Stinking Thinking: My Distorted View of God

Stinking Thinking: My Distorted View of God

Proverbs 23:7a, Romans 2:4d, 1 Corinthians 6:20, and John 3:16

 

Stinking Thinking refers to the negative thoughts that torment us especially when we are HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired) or have thoughts such as a distorted view of God and self, negative thinking, justification, fear, and anxiety. We will address each of these topics so we can discern between the lies we have believed over the years and replace them with God’s truth. Our goal is to equip you so you can have victory in these areas.

First, the Word of God says in Proverbs 23:7a, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” What we think about ourselves dictates how we see ourselves, God, and others, and how we respond to things. If we see ourselves as children of God, loved, cherished and adopted into God’s family, we will see we are truly special, set apart by God for good works. We will have a more positive view of the world. If we feel we are unlovable because of our past sins, and not a person of value, we will feel depressed, lonely, and hopeless. Can you see that what we think determines how we feel?

My first distorted view of God started when I was a very young child around 6 or 7 years old. I saw God as an angry God who was unapproachable. I was told as a child, if I did something wrong God would punish me, I was constantly waiting for the hammer to drop on my head every time I did something wrong. The church was old and had beautiful stained-glass windows, but inside it was dark, cold, and people spoke in Latin. I did not see the love of God there. All I saw were strict rules and harsh punishment for disobeying. I saw students hit with rulers on a regular basis. This kept me hiding again, like I did at home, when my father was having one of his angry outbursts.

It’s the goodness of God that leads to repentance. (Romans 2:4d) One method to modify behavior is through fear of judgement; the other is through love. God wants us to obey Him out of love and not out of fear. If you love someone and they love you, you want to spend time with this person, but when you think of someone as a harsh person, this is not someone who you feel safe and comfortable with. Do you see the difference? God is love, and His grace is undeserved. Because of what Jesus did for me on the cross, the least I can do is serve Him and obey His Word. I was bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20); the precious blood of Jesus paid the penalty for my sins and the sins of the whole world.

I did not see the love of God evident in my old church. It wasn’t until I was 34, when I attended a small Baptist church in NJ, that I heard the gospel for the first time. The building was very plain, no stained-glass windows. There was a cross in the front where the preacher stood and a piano. But one thing I did see displayed was the love of God that these people had. That’s what drew me to Jesus. It was the preaching of the Word of God through the Bible and the love of God in the words and actions and on the faces of the people who attended that small church.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son… ” He loved us so much He gave His Son to die for you and me; that is a picture of sacrificial love. Thank you, Jesus, for willingly dying on the cross for us, I know it’s your love for the world that held you on that cross.

I believe the enemy is hard at work to distort our view of God, to make us doubt that He truly loves us and cares about us. Look at Eve in the garden, the snake (Satan), the deceiver and father of lies, trying to plant seeds of doubt in Eve’s mind regarding whether God’s Word can be trusted. I can imagine she was thinking, “God is holding back something good from me, He does not really love me because if He did, He would give me everything I want.” Adam and Eve did not know what was best for them, and it’s the same with us; we do not know what’s best for us either. God told us not to have sex before marriage. Was He holding out on us? No, actually He was protecting us, especially those of us who would abort our babies. He was trying to protect us and our babies.

I realized that it was out of love that God did not want me to have sex outside of marriage, because He wanted to protect me. If only I had trusted God and invited Him into my decision-making process and believed that He would provide for my baby and I, then perhaps I would have had courage to choose life for my baby. Instead my distorted view of God made me fearful to approach Him with my needs, which was the enemys plan. If the enemy can cause us to panic and not seek Gods wisdom, provision, and protection, then he has won the battle.

What were your distorted views of God when you were younger?

How do you see Him now?

 

Blessings,

Toni

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

Thank You Lord, for the Gift of Forgiveness

Thank You Lord, for the Gift of Forgiveness

Forgiveness

Titus 1:2, Psalm 103:12, John 3:16

For almost a year after my salvation in February 1994, I struggled to believe that God would forgive my sin of abortion. The enemy lied to me and whispered in my ear, “God is not going to forgive you for this horrible thing you did. You are not worthy to be loved by anyone, especially God. In fact, you deserve to be abused for what you did.” These lies tormented me and I felt compelled to somehow make penance for my sins. Coming from a works-based religion, I thought perhaps I could do something to earn forgiveness from God. Was there something else I needed to do? Was there some sacrifice I could make to earn His forgiveness? Was I a person of value in His eyes, that He would forgive and redeem me?

