You know, there are many people walking around with a skewed view of God and how He is a loving Father. How do I know? You're looking at someone who has struggled with it. Many of you know my story. But let me share a piece of it from a different perspective. I was sexually abused, but at the same time, I lived in fear as to how my parents treated me. It was either do what I say on my timetable, or fear the wrath of the belt, which I felt on numerous occasions. The truth is that parents are really supposed to paint a picture of who God really is. And if a child is scarred through a trauma, they will rightfully question when older, can I trust Him, because I surely can't trust my parents after all the abuse I suffered, their abandonment and their neglect. Eventually what happens is that we treat God based on how our parents treated us especially if trauma is involved. How do I know? There were areas I struggled with God over. Example, if I messed up with my parents, it was like I had to make so many amends for them to forgive me. Even though God forgives me when I confess our sin, I still wrestle with the concept of "I have to make amends." What hastens is that I just limited myself and what God can do.
What happens is that we end up creating boxes and walls within our lives as a form of protection. And let something traumatic happen when we think to let the wall down, the heart will become callous for some. What's even worse is that we put a wall up to protect ourselves from God. And He is much more compassionate than our biological parents. Of course, it's hard to fathom when we surely didn't see a good example. And the reason why we didn't see an example is because the devil is after us. He knows the gift that's ok each of us, and he's after that. With that wall comes the feeling of we have to carry our own burdens, when we are to cast it over to Him for He cares for us. The truth is, He knows what we're holding on to and He wants it so we can have this 150 pounds lifted off of us. Excess weight costs us our life in many cases. The same holds true when it comes to burdens and limits. It will weigh us down to the point we end up with psychosomatic illnesses and in some cases, eating disorders. Galatians 5:1 says for freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
You see, we can put up a facade with people and in some cases with our family, but you can't put one up with God. He sees all and knows all. No matter how hard you try to box God in, we can't. I don't know about you, but I love surprises and His surprises always give me more of a reason to not quit on Him. Take Him at His Word and please don't cast away your confidence. He is up to something, but the key is to not keep your wall up so you block His blessings, but also to not bring Him down to your level. He'll let us go on our own for a little while, but you will physically and possibly spiritually burn out. Yes, there will be people (in and out of the church) who will discredit you and say, "You can't do this!" Believe me, I lived it. He wants to work through you so He can get the credit while you are blessed.
I do believe that our walls and our limits within ourselves and with Him really is a lack of trust. That doesn't mean we're going to hell, and it is true we may not have had good role models when we were kids. Now, it's time for a thought exchange and ask for a spiritual download from Him so we can dump our past thinking for a mindset like His. It's recorded in James that what is not of faith is sin. I didn't say that to condemn, but it's because of the fallen world we live in).
Earlier, I mentioned about the devil was after our gifts. Let me expound further, he really wants us dead in all areas. How? I'm glad you asked. He brought the trauma through our lives via childhood abuse, domestic abuse, emotionally abusive relationships, con men and con women, unexpected deaths, and the list goes on. All of these things can cause the limits to come. And yes, God understands; however, He wants it so He can free you up for an unexpected blessing.
Of course, I ask, where's the church in all of this? Well, sadly, many of them have the mentality of the AMCC (American Middle Class Church) where it's all about me, my family and my clique and everybody else can go to hell with our help.
How can we get the limits off of you and your thoughts about God? Great question. I want you to survey your life and ask, "what stinks? What's dead in your life?" If Jesus can raise Lazarus from the dead, He can raise you up. Now, Lazarus was dead for four days, and it turned around. I declare that some of our dead situations will turn around. Can you declare that?
Get those Pharisees that say "you will never amount to anything, you'll never recover, you're the blame for all that happened to you" out of your life.
Sometimes we don't appreciate our miracles when we're not involved. The scars that you have remind you of how bad it was so you can appreciate how good the miracle is.
At the end of Luke 7, people called the harlot out, probably saying, "look at that whore trying to get to Jesus." And Jesus had to tell them, "leave her alone." Jesus built her up and forgave her. And we in the church want to remember people's wrongs.
I really want to close this on a positive note. The beauty of God is that He specializes in forgiving our screw-up, He specializes in restoring the years you lost, He specializes in drying the tears you cried because you struggled to put food on the table, you stepped out on faith to leave that mate who abused you, He specializes in giving you double for what you've endured. I know I did some things wrong in my life, but He's not done with me (and He'd not down with you either). Don't be afraid to take the limits off of yourself and off of what God can really do (and who He really is). In fact Psalm 27:10 says for my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in. This is so true.
Can I just say this? Sometimes when we put limits on ourselves, we tend to make mistakes like Abram & Hagar. Now, Ishmael was not a mistake, Abram & Sarai wanted to help God out and jump ahead of God's timetable. God promised Abram that he and Sarai we're going to have a child. He doesn't think like we think, so we have to wait on Him. That waiting period requires faith.
Now many of you know me. I'm an accountant by profession and I'm always talking about working our day jobs like a Hebrew slave. If you think that's all there is to your life, you'll be working above and beyond just to only get 50% of your money. There's a proverb that says your gift will make room for you and bring you before the great. Once you operate in the gift God gave you, expect unexpected blessings that your day job can't even do for you. Another way to take the limits off of you and God.
Take a good look where you are, can you testify of what He's brought you out of? If you can't think of anything, you're still breathing especially when your life was threatened at one point in your life. When we take the limits off of God and His majesty, we need to posture ourselves for the unexpected to happen (and that's meant in a way that will bless your life tremendously). Regardless of what we've been through, our God can do things we haven't even imagined. He's the only one that can restore our broken soul (even though I write to right the broken soul - smile, He does a much better job than I can), and heal us from the inside out. We need to stop trying to figure Him out; He's unlimited.
Come on, I'm trying not to cry. He's not done with you, He's not done with me. He rescued me from many dangers and spared my life on many occasions. He's just getting started. I'm going to say it again, He specializes in restoration!
The Mayne Man