I am currently discovering something very sad and disturbing, yet freeing and joyous at the same time:
My view of who God is, and everything that entails, has been skewed for years.
I’ve tried to fit Him into the box of everything I wanted Him to be, and accepted everything I heard preached about Him; even though the entire time I never realized I was doing this. I reiterated what I was told about God’s character, and how salvation, works, freedom, etc. fit into that picture.
Unfortunately, you’ve probably heard all those same things. I can’t change your mind, but I will beg you to seriously mull over what I’m saying here, try to fully understand, and claim these truths as your own. The deep joy, peace, and love that we all hear Christians are supposed to experience, are all found here.
- My God is not a God of condemnation
Rom. 8:1-2, Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
I have absolutely fallen in love with these verses, particularly the first one. There is no condemnation for me. Especially as someone who gets so caught up in and torn down by my failures, I find that concept so incredibly amazing.
God does not condemn me for my sins – they are completely forgiven; forgotten; gone. And instead of condemnation… I have received the righteousness of Christ.
Rom. 5:19, For just as through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man [Christ] the many will be made righteous.
We are sinful from birth. (Ps. 58:3) From the beginning, we are bound to sin, as children of the darkness. However, there is good news for us.
Rom. 6:18, You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
We have been set free from sin! We are slaves to righteousness! As 2 Cor. 5:17 states it, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! Our God is justification. He has removed our sins and justified us in His Son. Our God is reconciliation. He has reconciled us to Himself.
If we can truly accept this, it will be such an amazing comfort. Every thing our earthly father is to us, God is to us. This concept has really gotten to me recently, as I’ve thought over a few resemblances:
- God loves us as His children.
Rom. 8:14-17, For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father“. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Gal. 4:6-7, Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father“. So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
2. God protects and provides for us.
Ps. 121 7-8, The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Luke 12:24, Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
3. God disciplines us as His children.
Heb. 12:7, 9-10, Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? …Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
The discipline especially gets me. When we picture God as our Father, don’t we normally imagine a big pair of arms to just hold us and hear Him say He loves us? We don’t picture a good Father doing something we don’t like! Discipline isn’t enjoyable. (v. 11) But He finds it necessary for our own good, that we may share in His holiness.
I’m not going to go down the Calvinism vs. Arminianism path, but I do believe in the sovereignty of God. The sovereignty of God is literally “God’s supreme power”.
I’ve been tested in my belief in this over the past year as I’ve faced trials. Surely God has left me; He couldn’t have allowed this to happen; God can’t be in control here.
But I still believe that my God is sovereign.
I don’t believe we can fully comprehend or understand the sovereignty of God; if we as humans with finite minds could understand an infinite God, what kind of God would that make Him?!
I do believe that my God is sovereign. It won’t always make sense to me, but God knows what He’s doing, in every area of my life. I may not understand, but my job is not to understand – it is to trust in His sovereignty.
It’s taken me years to finally start to grasp that. He is our Father; He loves us enough that He died for us. His love didn’t diminish or change after He reconciled us – He still wants us, to be our first love, to be a part of our lives. Somehow, we’ve got it into our minds that we don’t need Him so much after we’ve been saved; thanks God, we can take it from here!
God isn’t just pleased with sitting on the sidelines and watching you live your own life. He wants to get involved! He wants to be our friend, to be our Father, to be our love, to be our help and salvation. There is so much depth to that that we miss, and try to fill with other human relationships. But it can’t be the same.
I’ve failed to see that in my own relationship with Him. I’ve subconsciously pictured Him as giving out directions and maybe giving me a hand to pull me back up when I fall for the 849734th time. But He’s not like that! His love for me is enough that He wants to hold me when I’m weeping, to discipline me when I go astray, to want me to let Him be my Father.
There’s so much about our God that we fail to see. We need to know Who it is that we’ve put our faith and trust in! Knowing our God changes our faith dramatically.