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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lie of Hell #4:
God Doesn’t Like You

A recent "Question of the Week" at Bullets & Butterflies listed five of the devil’s lies which sound close enough to the truth to make them believable. This week addresses them in more detail:
Monday – "You'll never be worthy of God's grace or love."
Tuesday – "If you have faith, it doesn't matter if you sin."
Wednesday – "Following Jesus solves your problems."
• Thursday – "Problems indicate God's condemnation."
Friday – "If you love others then you're loving God."

: : : : :

"Sometimes I think, when it gets too quiet up there,
You say to Yourself, "What kind of mischief
can I play on My friend Tevye?"
~ Tevye to God, from the movie Fiddler on the Roof

Lie of Hell #4: God’s Doesn’t Like You

And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
"My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives."
~ Hebrews 12:5-6 (NKJV)
[Full context: Hebrews 12:5-11]

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
~ Romans 8:32 (NKJV)

Christian, the devil wants you to believe that your problems are because even though your sins are forgiven for eternity, you're still condemned for them while you're on earth; that God is angry, unfair, mean, and picks favorites for His blessings and curses; that He plain doesn't like you.

My five kids have thought the same of me. My youngest's latest response to most every situation that doesn't go his way is, "You're being mean!" Any of my darlings can unfavorably compare their circumstances with one of the other's.

Our sense of entitlement will continually trip us up.

Yesterday's post established that yes, Christians will have problems, which God uses to show His might and grace, and to bring praise to Himself. But it's not about Him alone. The Lord is continually at work to bring us into closer relationship with Himself so that He can bless us more abundantly. He is a good Father willing to use whatever means necessary.

It's said the Lord accepts you as you are and loves you too much to leave you that way. Fair enough. So how easily do we change? We tend to follow the path of least resistance unless we face unpleasant consequences which compel us to do otherwise.

There is a coming day of judgment for those who are condemned because they have not reconciled themselves to God through Jesus Christ. In the meantime, our God adopts those with faith in His Son as His children. Then He disciplines with difficulty and uses it for our benefit.

And it really does hurt Him more than it hurts us.

Father, I don't understand everything You allow in my life which causes pain. I know I'm responsible for some or most of it myself. I really am sorry for the grief my sin causes You. Please help me to always trust Your love for me and cooperate with You. Please do the same for everyone reading this post. Please open our eyes to how loving You really are, and how much You long to bless us, even when tough love hurts.

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  1. God's love never hurts, even when He chastens us, it is healing.

  2. I'm called mean a lot around here. Ah, the joys of parenting. Recently my youngest went through an odd painful experience and it tore me up watching her in pain. I just kept thinking of our Merciful God and how He must feel similar feelings and so much more when we feel the pain of our consequences (I know my daughter's issue wasn't her fault...anyway).

    Thanks for addressing this lie. It's one I've believed on and off. I think when we break free from believing it we hold responsibility to truly walk in faith and that scares many of us. I know it has scared me in the past.

    Guess I had a lot to say this morning. ;)
    ~ Wendy

  3. OUCH! well...this is an area that i thought i had gotten past until recently. the reality is, there's been an avoidance on my part.there's days that i thank Him for this disease. then again there's days that i sometimes resent His chastening. in my human understanding, i call it punishment, period. change isn't easy, it's a process. ...was going to write a post today called "reality check." the Truth did/does set me free. but it's also as the world saying goes,
    "the truth hurts"

    maybe it's the "sense of entitlement." one thing for certain, this post opened up a can of worms for me. one of your comments that you left behind once comes to mind.

    "avoid doesn't really work, does it?

    but anyways, thank you for a great series! even with it's challenges:)

  4. I'm trying to learn the path of least resistance is often not the path of greatest reward...hard for me. Thanks for your wisdom.

  5. Denise ~ I don't know that I've ever disagreed with you before, sweetheart. I'm of the opinion that it can hurt a great deal. I simply accept that no pain, no gain.

    Wendy ~ You're right about truly walking in faith. It's scary because we feel we're releasing control. But we never really had control. (Did I understand correctly?)

    Bud ~ There is a difference between discipline, consequences, and punishment. I could be wrong, but I don't think the child of God is ever punished. I'm inclined to see punishment as reserved for those who are condemned.

    Jeff ~ I must be getting older. I used to seek out the challenges. Some days now, I just want to survive them. But I've still got enough fight to resist the path of least resistance ... if that makes sense.

  6. Anne, I always enjoy your work. Very thoughtfully and sensibly stated. You have a much greater ability with graphics than I (who doesn't?), but I find the grey on black a bit difficult on the eyes. Perhaps that betrays my age and my need of bifocals. I do wish I could arrange my work better, but when i get caught up with format, I seem to pay less attention to content. I'd like for the site to be attractive, but I feel more driven to pay attention to the "message" than I do to the art. Apart from my comment about the grey/black thing, I feel you've not only posted some excellent material, but you've also presented it very attractively. donkimrey

  7. Don ~

    I'm grateful for ALL the feedback. You weren't the only one to mention the colors. I wish I could get a sharper text against the background. Hope this is better.

    I try to tweak the colors seasonally, just to keep things looking fresh. I agree with you—I want the emphasis to be on content rather than presentation, but still work for a pleasant presentation.

  8. YAY GOD!!!! YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Anonymous ~

    Yes. He is indeed awesome, and ever, ever loving.

    And I need the reminder of this post often myself.


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