I often struggle with taking God at His word, as I am a linear, literal thinking person (which may seem to confirm the opposite), who often imposes my perceptions of people, situations, ideas, and attitudes onto who God is and what He can do.
And since I am a time-bound creature with the sad misfortune of living in this post-Fall world, I am a skeptic of the first order.
Oh that doesn't mean that I don't believe there is a God who is all powerful, all knowing, all loving. Rather, it means that I put Him and His strengths into human terms and limitations all too often.
And so if my earthly father has failed to love me as he should, to provide for my needs, or tell me I am valued, I automatically transfer those misgivings, those insecurities, to God my Heavenly Abba.
If you were inside my head you would often hear me think something along these lines:
• Since Dad doesn't have extra cash a lot of the time, I have to go without __________ (fill in with unnecessary material possession). Therefore, God is not a good provider, because He doesn't seem to answer my prayers when it comes to financial things or material possessions (this of course is a shortsighted lie fed to me by the devil who wishes to destroy my confidence in my Abba).
• We don't seem to do many fun activities or go fun places as a family because of money (or time). Therefore God is a spoilsport who enjoys sitting in His lofty position, making my life miserable (again, this is a lie which I choose to believe, because I DO have a loving Father who enjoys giving me good gifts - see Rom. 8:28; James 1:16-17).
• I just hate how God isn't allowing me to be noticed by guys so that I am still single, and so old (I am 24), why couldn't _________ take an interest in me? Of course I have to often remind myself that being "in a relationship" is NOT the most important factor of my life; loving Jesus perfectly is. And just because it seems like "everyone" I know is getting in a relationship, engaged, or married, doesn't mean that "everyone" actually is, and also, I must recognize that Satan is tempting me to be jealous, or envious of my friends, instead of rejoicing alongside, and praying for them in their new season of life.
That is what I need to focus on, not my being single. Because being in a relationship, no matter what kind (I am a daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin, etc.) is hard and takes unselfish, Jesus centered love, at all times no matter how I feel.
• I don't trust God to be faithful since so many of my human relationships are, or have been tainted with deception, manipulation, or straight-up lies (this is another lie which I need to be aware of, because if I begin believing and acting on it, whew! dangerous and destructive consequences will follow. God is NOT like man in how He relates to us. He is and always will be faithful, unchanging, and will never do anything to go against His character - Heb. 6:18).
• I don't really believe that God will punish my sins, because if I did, I wouldn't still be committing my pet sins, over and over, right? This is why I need to be constantly reminded of the horrendous consequences upon Jesus, because of MY sins, and why I need to read the Gospel accounts of His atoning death, and books like John Piper's excellent 50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die, to remember that Jesus died for me so that I would not go on sinning and sinning, but shun what is evil and cling to what is good (Rom. 12:9).
These are just a few of the lies I choose to believe, and have to be ready to combat, whenever they present themselves to me. Because, I serve a God of truth, who has enabled me (through His Spirit of Truth - John 14:17) to overcome the lies I hear or see frequently, and to walk a victorious, joy-filled life centered around Him. I praise God that I am not alone, that I am not defeated, that I am loved and cared for by someone who has infinite knowledge and understanding of who I am and what I struggle with, daily:
His name is Jesus.