On Friday nights we’ve been having these intimate teachings, and they’ve been absolutely wonderful.
The other night though, my friend Shammah, the teacher came with something different on his heart. I wanted to share with you what I got out of it, because it’s enough for me to ride on the rest of my life.
There’s really only two things that I want to convey from it, even though a lot was taught…
We’re evil, and our God is very very good… Lately, I’ve been seeing this wherever I look. Throughout all of scripture, and all of my own life, we humans pick our own desires over the goodness of God all the time, and yet, still, He comes after us. His love is relentless.
God knows us. He made us. He sees it all, inside and out… Some people find this fact frightening. In fact, for the longest time, I did too. But the other night, someone told me something that I’d hoped to hear my whole life.
“God is not disappointed with you!”
Another friend pitched in a comment saying that disappointment necessitates surprise, and is God ever surprised by us or anything we do?
No! I say a resounding no!
So, now I’m going to get very charismatic on you all. Sorry, I have to. This is good news for the scabbed and debased people, walking around with discouragement because they’ve been told their whole lives that they offend God with their sin.
I’ve never thought about what a ridiculous idea this is. God, the creator of the heavens and earth being put off and saddened by our inability to function. God, the almighty, behaving like a touchy teen.
I say NO NO NO!
And I’m not going back.
I have proof too… and this proof is helping me to really believe this deep down the more that I ponder it.
That’s right, me. I’m proof of God’s undying, unselfish, not-understandable, make your brain turn inside out, never stopping love.
I’ve never done anything to warrant the affection of the Father. In fact, I’ve fought Him left and right. I’ve indulged my flesh and selfish desires to sick and horrible extents. I’ve spat at the sky and shook my fist, I’ve abused people and used people… I could go on and on. But yet, His love has endured through it all.
Here’s the thing, we’re told left and right, through so many different sources and teachers that God cringes with disappointment every time you mess up. THIS IS A BOLD FACE LIE!
Let me tell you what sin really does; it separates you from God. It’s as simple as that. No penance needed. No massive work to make God happy with you. Only a broken spirit and a contrite heart, that is, a heart that wants to turn around and be near it’s creator.
Now this is no small thing, it’s a really big deal for the creation to be separated from the Creator. In fact, it’s the most tragic thing imaginable. And in all actuality, it’s the only actuality… (did I lose you there?) There’s nothing else to think about.
Here’s where I’m going with this; You were made to have fellowship with the Almighty God! You were made in His very image, to walk and talk with him and be together with His people! And there are real powers in this world who would love to do whatever they can to discourage you from knowing the truth about the God who loves you and wants to draw you in to His real kingdom, where real people are together, having real power over sin and death! It’s true! The kingdom of God is here!
Did I say it clear enough?
Let me recap…
1. We’re evil, and it’s very good for us to have a clear picture of this. It doesn’t just stop there, the rabbit hole goes so deep as to just how terrible we are.
2. He loves us despite our evil. Search the scriptures, search your own life for that matter. Nearly every prophet tried to tell us of His love, if only we would return to it. But our ridiculous brains keep us from it.
Why? Because we’re evil. How about that? Our evil minds would assume that God has the same horrid ‘justice’ that we do. You hurt me, I’m mad, I reject you. That’s the way we work. But it’s not so with God. It’s just not. We’ve fallen far away from who He’d made us to be.
Don’t you want it to be true? Doesn’t it excite you to think about it. “Really, he’s not all ticked off at me for missing it all the time?”
No. He is not.
There’s one more thing that I love about this. The more you take this in, and let Him lavish His love on you, the more that it will truly transform you from the inside out. It will cause you to view the world with different eyes. You’ll do different things, good things, it will compel you to do good stuff! You’ll treat your wife better, your kids better, your friends better… If you let this go deep, you’re going to want to give the same love to the rest of the world.
This is what the kingdom of God is built on. It’s built on people who have taken in this love, and are compelled to share it together. That’s what happened in Acts 2… and it’s happening now as well.