What does it mean when we are Christians and we have these issues?
Do you often feel that you must either have very poor faith or no faith at all?
I used to wonder if I was REALLY saved. I couldn’t find joy or faith or hope. I felt as far away from God as I thought a person could possibly be. I was so angry with Him and so angry with myself. But I always knew that I loved Him. I could not tell you how many times I would say “God, if You don’t want me, that is Your decision, but I am not giving You up.”. I held on to the tiniest thread of faith that I had with wrenching desperation. I could feel the forces of the enemy around me. I almost could hear with my ears the flaming arrows of the enemy saying “God does not really want you. God does not even exist. You are too bad and weak for Him. You have no faith at all. You are not really saved. Look at all those people at church—they are saved, you can see it. You aren’t. Just give up because He does not care.”.
Oh those times were excruciating. But they were also very helpful. I learned determination. I was faced with the opportunity to blatantly turn my back to God. I was suffering for something that I didn’t know I had done and had whispers of the enemy in my ears telling me to turn my back on God. All I knew was that I was not going to hell (and frankly sometimes had my doubts on that), I was not refusing God. He would have to refuse me. I would say that OVER and OVER. Then I would cry until I almost gagged.
I learned something else besides hanging onto what you love. That was that if my soul wasn’t right, then nothing else mattered. If your spirit is sick and weak, then it doesn’t matter if you are automatically healed from OCD or panic.
If you are sick in spirit nothing else matters at all.
This is the first step in your recuperation—healing your spirit. If your spirit is not healed then everything else will be as futile as bailing the ocean with a thimble. If your spirit is whole then the rest of the healing steps will be quicker and lighter.
We are going to review basic truths. We are going to go back in the New Testament and understand the Love that the Lord has for you. You did not earn it, you do not deserve it, none of us do. However, we HAVE it. He has given it to us freely.
The first step is to understand how much we do not deserve it. Many of us with OCD, panic, and anxiety have a desire to do everything perfectly. I also believe that many of us have pride that we might not even know we have. We THINK we KNOW. We think we UNDERSTAND. We generally have an extremely high moral code, and hold on to that bit of ourselves saying “See, I am a good person. I do obey.”. The terrible thing is that we do obey some things, but we do not obey the biggest: faith in God.
We BELIEVE God EXISTS, but we do not have FAITH in Him. We do not have faith that He is powerful enough to overcome the world, hence our fears. We do not have faith that He works all things out for the good of those who love Him, hence our anxieties. We have faith that He exists, but not faith that He is all powerful, all capable.
Stop and think—if you had faith that the Lord would work out everything for your good, wouldn’t you understand that you do not need to hang on to “stupidstitions” and routines and fears? You would not have fear of driving, of eating, of loss. You would not put your faith in hand sanitizers or piles of collected things. You would KNOW that the Lord clothes the lilies of the field. You would KNOW that, if everything was taken from you, He would provide. You would have FAITH in His provision.
If you are like me, you are afraid of the test you think He will spring on you the second you trust Him fully. You are afraid to be without your routines, your stuff, your safety blankets. You do not want to be tested and you are afraid that the MINUTE you let go, that the Lord will test you. Again, that is a lack of faith in Him. If He provides a path, He provides a way.
Honestly, your faith is lacking. You look around yourself, not up to Him. You protect yourself, not allow Him to protect you. Your god is your fears, to which you offer obedience, offerings, rituals to appease. Your focus is on your god, not THE God.
Allow that to sink in. Look at your life and realize that you may believe He exists but you do not have faith in Him at all. Realize that your focus has been on you, on your fears, on your anxieties. Realize that you obey your fears more than you obey Him, and in fact, you consciously choose your fears over Him. You deliberately refuse Him because you obey your fears more than you obey Him, and you may be afraid He will test you.
Right now pray for understanding and revealing of your sins to you. Look closely at your life, and don’t fight the truth. It will be excruciating, I know! OH how I know that pain! What terrible irony—those of us who have these problems are also some of the most eager to obey Him, and we completely miss the mark! We are so fully lost that we do not even know we are lost! Our righteousness REALLY IS filthy rags, and we didn’t even know it.
It does not matter what good we do–if we are kind, if we are earnest, if we do not cheat or lie or steal–if we are refusing the Lord in action, even if we claim Him in words. If we are allowing our fears to dictate our actions, rather than obeying the Lord, then we are wholly deceived if we think we have any good in us at all.
We are nothing without Him. We have no righteousness without Him. Our strength, our “good works” are nothing but weakness and filth without Him. Understand that.
Romans 3:10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” NIV
Allow your mind to dwell on this until you have reached that point of broken-hearted repentance. It might be immediate, it might take a while to break down walls of defensiveness. Your psyche might be screaming, railing against these words. You might be angry. But stop and pray. Listen to the Lord. Open up your Bible to somewhere in the New Testament and read. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak and you sit down and LISTEN. If you are angry, that is actually a sign that these words hit very close to home, because if you DID have faith in the Lord, these words would not convict you at all—you would already know them. Understand that we ALL, every one of us, are unrighteous.
When you understand, when you repent, when you can see how wretched your state has become, then continue. There is great news ahead!!