In a recent article, “The Christian Life is Not About Walking on Eggshells,” I explained that misconceptions about God can create a barrier in our relationship with him. Some Christians walk on eggshells around God: they fear that God will disown them if they misstep even a bit. If they are not “good enough” or if their performance is not up to par, God will cast them out.
In response to this article, I received the following email from a friend (shared by permission):
I wanted to reach out to you in response to your [article] about eggshell-walkers. I’m one of them. To be quite honest, I feel like I’m on the precipice of depression. For some reason, I have this image of God that says I have to obey every line and every precept and follow the law of the land to perfection (I’m a truck driver which is an occupation that involves many rules and regulations). This religious OCD and anxiety that seems to plague me is affecting my view of my own salvation/sanctification and my marriage. How do I change my view of God?
It is crucial that we obey God’s commandments as Christians, but when we obey, we do so out of love, not to earn the favor of an unloving and harsh taskmaster. If the latter is our view of God, then we must be renewed in our minds, and Scripture is essential for this renewal to take place (see Rom. 12:2).
To overcome misconceptions about God, consider memorizing and praying these Scriptures and prayers three times a day for three weeks.
Psalm 84:11, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Father, help me to see you as my sun and shield. Like the sun, you guide my path with your presence. Like a shield, you protect me from every danger and threat. Protect me from wrong thoughts about you, and guide my life with the warmth of your presence. Amen.
Psalm 62:7, “On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.”
Father, help me to recognize that my salvation does not rest in my performance, but in you alone. Like a rock and a refuge, you have promised to protect and defend me. Protect me from wrong thoughts about who you are. Amen.
Psalm 34:17-18, “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Father, you do not keep me at arm’s length. My performance does not determine your nearness. As long as I recognize my need for you, you hear me and have promised to deliver me. Deliver me from wrong thoughts about who you really are. Amen.
Psalm 145:8-9, “The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.”
Father, this is one of the most repeated descriptions of you in Scripture. That must be for a reason — to teach me something about yourself that I’ll never forget. Help me to see you as gracious, merciful, and overflowing with covenant-keeping love. Comfort me with your goodness even when I don’t feel good enough. Amen.
Isaiah 49:15, “Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!” (NLT)
Father, thank you for assuring me that you will never forget me or cast me aside. Even if I feel like I’ve failed, you treat me with compassion because of your great love. Amen.
Luke 11:13, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Father, when a child asks for food when they’re hungry, no loving parent will trick them. How much more will you provide for my needs and give me the Holy Spirit when I ask? No good thing will you withhold from me! Give me your Spirit to cleanse, comfort, and guide me. Amen.
Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Father, as I close this week of praying for a right view of who you are, help me to never forget that you are for me and not against me! You have promised that nothing can separate me from your love! There is nothing I can do to make you love me any more or any less than you do at this moment! Thank you for loving me for who I am, even with all my baggage. Amen.
Also in this series: Scriptural and Specific Prayers for Overcoming Anger.