Faith: “Did God really say?” - doubting purpose
This blog post is an adaptation of a newsletter devotional I wrote for the Born to Fly community.
I'm aware that freedom of choice is one of God's greatest gifts.
Yet, it's that same freedom that, used in a wrong way, can lead to thinking I can be independent and don't have to rely on God.
After reading the Bible plan titled Starving the Fairytale, I raised my eyebrows and looked straight into the mirror:
Was I falling for the lie that I can be self-reliant?
And that I only need others to serve my own goals?
Did I believe that striving for happiness is our most important job in life?
I understood that, at times, I fall for all of that.
That's why it's no surprise that I was captured by this Bible plan.
I was convicted.
The person who wrote that Bible plan (and the same-titled book) is Emily Copeland. She's simply amazing. If you'd be interested to hear her speak: she was a guest on my Born to Fly Podcast 🙂.
But not promoting Emily here, instead, I'd like to go deeper into how we can deal with the lie of self-sufficiency—based on Emily's input though. A lie I'm all too familiar with.
Know the enemy's tactics
Making glorifying ourselves a priority can only come from one source: the enemy.
When studying the Bible, especially Genesis 3, it becomes evident what type of tactics Satan uses to sidetrack us from the truth. Knowing his ways will help to guard us against his attempts.
1. He instills doubt
"Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden?'"
This question was the first trigger for Eve to doubt God.
Did God in fact say she couldn't eat from the tree?
He did, but sometimes circumstances make you forget or lure you into thinking God didn't.
How many times have you thought about whether or not God said something to you?
How many times did you think it was your own thought after all and not God's?
I admit, I struggle with this often.
Especially if I don't feel as confident, thoughts like this arise at high speed.
It's so sneaky, doubt seeps through quickly, and that's exactly why the enemy uses this tactic.
Making us doubt our calling or purpose will lead to derailment and loss of focus.
And I don't want that.
That's why I weapon myself against this tactic by reading the Word. Being able to remember God's words is the only remedy for me.
2. He lies
"You won't die…" is what Satan replied to Eve when she explained she could eat from any tree in the garden except the one. If they did, they would die. Satan simply lied to her when he said she wouldn't.
A lie wouldn't have an impact if we know the truth, but if we hear a lie over and over again, it seems like it is the truth, until it becomes our truth.
Such a lie could be, telling yourself that you'll never be a good writer;
—Or that you can never get the job you want;
—Or that you will never be cut out to be an entrepreneur;
—Or thart you'll never find a partner who loves you
Why are we saying certain things to ourselves?
Why are we believing certain things?
Because society tells us?
Because our upbringing didn't teach us any different?
Because our identity is shaky?
If something smells like a lie, we have to go to the roots. Where does it come from? And is what we're believing actually based on truth?
Only then can we discern the lies that the enemy cunningly smuggles into our lives.
3. He tempts you
"If you eat the fruit, you will be like God…"
The enemy makes disobeying God attractive.
It seems like following the success formula of this world is harmless, but when you look closer, it's based on personal gain and relying on self.
We are taught to strive for our own happiness.
To be who we want to be, and let no one stand in the way of that.
What could be wrong with that, right? It doesn't sound too bad to be happy and allow others to pursue the same.
But if we are really striving for that, there will always be disappointment—either by you or others around you.
If we strive for Self, we will touch others by doing so. We can't go full steam ahead and not compromise our time with others, for example. If I work eighty hours a week, because I like my job and it's needed, my family will suffer.
If we are to fully rely on ourselves, why are we living in a connected world where relationships are so important?
Why do we want to be god and take the reigns into our own hands, doing everything our way and in our timing?
Are we really that powerful and steadfast by ourselves alone?
A constant choice
For a long time, I've traveled the path of self-discovery.
Of trying to focus on myself and what I wanted to do and what my passions were up to a point it became overwhelming.
Do what you love!
Chase your passion!
I'm not against exploring who you are. In fact, I'm all for discovering what talents and gifts God put inside you.
But after a while, I found out that I was never going to arrive at my best self. My best self is living now. It's the one who God called in this moment and to pursue a relationship with him.
My talents are used to help build His kingdom. It's that simple to me now.
Let's be aware of, and avoid falling for, the lie of self-sufficiency.
Let's focus on the God that outsmarts the enemy.
The One who calls us to be a servant, to be humble, and to surrender our lives to Him.
I wish I could live every day totally grounded in God and be fully aware of His greatness diminishing the enemy's schemes.
I'm not there yet.
Now that I know that I have inherited the knowledge of good and evil, the wrestle every day is either choosing self-reliance or trusting in God.
I choose the latter, despite how hard it might be at times.
What about you?
How do you fight doubts, lies, and temptations?