pump with details. Sure, the speakers know me and my life, but they don’t know what I’m looking to get from them at a given moment. So I can probably trust what they say, since I didn’t manipulate them into saying what they actually said.

I gather my resources and dive into them. I chant the core concepts in desperation. And I learn to recognize that insidious whisper.

Did God really say … ?

This is what God has said. This is what it means. This is how it applies to me. Instead of tumbling down a slope of loose thoughts, I cling to a solid rock of truth. Instead of chasing ideas like a tail, I turn to the source material. If I feel that I cannot trust my thoughts, then I hold up the thoughts of God.

I don’t know why I have all the problems I do; I don’t know why God lets them go on and on and on. When I have done everything He’s asked me to do, and still I have problems and unmet needs, I cannot be drawn in by the lies.

I may not always see His purpose, but I will believe His goodness. No matter how much smoke blows in my face.

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