I think humanity has been hearing this question since the beginning of time.
“Did God really say…?
I was sitting there with my coffee and I heard it whisper subtly into my soul. But it was aimed poorly, pointed at a piece of my heart that had no longer had roots in the flesh, and was therefore immune to collapse.
But I recognized it, like an echo or reflex. My soul responded to that question, that quietly offered thief, as a familiar face at the gates, as though it came from a neighboring country trading cheap but inferior grain.
It was so sharp a moment that I almost flinched physically, clutching my mug in my fist.
I realized it was a one-size-fits-most template, a lazy dart able to find the shallow, vulnerable roots of weak faith. If the tree was rooted in an emotion-driven relationship with the Father, this dull axe would sink deep.
I saw that most days, it takes very little effort to rob the forward motion from heaven’s heirs. Yet, truly, I believe we often start our days and months and years armed with good plans and brave ideas.
But the question always comes, driving straight to the intersection of our confidence in the reality of our Father. The core of the question is unspoken: is He real and do you believe Him?
To stop a prince in his tracks, all a liar has to do is make the King seem weak.
Did God really say He would give you His inheritance, His fullness?
Did God really make that promise in your life?
Did He really say that, or was that your imagination?
Did God really put that in your heart, or are you wrong again?
Did He really seat you among these flawed people and call them your family?
Did God really say that thing is forgiven?
Did He really ask you to overcome this hard thing?
Did He really ask you to take this risk?
Did He really heal your heart?
Did He really create you for this time in history?
Did He really say He loves you?
Did He really call you His own?
Did He really give you that idea, that personality, that strength?
Did He really call you His son?
There comes the question, the invitation of doubt, at the gate of your heart, at the seat of all forward motion. From this place every word you say will spring up. It dawns quietly and surreptitiously, wanting not to draw attention to itself, but to quietly invite a bride to infidelity to her Beloved’s heart.
I could provide chapter and verse of precious biblical content to build redeeming, encouraging answers as proof of hope to each of the accusing questions above, but in this place, in these questions, it is not enough to hinge our answers on scripture, apart from His eyes and Spirit. It will leave us short of the goal, and has not yet succeeded in building a fully resurrected church. Scripture is precious; but each of us must take our place in manifesting His words by life. No, until our belief and faith is in the person of Jesus, built on actual personal encounters by faith, with His Spirit and reality– we will remain weak and immature, easily dissembled by foolish questions, scrambling for references detached from our hearts, building a case with evidence instead of growing into a crown.
Scripture is not a law to be argued in court, and our hearts are not judicial ground. May our love for scripture, and the dawning of its strength in our depths, always be driven by our love and hunger for the Father.
I say the questions are foolish because in the light of the Father, these questions mock the basic essentials of His thoughts toward us, powerful thoughts that are likely the smallest building blocks of His grander ideas. The questions reek of inferiority, doubt, and mistrust, and deal more with flesh than spirit. If they come, and if they gain an audience with our attention, that is not an indictment for shame. It’s such a beautiful invitation to go deeper into His character, eating the fish and leaving the bones on the shore.
Allegiance to flesh fuels questions that ought not to exist. But if the question is there, and demands an answer, still your heart from all temptation to frantically paw at the water as one who fears drowning.
Instead, in your imagination, in your spirit, look for the Father and find Him. Imagine His eyes, His affection. Remember His patience, His goodness, His faithfulness–every experience of the full range of love in your life–and let your heart fill with His love and strength. Cause Yourself to walk boldly into His presence for help and focus and courage.
Behold Him. Fix your eyes on Him. Hold His gaze in wonder and power. It feels like fire and freedom.
As if you’ve never heard it before, ask Him: Father, whose am I?
The voice is low, as though mountains sit upon it, and His eyes sparkle as though it’s His favorite thing to say: You are Mine.
From far away, like a whiny echo, the question persists: Did God really say you’re His?
You smile and your bottom lip trembles. Joyful tears gather at the corners of your eyes. You answer around a lump in your throat:
Yes. Yes, He did. And I believe Him.