I genuinely feel as though I love God. I mean that. He is constantly on my mind. There are times where I get overwhelmed by the idea of His lavish, ridiculous grace in my life. But then there are those other times…
Although there are many genuine and heart-felt moments in which I experience the love of God, there are more times that God is on my mind due to another, deep-seated emotion – fear.
I was not able to place my finger on this emotion until recent. You see, my view of God has changed over the last three years in dramatic fashion. I no longer feel I have to please God with perfect behavior or things like that. I simply know that God loves me in spite of me.
However, as one who struggles with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), I have the tendency to allow fear to dominate my thoughts. The idea that there is this dark side to God looms in my mind. How can this be? He is light, space, holy, peace, goodness, laughter, _________ (fill in the blank).
Are you like me and often fill in the blank with an Old Testament version of God? Wow, I do this often. You know – the angry, open the earth and swallow people, fire from the sky, flood, and catastrophe kind of God?
Although I do not think this way on purpose, my mind tends to wonder toward those areas of God, those characteristics that were before the new covenant that Jesus made through his death and resurrection. Hebrews 8:6
These old covenant characteristics of God are always on my mind. Why? I am not sure. You probably have a definitive answer – but not me.
However, there are a few things that I do to RESET my thinking and I want to share those with you.
I think on His goodness – not His judgement. Romans 2:4
I allow Him to show His love to me through the Bible and through others. 1 John 4:16-19
I captivate negative and judgmental thoughts – either toward others and toward myself. 2 Corinthians 10:5
These three are ways in which I deal with the “old man” who has died to self through Christ. The reality is that you and are still alive and can choose to live in that old mindset. That’s why this is a choice daily to believe the best about the world, God, and ourselves. We can live in a better covenant daily.
My mental duress about God is a choice that I will choose to fight until I’m made perfect by His love. I have realized that the pressure I feel and experience in my mind concerning God has little to do with His love and more to do with my prideful proclivity to think I have something to do with my salvation.
Do you ever mistake your mental duress concerning God for loving Him? If so, how do you counter these emotions or thought patterns?
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