I was sleeping so peacefully until around 6:30am this morning when my little boy decided to wake up screaming his lungs out. He does this sometimes and it is next to impossible to get him back to sleep. On a normal morning, the kids don't get up until 7:30am or if I am really lucky they sleep until 8am. However, this morning he pitched a fit and wanted to get out of bed so we all started our day tired and grumpy.
I read a Proverb each morning as there are 31 Proverbs (one for each day of the month). Today is the 8th and I especially love these verses:
Proverbs 8:22-31 says,
"The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men."
He knew us. He knew us before we were born. He knew.
Lately I have been thinking about a toxic mindset that a lot of people have when it comes to Christ. The mindset that God is just waiting for you to fail Him.
If you grew up thinking that God was only a task-master waiting for you to mess up in the slightest...
Then I want you to think about this for a moment.
God sent His ONLY begotten Son Jesus Christ to die for us. To die on a cross (a brutal death) to save us (unworthy sinners) from our sins (which are vast). He knew before He formed the world that we would sin in the Garden of Eden. He knew. Yet He still wanted us. That is enough to shutdown our feelings of inadequacy.
So if He loved us that much (a vast unthinkable amount) and continues to love us then why would He be waiting for us to mess up in the slightest? Why has the picture been painted that He is always angry at us unless we are behaving in a perfect manner?
Have y’all read the story of David? The man after God’s own heart? He had a lot of mess in his heart and life. He stooped pretty low. I’ve found myself in that place as we all have a time or two. I love Jesus but I sin on a daily basis because I’m weak. We are flesh and bones. We fail Him each and everyday.
2 Corinthians 12:10 says, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
Does this mean that we free-range and only serve God on Sunday? No!
Do I think that serving God is a set of legalistic rules and regulations? Nope!
Now does God discipline us as His children? YES!
He loves us and wants us to remove things in our life that are steering us away from Him. We know when we have idols in our life that we are serving before Christ. This is something we all struggle with in some way, shape or form. An idol is anything that comes before Christ in our lives. When we don't let Christ have the first place in our heart, we tend to stray and wander away. For me this looks like letting productivity and my own selfish-pride take precedence over what Christ is calling me to do. Or when He is calling me to rest and be still while He works out a situation for me. I tend to try and take matters into my own hands and always realize I was wrong to do so.
We are called to walk by faith daily and let Christ mold us the way He wants to mold us. Sin is always trying to crop up in our relationship with Christ and we must let Him weed out the tares in our heart. I don't believe we are to follow a strict set of man-made rules. Following Christ daily is what HE has called us to do and we can always rest assured that when we follow Him, He won't lead us astray.
Christ wants to continuously mold us into a person after His own heart. When we mess up He is always there to forgive and take us back. He will never jump ship and abandon us for good.
It’s hard to fathom that kind of love, right?
We have such a limited understanding of unconditional love. A love that knows no bounds and a love that will never stop. As much as we love our children, friends and family, we still don't know the depths of the love of Christ. I don't know about you, but that helps me to pillow my head at night and sleep soundly no matter what life may look like.
He knows me. He loves me. He will keep me. He has a happy ending for me.
He has the same for you, friend!