“I’ve just got to get more consistent in my devotions.”, “I haven’t been spending enough time praying.”, “I haven’t been tithing like I should.” I couldn’t tellyou how many times have I heard my fellow Christians say stuff like this, but I can tell you it’s a lot. Usually when something bad has happened in their lives. They’ve fallen into sin of some sort or something went horribly wrong and it seems like God is punishing them. Often my buddies have messed up with their girlfriend, or looked at pronography. And they are ususally talking to figure out what went wrong. And while I in no way want to downplay the importance of devotions, or any of the disciplines, I think the idea that doing consistent devotions, or praying more, or doing any of the disciplines better will automatically protect you from messing up, is a sign that someone has a false view of how God looks at these disciplines. This goes along with the false idea that if you do your disciplines you won’t mess up.
THE TRUTH IS; when you do your disciplines you can experience God’s love, but its not necessarilybecause you are doing your diciplines that you experience His love. Christ died for us while we were sinners, not while we were doing a good job keeping our disciplines up to par. It’s nothing that we were doing that made Him love us, He loved us already. The picture that I got when i was praying about this was a picture of a fatherly figure(God) sitting on a chair, with kids(you and I) all around Him. The fatherly figure was gesturing and calling for the kids to come sit in his lap. So the kids would do some acrobatic stunts, a couple cartwheels here and there and then jump in his lap. While in his lap the kids had huge smiles on their faces and I could really sense the love in that moment. I feel like God was showing me that often when He just wants us to come sit in His lap, we do a bunch of stuff(i.e. devotions, fasting, etc.) and then go sit in His lap. We experience His love and it’s very powerful. But the problem is, that the more we do this, the more we attribute our ability to sit in his lap with our ability to do stuff prior to sitting in His lap. Then comes a day when we feel down, we’ve messed up and we don’t have the energy to do stuff, but we desperately need to sit in His lap. But we don’t think we can because we haven’t done our stuff. I really believe that all though the wording is similar, the meaning is very different. Many of us get caught trying to do stuff For the love of God when really we need to be doing stuf BECAUSE of the love of God. The first step, and most important step in growing our relationship with God is to spend time experiencing His love for us, and getting to know Him personally. Not attempting to fix all our flaws immediately in the hopes that we can be ‘good enough’ for Him. The truth is God loves you because He made you, and He made you to love you(and me). …. to be continued