Believe differently, and you will feel differently #22
The reason why you feel the way you feel is largely due to what you believe, deep down. Change your beliefs, and your feelings will change. If we believe that God is an angry God, who excuses nothing and always watches over us with a grim and with all readiness to punish any slight wrong move or thought, then our feelings will be fear, anxiety, guilt and condemnation. However, if we believe that God is good, suffers long, is kind and doesn’t get upset with every little mistake we make, we will experience love from and for Him and we will be free to share that love with others. In his book, Fiery Faith, A.W. Tozer shares just how much he believes that our view of God’s nature can significantly impact our soul. “Nothing twists and deforms the soul more than a low or unworthy conception of God.” And “our notion of God must always determine the quality of our religion.” Therefore, when seeking to be free from legalism (scrupulosity, religious OCD), a key thing you need to focus on is to team up with God and ask Him to uncover erroneous beliefs that you have been believing and ask Him to lead you to the truth from His Word needed to replace the lies. You do that by asking the Holy Spirit to expose the lies you are believing and by asking Him to convince you of the truth of God’s Word in this area. So, with the help of the Holy Spirit, you pull down one lie and replace it with the truth, then you pull down another lie with the help and counsel of the Spirit of God, and then replace that lie with the truth of God’s Word. Little by little, precept upon precept, you will get better and better. Jesus said in John 8:31-32 NKJV, “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”” Do not be surprised if it takes time, because it most likely will. It is a process. Do not give up, but faithfully seek God and His Word for truth, and then ask the Holy Spirit to convince you of the truth and align your belief with that truth. Submit your beliefs and your emotions to the truth the Lord is revealing to you. It will take patient endurance and holy determination, but in the long run, it will bear the long-waited reward.
Do not be surprised if you have some setbacks. You may experience what I call “mini-breakthroughs” and get up for a while, but then the devil finds his way in again through another lie you believe and which hasn’t been exposed yet. Then, you seek God, He reveals to you the lie you have been believing which enables you to renounce your agreement with it and replace it with the truth of God’s Word. And up you go again. And so on and so forth. Do not get discouraged if you feel like a yo-yo for a while. Do not get weary in well doing, for in due season you will reap if we do not lose heart (see Galatians 6:9). Those who sow in tears will reap in joy (see Psalm 126:5). God will see you through. Only continue to trust Him. The devil will also come and try us where we have experienced victory. So as we proceed in getting more and more rooted and grounded in the truth we are learning, we will not be as easily shaken when the devil tries us again in those areas.
Lastly, through it all, learn to cast your cares and anxieties on God. Trust God. He who began a good work in your will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (see Phil. 1:6).
Be thus encouraged, there is hope! There is a way out.