“God doesn’t love people like me.”
Possibly the best lie Satan uses to hold people back from embracing surrender and accepting the Lord into their heart and his healing into their life.
This lie places blame on God for not being all caring. Blaming God is easier than living life out of sin. Whether we like it or not, sin isn’t a God thing, it’s a human thing. Sin interferes with a relationship built on the love, mercy, redemption, and forgiveness of God. Sin is a barrier and we know that in our heart, still, it’s easier to blame God.
This lie takes away the entire purpose of Jesus Christ!
Jesus didn’t come to save the righteous, the perfect among us. (If he did, there would be no one in heaven! Sinless does not exist.) Jesus is the Savior- the final sacrifice. His life is the culmination of the redemption story told throughout scripture! From the beginning, God’s purpose was to redeem the lost. When Adam and Eve disobeyed, they endured consequences, but their lives didn’t end. I imagine they missed their perfect home, but embraced their new beginnings. They had a second chance and life went on. From them the Bible story continued.
Redemption comes through surrender, confession, heart change, and a deep seeded hope to survive and live beyond self through Jesus Christ who redeems.
“God only loves those who are perfect, and go to church every week, and do everything right.”
(Actual words told to me last night)
This lie convinces people there is no reason to turn to God for help. Their brokenness is not desired. The filthy stains of sin can’t be reversed. This lie grounds a hurting soul in hopelessness.
When I heard this, my thoughts reflected on Saul, better known as Paul, the great writer of most of the New Testament. Saul didn’t live in pleasurable sin for self. Saul lived in persecution and hate for those who followed Jesus. He was feared because he was a murderer of the innocent.
God pursued Saul, blinded this man before redemption took place. From that encounter, came Paul-the man who spent his life in and out of prison, traveling to share the news of Jesus Christ. He worked his days preaching the good news to the Gentiles, those who were not Hebrew and did not believe in God, and were not of the chosen nation of Abraham in the Old Testament.
In bringing the message to the Gentiles, Paul brought the hope of redemption to the world for all time. It is meant to speak to all. Jesus is the bridge to salvation- our deliverance from sin and separation and the consequence of death.
But, if Satan can convince the broken they are unworthy of this love, he wins. If he can summon up hate for a God who desires to love us, but asks for obedience and righteousness, he wins. When Satan convinces the fallen they are unloved because of their mistakes, their sin, he wins.
And when the lost scream that God doesn’t love people like them, Satan’s lies win. Not only does God love people like them, but Jesus intentionally spent time with those ‘like them’.
The woman at the well was divorced, an adulterer, and living one of those sinful lives. She was redeemed. (John 4:1-40) This story chronicles prejudice and shunning of a woman by society, but within these verses the character of Jesus is revealed. The important message shows Jesus as loving and accepting of people like us. It is an example we all should follow.
“Go, and sin no more.”
Jesus knew what sin does to our hearts and minds. Sin destroys us. It makes us temporarily feel good, but slowly takes us down. The further we move from God, the deeper we sow into evil in thought and action. Greed, selfishness, anger, hate, manipulation, mockery, lies, abuse all stem from long term sin. It changes us and wipes away the good within.
Though there may be trauma, or a poor home life and bad examples in our upbringing, or peer pressure, I believe we know wrong and right in our heart. When we choose sin, we choose separation from God.
In addiction, the very beginning of the battle began with a choice to use a substance for pleasure. While it started as a single moment, the enjoyment of that feeling took hold. It became a second, third, and fourth use. Eventually, it became a daily need. The brain changed along the way and used the pleasure of numbness to cope or live. It sent a message to the mind and birthed the toxic cycles within addiction. From that need came behavior habits of the mind to sustain the hunger in the brain.
Jesus loves us enough to tell us to sin no more. He teaches us to move on from all that held us back, that convinced us to hate God and fear seeking him. He knows the mind well. He fought the temptations of Satan just like the rest of us. He crushed it, too. While we will never be the perfect, sinless man he was, our lives should be lived striving to follow his lead.
The science behind addiction follows the scripture behind sin. The mind and heart were always important to God.
“Do not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for if you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:17)
God gave Adam and Eve a choice. They had to choose to obey or eat. Satan called God a liar, and Eve took the bait and the first bite. Her will was overcome by sin. With the threat of death before her, she chose to disobey. From that point on, the world changed and the wheels began to roll for the eventual arrival of Jesus Christ. One choice changed it all.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.Proverbs 4:23-27
God loves us all. He loved the woman at the well, he loved Eve. He loves the liars, the adulterers, and he loves those lost in addiction making sinful choices to feed the craving that has the ability to put itself above God. It is a craving so deep that it overpowers the unprotected mind and darkens the heart into submission. For those living among the world of addiction, we know the system failure well.
I pray today that those who live in feelings of failure will rise out of the pool of lies Satan erected. May they know with absolute certainty they are loved, right there in the middle of a mess, in the climb of recovery, and into the joy of their future.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”John 3:16
Maybe Satan will gain a W in the win column of the world. But hear this, the final victory has already been won. So, strike one for God, who loves all people like you and all people like me.