1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:8
This morning I woke up reflecting on this blog...how it feels to have thus far completed 20 days of blogging and reading the Bible every day.
I love reading the Bible. I'm amazed to remember that 20 days ago I used to go days without reading my Bible... because I'm finding that 15 minutes a day is not enough for me!
I still want more and more of the Bible, because of how awesome it is, how exciting it is.
Even still though I started getting a little frustrated as I sat down to read the Bible again for the 20th day in a row... realizing that I'm probably going to have to write about how discouraged, doubtful, "in a funk," and kinda depressed I still feel.
Reading the Bible 15 minutes a day is enough for me to check it off the list and for my heart to experience some surface level truth telling. But it's not enough to convince me as much as I want to be convinced moment by moment that God loves me.
And that's all I really need to be convinced of! Isn't that what it all comes down to? God loves me.
I was volunteering in a Christian preschool and watched the preschool teacher tell the story of Adam and Eve's fall. It was very stripped down for 2 year and 3 year olds to understand with pictures and funny voices. She walked around the classroom holding up the book while the kids ate their cookies and milk, "God told Adam and Eve to stay away from the fruit, but the snake told Eve, go ahead and eat the fruit!"
"The snake said, 'you can eat the fruit.'"
"The snake said, 'God doesn't love you.'"
As I listened to the story I paused to think about that statement..."The snake said, 'God doesn't love you.'"... I thought, "that's not what the snake said!"Nowhere in the Bible does it say, "The serpent said, 'God doesn't love you.'"
But I realized how profound that actually was. How profound that preschool-friendly simplified version of "what the serpent said" really was.
If we took every single one of Satan's lies to us in one big clump, all the lies Satan has ever, ever said, is that not what he's really trying to say to us? "God doesn't love you."
How horrifying is that? How disgusting and revolting...to tell me God doesn't love me! And how outrageous that I believe him.
And how wonderful, liberating, and comforting to say "no, that's a lie, God does love me."
What if the snake had said "go ahead, eat the fruit, do this, do that, you'll be okay, God doesn't know better, He's not actually trying to take care of you, He doesn't know what He's talking about"
And Eve had said, simply, truthfully, "No, God loves me."
I want to every day be so purely convinced of that simple thing: God loves me.
But Satan does lie to me, all the time, every day. And I hate that I listen to him, why do I listen to him?
And that's where my frustration lies...20 days of reading the Bible every single day and I still am listening to the lie, "God doesn't love me." 20 days of reading the truth, "God loves me," every single day and I still forget.
I'm coming to terms with all the expectations I have for myself. I'm going to be struggling with this for the rest of my life and I thought that 20 days would solve it. I need to give myself a break and I just need to pray and pray.
Lord, test my heart. Test my thoughts. Show me where I am believing lies. In Your Word today I read about how You are the one who tests my heart and therefore You are the One I should be living to please (1 Thess. 2:4). I pray that I would! I pray that as I am reading the Bible every day these next 345 days that you would help me remember to come to Your Word asking "what do You want to say?" rather than searching for what I want to hear. I want to hear what You have to say, because I am listening too often to lies.
Truth-telling God! You know what I need to hear. You know what lies I am believing and You know the truth about who I am, where I am going, what You are doing. I am listening, show me where in my life I need to say, "No, that's a lie, God loves me."