[tweetthis]Understanding who God is draws us closer to Him. Knowing who God is encourages us to trust Him w/our deepest needs.[/tweetthis]
Harvest Magazine Contributor
I facilitate a women’s Bible Study Group and the ultimate goal is for the attendees to experience complete healing from past trauma. I absolutely love the bible study curriculum we use to assist in the healing process. I love it for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is chapter two, titled “The Character of God.” In this chapter we dig deep into the inexhaustible character and attributes of God. It’s here we discover that understanding who God is draws us closer to Him, and knowing who God is, encourages us to emulate Him, act in obedience, and trust Him with our deepest needs.
We begin with the names of God, like Jehovah-Tsidkenu (God our Righteousness) Jehovah-Shammah (God, who is there) and El Roi (The God Who Sees) then we venture into some of His attributes like “All Powerful”, “Able to Protect”, “All Knowing” and “Never Changing” and let me tell you, the women explode with excitement as we discuss our Great God and His immeasurable blessings toward us! It turns into a Hallelujah good time!
But then something odd happens. Once we come off the mountaintop and begin to peel back the layers of the wound and compounded wounds that landed them in this particular group, all of sudden the God they raved about in chapter two disappears. The God who they declared they “Knew” could move mountains and they “Knew” was Faithful, Loving, and Good, seems to have abandoned them in their pain. I would watch and listen to them struggle with feelings of despair and sometimes hopelessness, and was amazed. I would think to myself, so what happened to the God you were in awe of in chapter two?
I began to ask questions like… “What does God say about this issue?” or “Where do you see God in that statement?” And inevitably I would hear, “I know God has forgiven me”, “I know God loves me”, “I know God hears my prayers”… After about the fifth “I Know”, I couldn’t help but ask, “Are you sure “YOU KNOW” God has forgiven you?” “Are you sure “YOU KNOW” God hears your prayers?” “Are you sure “YOU KNOW”, no matter what you do, nothing separates you from the love of God?” “Because I’m not convinced “you know”, because if “you know,”then what’s blocking you from Acting Like You Know?”
KNOWING VERSUS BELIEVING
What I’ve discovered throughout the years of leading groups, is one of the main reasons those who’ve been deeply wounded struggle with God’s unmeasurable love and forgiveness for them, is not due to what they “knew” about God, but what they “believed.”
Somewhere along life’s journey, what they knew intellectually about God’s character and attributes got choked out by disbelief. As a result, their ability to experience God’s unfailing love was thwarted. In other words, all they “knew” God to be never invaded the depths of their souls where the need to experience Him was the greatest. They didn’t believe what they knew. To be more precise, they didn’t believe what they knew about God was for them. Therefore, they were stuck. Stuck in the pain, guilt and shame of their past. You see it’s one thing to say that God is able… It’s another thing to believe He’s able to do it for you.
Do you find yourself struggling in this area? You know God forgives, but you don’t believe He can forgive YOU? You know there is now “no condemnation” for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1), but do you believe there’s no condemnation for you? A lot of great head knowledge, but no real breakthrough experiences due to disbelief.
Here’s the deal, when you know, that you know, that you know, God sent His Son as a ransom for your freedom and It is for freedom that Christ has set you free (Gal 5:1) then you’ll be free to Act Like You Know.
Denise Anthony serves as the Executive Director of Crossroads Pregnancy Center in LaGrange, KY and it is her unfailing belief that God in His Mercy covered her past for the work she’s now doing in the present.
Denise’s faith and life’s pursuit is built on Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.