Saturday, March 19, 2005
I was walking to work as usual, pausing for a moment on the bridge to admire the sparkling white, snow-covered river while traffic droned past in both directions. I hadn’t been sleeping well the last few weeks. Cares, worries and concerns seemed to be accumulating in my mind like fuzz on a lint brush. I feared for my kids’ spiritual well-being, for their relationships, for financial situations, for deadlines at work, for unsaved loved ones, for upcoming major decisions – you name it, I feared it. And I was tired.
Suddenly, it occurred to me that the only difference between me, a believer, and a non-believer was…that I believed! I believed in God, the Alpha and the Omega and in the finished work of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, but that was it, apparently. I no longer trusted He could or would act on my behalf. From having endured many hard knocks, I had grown to expect disappointment. I no longer trusted Him to work because I figured He wouldn’t. I believed in a powerless God of my own making.
Shame on me!
Quick-fire questions popped into my mind: Is there a God, or isn’t there? Did He not create the universe? Did He not take my place on the cross? Did He not rise from the dead/defeat the enemy/redeem my soul? Was He not all-powerful? “Behold, I am God. Is anything too hard for Me?” What difference, then, was there between me and nonbelievers? “You say you believe…but so do the demons and they tremble in fear!”
I was taken aback. I had been putting limits on my Heavenly Father for so long that defeatist thinking had become the norm. How had I reached this point? When did my joy and confidence in a mighty God begin to wane? Until I saw it face to face for what it was, I honestly hadn’t been aware of this decline. I had been sucked into this mindset by my own choosing (I’d like to blame the enemy who delights in planting such thoughts, but I hadn’t put up much of a fight).
Then and there, I determined I would break free from this habit-pattern of thinking. I had made deliberate choices to limit God – I would no longer do so. There IS a God in Heaven. He IS all-powerful. He CAN do anything. He IS trustworthy. What liberating thoughts! My shoulders suddenly felt lighter. In contrast to my former doom and gloom outlook, I felt positively buoyant!
This is NOT to say that everything will be smooth-sailing from here on in. I know I will be constantly assaulted in my mind by an enemy whose sole intent is my ultimate destruction. However, my hope rests in the sober realization that my only power to resist these thoughts is derived from the indwelling spirit of Christ. It is warfare. Taking every thought captive to determine its source requires constant vigilance, but it is essential if my desire is to know a limitless God.