Jennifer Camp, co-founder of Gather Ministries, and author of Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California and now lives in the busy Bay Area with her husband and three kids. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, Jennifer J. Camp .You can connect with Jennifer on both Facebook and Twitter. She would love to have you join her there.
The title--10 Ways to Ignore God--makes me squirm a little. Does it make you uncomfortable, too?
Are you wondering why I would write a little book about ignoring God when ignoring God is the last thing we usually try to do?
The thing is, I actually ignore God a lot. Sometimes unintentionally. Sometimes on purpose. And that's just not how I want to live.
So in 10 Ways to Ignore God I try to convey the hows and the whys of my ignoring God in my life. And I also try to convey the manner in which I hear them. Because I want to do a better job of recognizing the lies as lies and not as truth.
Lies can sound a lot like truth sometimes, when we want them to.
So, I want to share the introduction to 10 Ways to Ignore God with you. I want you to know why I wrote it. You like knowing the back story, don't you ?
And after that, I list for you the 10 Lies I explore in the book--the lies I find myself believing the most and live out. I wonder if they are lies you can relate to believing, too.
Here we go:
[su_dropcap style="simple" size="8"]W[/su_dropcap]atch the whispers, how they sneak, skulking and sly.
They twist their way in, creeping along hallways, slinking into crevices, squatting in corners and slipping into cracks. Always furtive. Always in the dark.
They burrow into fissures, chafing the soft places. What was once vulnerable is roughened, now. Tough. Hard. Pride is here, and Shame. Envy tucks behind. And then there’s Insecurity, and to the forefront, Pain.
The whispers are too familiar; we don’t recognize them anymore. Nails against board. Festering quiet, a growl, a purr. The song of lullaby? That incessant scraping, the snarling smirk of breath?
We grope, stumbling, fingers pressed into ears. Palms flat upon hearts. Hush now. Hush.
♦ ♦ ♦
I need to tell you something. The words in this small volume were not ones I meant to write. They came in a flurry, a tumbling of words scratched out in frustration. Because here’s the truth. I was mad. At God.
I am still a little girl, sometimes, a child who wants to rebel and go her own way. I don’t want God to help me believe I am enough. I don’t want Him to tell me I am cherished. I don’t want Him to come and gather me up, mend all the broken parts of me. I don’t want to accept His voice—and not the other whispers—as true.
This is crazy, I know. But I want to push God away and believe the opposite of everything He says. Just because.
And then I hear Him come and tell me He loves me anyway. And then I’m mad at Him again. But not really.
You see, we so easily believe whispers that aren’t true:
God can’t be trusted, you need to do things on your own, you are only worth what you produce, you need to stay self-dependent and be the one in control . . .
You know what I mean. You know the whispers, too.
I can think of few things worse than this: believing a thing of truth as a lie, and believing a lie as actually true.
♦ ♦ ♦
One sunny day in May, I stood outside in my backyard and told God I just didn’t want Him anymore. I didn’t want to listen to Him. I didn’t want to believe Him. I didn’t want to hear all the words of love He wanted to tell me. And I cried. And I crumpled to the cement steps outside my back door and decided then and there I was going to ignore God instead.
And He said okay. And that He would help me recognize what those lies were I wanted to choose to believe. What follows is what He showed me, numbered one to ten.
I didn’t want to see it—hear the insidious, friendly tone, the faux concern and questions. It was too true, the lies I believed as truth, the truth I didn’t recognize as lies. So I tucked the words away and didn’t look at them again for two years.
Until now. For it is time.
It’s time to recognize the whispers for the lies they are. It’s time to hold them up and take a hard look at them. It’s time to let them be blinded by the light.
Which whisper do you think you most easily believe?
I pray these two resources bless you. I love that we get to listen for God, together.
(This post was originally published at jenniferjcamp.com)