One day I heard preaching on the radio and the pastor said, “If I don’t believe God can forgive sin, then I am calling God a liar”. I knew God wasn’t a liar (Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began). So, slowly I started to believe in my heart that I was forgiven. However, it took almost a decade for that truth to finally take root in my heart, and I knew I was truly forgiven by God.

Forgiveness cannot be earned; it is a gift. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, I now have access to the Father. But first, I had to humble myself before Him, confess my sins and repent. I had to turn away from my old life and turn toward God.

Salvation truly is a miracle. I was plucked out of the world, adopted and placed into the family of God. This was only possible through the shed blood of Christ, the sinless Lamb of God, when He died on the cross for my sins and the sins of the whole world. All my sins were nailed to that cross when Jesus took my place. He was my substitute; He took my sins upon Himself so that I could be made righteous before God.

When God looks upon me, all He sees is Christ’s righteousness (Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us). God does not remember my sins anymore. I have been forgiven, redeemed, and adopted by God through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. It is the most beautiful gesture that anyone has ever done for me. I am so grateful to God for having mercy upon me and saving me.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Have you asked God to forgive your sins?

Have you received the gift of salvation?

Have you asked God to forgive your past abortion?

If not, please do not wait one more second. Come to God and confess your sins. He is patently waiting for you. Cry out to God today and receive the gift of forgiveness.

Please let us know if you have turned from your sins and turned to God so we can celebrate with you and disciple you on your spiritual journey.

God Bless you.

—Toni

 

Further reading on this subject:

Why Is Forgiveness so Important to Our Well-Being?

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

Sanctity for Human Life

Sanctity for Human Life

As I write this, it is the 47th anniversary of Roe vs Wade when the US Supreme Court decided abortion will be “legal” in all 50 states.

Churches all across America recognize this 3rd Sunday in January each year, as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. It is a day when we as believers, thank God for the gift of life, we remember those who have died as a result of abortion, and we commit ourselves to protect the unborn.

To give you an idea of where we are, here are some statistics:

From 1973 to 2017 more than 60 million lives have been lost to abortion.

Every year, an estimated one million abortions are performed in the US.

As many as 2,500 unborn babies lose their lives in abortions every day.

4 out of 10 women who choose abortion identify as Christians and are attending church at least once a month. The sad truth is, many of us have been affected by what has been promoted as a quick fix to an inconvenience. Some of us have personal experience, some have a family member or know someone who has had an abortion.

But we have been lied to by the enemy of our souls. In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” And the enemy has been involved in the killing of God’s children since the beginning of time.

Some of you may have hearts that are burdened with sins from your past. For some sins, it is harder for us to receive the forgiveness Christ offers than for others. Especially those sins committed against the body. Sexual sin and abortion are difficult to share and receive healing for because they touch us so deeply and there is great shame and stigma attached to them.

I am passionate about this because it has affected me personally. And I suffered so much for my choice! I was alone and afraid; I had no one in my young life that could speak truth to me. I was fed the lie that it wasn’t a baby and that I would be better off without it. For many months after the procedure, I was deeply depressed and felt empty inside over my decision; I cried every night. After being witnessed to over and over, I turned to the Lord Jesus for forgiveness because the burden was too heavy. He turned my life around and immediately forgave me. But I had to work through a lot of emotional struggles. I look back on that time and since the Lord showed me His forgiveness, over time I learned to let go of the guilt and shame I was holding on to and receive healing from the Lord through His Word and other believers.

The Lord exposed me to some compassionate and amazing Christians who were involved in the pro-life movement. And they helped me work through the fallout and heal to the point that I was able to minister to other hurting women who were alone in their secret suffering. It was a great relief to get rid of the burden of myself hate!

And the cross is open to all; the Lord receives all that ask for His forgiveness. There is healing available for grieving hearts that regret their involvement in abortion. It is not the unforgivable sin. Our Savior went to the cross for all sins.

When our hearts are surrendered to Jesus, we make better choices for ourselves and others. And there is support and protection in the body of Christ. But there are people out there who don’t know this yet. It’s up to us to share Christ love and truth with the those He brings into our lives and our church.

As we often say, the courts can make abortion illegal but only God through his church can make it unthinkable. The good news is, the abortion rate is declining but there are still so many we can reach out to with God’s love and healing!

—Luci

Read more of Luci’s blog posts here!