Many of us have a distorted view of God. The muddy view comes from the same lies as in the Garden of Eden where Satan implied that God had ulterior motives to keep knowledge from man.
Satan’s Lie “I am not” vs God’s “I Am”
- I am not smart enough.
- I am not good enough.
- I am not loving enough.
- I am not spiritual.
- I am not a Proverbs 31 woman.
- I am not pure.
- I am not thin.
- I am not honest.
- I am not wise.
- I am not gentle.
- I am not kind.
- I am not praying enough.
- I am not studying the Bible enough.
- I am not attending church enough.
- I am not the elect.
- I am not predestined.
- I am not a good mother (father, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandson, etc).
- I am not submissive enough.
- I am not organized enough.
- I am not working enough.
- I am not [fill in the blank]
When Adam an Eve believed these lies, the glory of God was removed and they saw their nakedness, then ran into the bushes and hid in guilt and shame and rejected God.
When Satan whispers the “I am not” lies we should remind him that God is the opposite of “I am not”; he is the “I Am.” God loves us so much he made arrangements with his Son and Spirit to provide the way for us. He loves us while we are sinners!
Many of us in America have a distorted Greek view of God, filled with a bloodthirsty anger demanding punishment for sin. This angry god pours out wrath on Jesus Christ on the cross instead of us.
Baxter Kruger of Perichoresis.org beautifully clarifies this faulty view (read it twice!):
Jesus Christ died because the Father would not forsake us, because the Father had a dream for us that He would not abandon, because the love of the Father for us is endless and unflinching. And Jesus died because the only way to get from the Fall of Adam to the right hand of the Father was through the crucifixion of Adamic existence.
Jesus Christ did not go to the cross to change God; he went to the cross to change us. He did not die to appease the Father’s anger or to heal the Father’s divided heart. Jesus Christ went to the cross to call a halt to the Fall and undo it, to convert fallen Adamic existence to his Father, to systematically eliminate our estrangement, so that he could accomplish his Father’s dream for our adoption in his ascension…
What we see in Gethsemane, when Jesus falls on his face, the gut wrench of it all, the pain and overwhelming weight, the struggle, the passion, the agony, all of this is a window into the whole life of Christ. His whole life was a cross, as Calvin said. From the moment of his birth, he began paying the price of our liberation. His whole life was a harrowing ordeal of struggle, of suffering, of trial and tribulation and pain, as he penetrated deeper and deeper into human estrangement.
On the cross, Jesus Christ made contact with the Garden of Eden, contact with Adam and Eve hiding in fear, contact with the original sin, with the original lie and its darkness. There the Son of the Father plunged himself into the deepest abyss of human alienation, into the quagmire of darkness and human brokenness and estrangement. He baptized himself in the waters of Adam’s fall.
There on the cross, he penetrated the last stronghold of darkness. There he walked into the utter depths of our alienation. There the intolerable No!, shouted by God the Father at the Fall of Adam, found its true fulfillment in Jesus’ Yes! “Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit,” as he took his final step into Adam’s disaster. Jesus died–and the Fall of Adam died with him.
God does not change. Our Father’s desire for a loving relationship with man never diminished. His passionate love for us is unwavering and steadfast. Our Father desires to establish a connection, an association, an affiliation, a very special link and bond between himself and his children.
This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is thy faithfulness (emunah). (Lam. 3:21-23).
Faith in God means being faithful to him and relying on him without reserve to the point of being in “union with” with him (Gal 2:17). Abiding in Christ will produce the fruit of obedience. This is how we are sure that we are united with him through obedience as Christ was obedient as unto death.
Faith in God is a belief in him and his Word and getting to know him. To clearly view him as he is, not a distorted view. This leads to a love of God and love of others which is the law wrapped up in two commands. This love is obedience as well as the evidence of our faith in him.
I believed the “I am not” lies most of my life. What about you? Do you battle with the “I am not” lies?
“The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust.” Psalm 18
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