Started Thursday, March 7th, 2019
Are Christians in denial? If so, Why? And is there anything we can do about it?
First, let’s look at what denial means. I asked google for the world’s definition.
Here’s what Google said.
Dictionary result for denial
- the action of declaring something to be untrue.
- ” she shook her head in denial”
- synonyms: contradiction, counterstatement, refutation, rebuttal, repudiation, disclaimer, retraction, abjuration; More
- a statement that something is not true.
- plural noun: denials
- “official denials”
- synonyms: contradiction, counterstatement, refutation, rebuttal, repudiation, disclaimer, retraction, abjuration
Ok, so now let’s look at what the definition of a Christian is according to God’s Word in the Bible. And how we might identify ourselves based on these scriptures.
Where did the term” Christian” come from?
When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It wasat Antioch that the believers were first called Christains.) Acts 11:26 NLT ( The who in the above reference: Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul. Acts 11:25 )
I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? Psalms 42:2 NLT
We all desire that closeness and peace that can only come to us when we feel connected to the Lord and the Holy Spirit testifies to us of God’s love for us, nothing can compare to it.
We want so badly to be in God’s presence always. We are here on earth, a sinful place. And as such, we can easily become distracted from His spirit. As sinful people in a sinful world, we will fall and, we all know it.
We don’t want to accept that fact that we are sinners. Mostly because we fill like we have let Heavenly Faher down. We put on our perfect masks and show no kind of weakness to family, friends and especially other Christians.
It’s almost like we think we can hide our sins from God somehow by not accepting our weakness. (Now I am not saying that we all fit into that category all the time, but if we are honest with ourselves and know God’s word, we know that this is true at times in our lives.)
This is where DENIAL creeps into our lives and tries to keep us there.
However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 1 Peter 4:16 NLT
The Beatitudes give us hope and strength to overcome anything. They show us how God’s perfect plan will always reward His followers
4. ‘“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
5. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
6. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice for they will be satisfied.
7. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
9. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
10. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.‘
11. “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.
12. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.’
Some denial can come from the persecution we suffer as Christians. For example: If we make a mistake, and someone that is not a believer sees it or hears about it, we may be attacked. You might hear the phrase “If you are a Christian…”
This is embarrassing and creates shame and even anger sometimes. Because we are Christian, people watch every move we make. Then they might judge us based on their understanding of Christianity, which is usually not based in God’s Word. However, that may cause us to react instead of making the choice to pray for them. After all, we are enraged at how they think they can judge us, I mean look at them, right?
We may deny the attack. Deny it even happened. And the craziest thing, we can even convince ourselves it never really happened. Hiding it from ourselves, we think we can hide it from God. Until the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. Then we start to see the corrosive damage of denial in our lives.
Here is a list of some (but certainly not exclusive there are many more) of the things you might be struggling with.
- In some cases, it is an addiction or mental illness or just stresses in our life like:
- high anxiety;
- compulsive behaviors;
- sex addiction;
- financial dysfunction;
- drug and alcohol addictions;
- and eating disorders.
- and many other things that remove us from God.
A natural instinct for humans would be to become afraid of how others will perceive us, judge us and how that might affect our jobs, family, Church callings and how the community, in general, might view us if they knew about…
When Fear sets in my tool is to use worship music to get my mind back where God wants it to be. When this happens try to remember this song Fear is a Liar by Zach Williams.
Matthew 5:13-14 '“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.' Matthew 5:13-16 https://my.bible.com/bible/116/MAT.5.13-16 Reminding us that we are God's children, A light to the world. Let's not focus on what we are doing wrong (but don't go into denial either) but let us focus on the good we are doing to serve the Lord, and fulfill His will in our lives.
We try not to sin, but we are not capable of living a perfect life. There was only one who ever did that. Most likely we will not want to be honest with ourselves, because if we do we have to apologize that we are not perfect or sinless. It takes humility to do that. We need to learn to give it all to God. He loves us just where we are. Don’t let the lies of Satan shake us with His lies and distractions.
I don’t really understand myself, for i want to do what is right, but i don’t do it . Instead, I do what I hate. Romans 7:15 Because we are human, we have human desires. Which if not managed with God’s help can turn into addictions or bad habits.
“The wise inherit honor, but fools are put to shame!” Proverbs 3:35 NLT ( We are God’s children. The honor comes to us from Him. And we give the honor back to the one who truly deserves it. )
The godly hate lies; the wicked cause shame and disgrace. Proverbs 13:5 NLT ( We are saved by Grace, we know where the truth shame and disgrace belongs . Don’t carry any shame with you, it doesn’t belong to you. Give it to the most powerful force that exists! Jesus! )
“You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace. You see all that my enemies are doing.” Psalms 69:19 ( All we have to do is look at the world. We can see where shame belongs. It certainly is not with any Christian that seeks the will of God in their lives. )
“I cling to your laws. Lord, don’t let me be put to shame! Psalms 119:31 ( The Psalmist knew that God would protect us from shame. )
Now I am on trial because of my hope in the fulfillment of God’s promise made to your ancestors. Acts 26:6 NLT ( Even in threat of his life Paul knew that death could not defeat him. God’s prmises will be fulfilled. )
If we look at whatever we are struggling with it can usually be traced to Fear, which can manifest itself in many ways.
What then, can we do?
Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey.” Joshua 1:8 NLT
“Study this book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” Joshua 1:8 MSG
Prayer. Sincere, honest seeking to know God and His will for us.
In Bob’s Blog I found this article. Here is what Bob said:
“This short article is on point. Burk Parsons knows a thing or two and shares effectivly. “If I thought for a second that my feeble prayers changed God’s mind and His perfect will, I would stop praying alltogether. I’m sinful. I don’t know everything, and I can’t control everything. Yet beause God is omnipotent, and because He has our ultimate good and His glory in mind, we can trust Him”
Here is what Bob was quoting from:
It’s hard to pray because humbling ourselves, getting over ourselves, and coming to the end of our stubborn and sinful selves is hard. When we pray, we die to self, and death hurts. That’s why our flesh fights so hard against prayer. When we pray, we are entering into real warfare against our flesh and against the flaming arrows of our accuser and his host. Although they are not afraid of us, they are terrified of the One within us and who is for us, and they despise that we are praying to the One who has crushed them and will destroy them.
Moreover, it’s hard to pray because our focus is too often on praying itself and not on God. We learn about prayer not so that we might know a lot of facts about prayer, but so that we might pray with our focus on God. By His sovereign grace, we know Him, and we know He is there and that He not only hears but listens—that He is not silent but that He always answers our prayers and always acts in accord with His perfect will for our ultimate good and for His glory. When we recognize God’s sovereignty in prayer, we are also reminded of His love, grace, holiness, and righteousness, and we are thereby confronted with the harsh reality of our own wretched sin in the light of His glory and grace.
We will always to some degree in our lives find it difficult to pray, but, nevertheless, we must always pray. Want more? Here is a link to the entire article by Burk Parsons entitled “Why is it so Hard to Pray?”