Hammer in hand, I glanced at the nail that was next in line to be pounded in. Raising my arm to gain greater momentum, I took a mighty swing. The hammer pummeled down towards the nail and connected, the force of it driving the small piece of metal further into the wood.
As I raised the hammer for another blow, I felt God’s finger tapping me on the shoulder.
“This is how you view Me,” He impressed upon me.
The hammer connected with the nail just as this truth connected with my heart.
For the sometime I had been questioning why I was having trouble trusting God…
I knew that He loved me and that He was my Good Shepherd, yet there was a part of me that feared following Him completely.
And now I knew why.
I believed in my heart that God was like that hammer, just waiting for me to mess up so that He could pummel me…pulverize me…crush me.
I leaned back against the wall, stunned at this erroneous attitude of my heart that had just been unveiled.
And I didn’t even know it was there, but once God brought it to the light of day it rang with startling clarity.
It was true. While I would have never said those words with my mouth, that was how my heart viewed God…
And that was why I struggled with trusting Him with my whole heart and following Him wholeheartedly.
To keep from being pummeled by God, I had set up boundaries where I knew what the rules were. By following them I would be safe and protected…
From the hammer of God.
Yet, as I peered through the limitations I had set, I wanted more. I wanted to follow Him unreservedly and have faith like the heroes of Hebrews 11…
But I was afraid to.
The lie that I believed to be true about God had so colored my perspective of God and my attitude towards God that my heart was afraid to trust God…to follow God…to obey God.
And I know that I am not the only one who has struggled with erroneous views of God – views that we believe to be true which are rooted so deep in our hearts and minds that they become the framework through which we view our circumstances and the life we live.
We have a flawed perspective.
Numbers 13:25 – 33, 14:1 – 11 and Deuteronomy 1:19 – 33 record the events that took place when the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land. For over a year they had been travelling in the wilderness, learning to follow God who had delivered them mightily from the Egyptians.
And now the day of the fulfillment of His promise to bring them into the Promised Land was upon them.
But they were afraid to go in.
They believed that God hated them and that He had delivered them from Egypt so He could destroy them by the sword of the people of the land. This view of God had permeated their thoughts during their entire journey through the wilderness. Whenever they faced times of hardship…of hunger…of thirst, they cried out and said that God had brought them to the wilderness to kill them…
To destroy them.
Yet, even though their perspective was flawed, this was not God’s intention, plan or purpose.
Deuteronomy 1:29 – 31 records that God went before them, fighting for them and their deliverance in Egypt and carrying them in the wilderness as a father carries a son…
All the way they went…every step that they took.
He went before them showing them where to pitch their tents and where they needed to step.
The wilderness journey was the time period in which He was seeking to teach them the truth of who He was – a holy God and a compassionate Father. A Shepherd Protector and a Faithful Provider.
But, they missed learning the lessons that God was seeking to teach them.
They allowed their circumstances to become the framework through which they viewed God, instead of allowing the truth of who God was to be the lens through which they viewed their circumstances and lived life.
And as a result they missed receiving the fulfillment of the promises that God had promised. He would still be faithful to bring His people into the Promised Land, but it would be the next generation.
Since that day when God used a hammer to unveil an erroneous lie that I believed to be true about Him, He has continued to reveal other mindsets, heart attitudes and flawed perspectives that keep me from loving Him with all my being and trusting Him wholeheartedly. But, as He continues to transform my thinking and refine my heart with the truth of who He is, I am learning – albeit sometimes very slowly – to not let circumstances color my view of God, but rather to let the truths of God be the lens through which I view circumstances so that I can live the life He has set before me to live…
Without a flawed perspective.