In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
- Deuteronomy 32:10
For this post, I am modifying a table in the book, The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson. In the book, he talks about living a victorious life, but we are often defeated by negative thoughts, irrational feelings and habitual sins. In his table, he states the wrong thought, the proper thought and then Bible references. I will quote the verses in the Bible. Rather than using a table format, I will use a gray background for the wrong thoughts and prefaced by “I renounce the lie that my Father God is”. I will use a gold background for the proper thoughts and preface by “I joyfully accept the truth that my Father God is”. This table is directly quoted from the book.
I renounce the lie that my Father God is distant and uninterested.
I joyfully accept the truth that my Father God is intimate and involved.
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand-when I awake, I am still with you.
- Psalm 139:1-18
I renounce the lie that my Father God is insensitive and uncaring.
I joyfully accept the truth that my Father God is kind and compassionate.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
- Psalm 103:8-14
I renounce the lie that my Father God is stern and demanding.
I joyfully accept the truth that my Father God is accepting and filled with joy and love.
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
- Zephaniah 3:17
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
- Romans 15:7
I renounce the lie that my Father God is passive and cold.
I joyfully accept the truth that my Father God is warm and affectionate.
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
- Isaiah 40:11
It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize it was I who healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.
- Hosea 11:3-4
I renounce the lie that my Father God is absent or too busy for me.
I joyfully accept the truth that my Father God is always with me and eager to be with me.
Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight?
Though I often speak against him, I still remember him.
Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,”
declares the Lord.
- Jeremiah 31:20
“‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
- Ezekiel 34:11-16
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
- Hebrews 13:5
I renounce the lie that my Father God is never satisfied with what I do, impatient, or angry.
I joyfully accept the truth that my Father God is patient and slow to anger.
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
- Exodus 34:6
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
- 2 Peter 3:9
I renounce the lie that my Father God is mean, cruel, or abusive.
I joyfully accept the truth that my Father God is loving, gentle, and protective of me.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
- Psalm 18:2
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
- Jeremiah 31:3
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
- Isaiah 42:3
I renounce the lie that my Father God is trying to take all the fun out of life.
I joyfully accept the truth that my Father God is trustworthy and wants to give me a full life; His will is good, perfect, and acceptable.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
- Lamentations 3:22-23
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
- John 10:10
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
- Romans 12:1-2
I renounce the lie that my Father God is controlling or manipulative.
I joyfully accept the truth that my Father God is full of grace and mercy; He gives me freedom to fail.
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
- Luke 15:11-16
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
- Hebrews 4:15-16
I renounce the lie that my Father God is condemning or unforgiving.
I joyfully accept the truth that my Father God is tenderhearted and forgiving; His heart and arms are always open to me.
Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
- Psalm 130:1-4
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate
- Luke 15:17-24
I renounce the lie that my Father God is nit-picking, exacting, or perfectionistic.
I joyfully accept the truth that my Father God is Committed to my growth and proud of me as His growing child.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
- Romans 8:28-29
I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.
- 2 Corinthians 7:4
And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
- Hebrews 12:5-11
That is a lot of quoted Scripture, but do we believe it? And when I say believe it, trust in it as if our lives depend upon it?
We have obtained many of our negative thoughts about God from others who may have thought they were doing the right thing. But it could be they were taught the same thing by people who thought they were in the right.
I had insomnia in my teen-aged and college years. I accepted God as my Savior, but I never reconciled that God was the cure of my insomnia because of many of the thoughts above. And I had other people tell me that getting out of school and getting married and having a family can be a cure for such things.
No, if you have a wrong thought about God and you are not going to the One who can cure that problem or your thought about Him, you will simply suppress the problem and fail to deal with it. Then it will resurface later, and sometimes at the worst of times.
We have so many people who hate the God of the Old Testament because that God is so mean, but how many of the Bible verses above are from the Old Testament? Fourteen from the OT and eleven from the NT, counting the Scripture from Deuteronomy that talks about us being the apple of His eye. That does not seem mean to me.
If you have negative thoughts, bring them to God. If you have negative thoughts about God, then one of these eleven points above may be your stumbling block. Read them again and understand God.
If you have irrational feelings, rationally work through these eleven points and know that God loves you and that can start to make those feelings smaller and the feelings may eventually vanish.
And if you have habitual sin, you already know that you cannot overcome that habit on your own steam. Which of these eleven points is your stumbling block? God is very near. He cares. He knows. You are not alone. Whatever it is that you may think about God in a negative way, when you see God as He is, He is there to help you through those hard times.
And God cares. He loves you and He wants to see you through to the other side.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.