Several years ago I went through the book and study by Nancy Leigh DeMoss – Lies Women Believe. Overall it was a good study. I plan to post my notes from the study over the next few weeks.
Lie: God is not really good. If He were, He would…
Truth: God is good, and everything He does is good. He never makes mistakes.
Lie: God doesn’t love me.
Truth: God’s love for me is infinite and unconditional. I don’t have to perform to earn God’s love or favor. He always has my best interests at heart.
Lie: God is just like my father.
Truth: God is exactly what He has revealed Himself to be in His Word. He is infinitely more wise and loving than any earthly father could ever be.
Lie: God is not really enough.
Truth: God is enough. If I have Him, I have all I need.
Lie: God’s ways are too restrictive.
Truth: God’s ways are best, and His restrictions are for my good. Resisting or rebelling will only bring trouble.
Lie: God should fix my problems.
Truth: Life is hard. God doesn’t guarantee that He will fix all my problems; in fact, God is more concerned about fulfilling His eternal purpose in and through me in the midst of those problems.
Our view of God affects how we live and the choices that we make. Some of the faulty views that people have of God include that He is a tyrant and dictator. This causes them to not want anything to do with Him. The source of evil in the world is disobedience. This has affected our world by causing work to be drudgery, pain and heartache to be part of our lives, and relationships to fall apart. Yet God has redeemed us, provided a way to have a relationship with Him, and given us His Son as our Savior.
People often feel they have to earn God’s love. This can be because of how their earthly fathers treated them. Perhaps disapproval was expressed over wrongdoing and they were made to feel that they didn’t measure up. God’s love, however, is not based on our actions or behavior. Nothing can separate us from His love.
Some of the things that I may look to to fill a need in my life are books and other “stuff”. If I lived as though I really believed that Christ and His Word are sufficient, then perhaps I wouldn’t depend so much on material things to feel happy.
Some of the restrictions that people think are burdensome or unfair include things like marriage fidelity or waiting until marriage to have sex. Yet these instructions are for our good and help protect us from disease and heartache in relationships.
There seems to be a lot of emphasis, particularly in psychology and counseling, to raise people’s self-esteem. Problems are linked to a low self-esteem. Yet, in reality, the Bible makes it clear that we are prone to think too highly of ourselves. Even a low view of ourselves is still a focus on ourselves.
I just finished reading a book How to Find Selfless Joy in a Me-First World by Leslie Vernick that talks about how we tend to focus on ourselves and what will make us happy and satisfied rather than on what will please God. It is so easy in the culture we live in that focuses on me-first and the pursuit of pleasure to get side-tracked into what will make us happy instead of seeking God’s purposes. We are not on this earth to be happy. We are here to glorify God. It is not all about us and our desires and interests. It is about God and His purposes.
I’m currently reading American Idols: The Worship of the American Dream by Bob Hostetler. The different chapters cover different idols that we tend to cling to in our American culture. So far I’ve read about consumerism/materialism, naturalism, and individualism. Consumerism is a rather obvious idol just by looking around us and seeing how we are caught up in buying things that we don’t really need, trying to fit in or satisfy our inner cravings. For me, the individualism chapter struck home.
I am very much an introvert. An introvert gains energy from time alone, while being around people is more draining. So being part of a community, developing relationships, can be difficult for me as I often would prefer to spend that time alone. The attitude of “I don’t need anyone” can pop up in my life. But Scripture calls us to be part of a community with other believers.
Hebrews 10:24-25: Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together…”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10: Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion…”
So this is a struggle for me. Balancing the time I need alone to be refreshed and re-energized with the time needed with other people to be challenged and edified. Our online social media society that we now live in makes this even more of a challenge as it is easy to just spend time online interacting with people and consider that “community”. But nothing takes the place of actually spending time with other people face-to-face, encouraging and challenging one another in our spiritual growth.
This is a topic close to my heart – developing a Christian worldview and living according to what the Bible teaches and not the culture around us. The book is a collection of articles by different authors, each chapter dealing with a different topic. The first chapters deal with the foundation behind having a Christian worldview – having a biblical foundation. This starts with whether we believe the Bible to be authoritative and sufficient. Another chapter dealt with the importance of what we believe about the world’s origins and how a belief in creation is crucial for having a biblical worldview. I never really thought about the importance of that before but his points make sense. If we don’t believe what the Bible says about creation and how the world came into being, than how are we going to believe and trust it in anything else that it teaches? Trying to compromise with the world’s view of evolution by saying that God used evolution to create the world undermines the authority of Scripture.
Other chapters deal with education, economics, politics, psychology and the arts.
Part of the chapter on creation vs. evolution points out the irrationality that comes with believing that evolution is how the world came into being. The author states this pretty clearly:
“What could prompt anyone to embrace such a system? Why would someone opt for a worldview that eliminates all that is rational? It boils down to the sheer love of sin. People want to be comfortable in their sin, and there is no way to do that without eliminating God. Get rid of God, and you erase all fear of the consequences of sin. So even though sheer irrationality is ultimately the only viable alternative to the God of Scripture, multitudes have opted for irrationality just so they could live guilt-free and shamelessly with their own sin. It is as simple as that.
“Either there is a God who created the universe and sovereignly rules His creation, or everything was caused by blind chance. The two ideas are mutually exclusive. If chance rules, God cannot. If God rules, there’s no room for chance. Make chance the cause of the universe and you have effectively done away with God.”
What are we teaching our children? Or what are we allowing our children to be taught? One of the chapters in this book deals with education and how the current educational system in our country is NOT conducive to Christianity or developing a biblical worldview. I don’t have children myself, but it concerns me that the next generation is being raised up in a culture that is very anti-God, anti-Bible and anti-Christianity. How do we fight against the postmodernism so prevalent in our current culture?
I recently finished listening to Stand to Reason’s Greg Koukl Ambassadors curriculum, course A. In this he teaches ways we can respond intelligently and consistently with the questions raised by postmodernism. I highly recommend Stand to Reason’s ministry for resources and tips on how to defend our faith in a world increasingly hostile to it.