Honestly, this journey has totally rocked my world. God is using it to shatter wrong beliefs and lies from the enemy, which I have operated my life out of for years. This journey has been hard at times, yet also freeing. I believe God is bringing me to a deep, more mature love relationship with Him.
Some where through the years, I fell into the legalistic side of religion which overrides my relationship with God and my love for others. Not anymore! Living a legalistic type of faith was choking the life and joy right out of me. I look back now and realize the ministry opportunities I missed because of misguided thinking. I knew the scriptures, I quoted them to people! But knowing and quoting vs. love and acceptance equals a Pharisaic attitude.
For me, I am learning part of the Pharisaic attitude originated from my misunderstanding my Abba Father. I didn’t full grasp how much He loves me. Oh, I know the scripture by heart…For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.. But somewhere, it got twisted in my head. I knew God loved me and had forgiven me. And that once I asked Jesus into my heart and repented of my sins, I would spend eternity in Heaven. But I thought we weren’t to sin, right? We have a list of do’s and dont’s. Even Adam and Eve weren’t suppose to eat the apple.
On my earlier journey, I got consumed with “doing” instead of being. Or should I say not doing! I guess in some misguided way, I thought I had to do this or that or not do this or that for God’s love and acceptance. So, rather than take a good look at myself, I began to look at others lives through a microscope. I spent less time looking at myself and more time looking at others. And my relationship with God turned into a self-righteous, hypocritical religion. In turn, most of my relationships became surface relationships. Because in my heart I was judging, not loving.
I believe that God does call us to a life of righteousness and holiness. However, if we don’t chose that path, He doesn’t quit loving us. He grieves for us and desperately wants us to turn back to Him. But He never, ever quits loving us! Think about that a minute….the God who created the Universe, the complexity of our bodies and every star in the galaxy. He never quits loving me (or you)!
As I have said before, I multi-task even with my reading. So, this past month I not only finished reading The Ragamuffin Gospel, but am currently reading Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan; and The Good and Beautiful God by James Smith (Not my James!). I read Ragamuffin with a reading group, Crazy Love is a bible study at church and The Good and Beautiful God is on my own. I know God is using the words of these authors to speak back into my life, His love for ME. It isn’t by accident that I am reading these books at this time. It is just all part of my journey.
Some of you at this point might wonder how I have worked through my Pharisaic attitude with the realization of how much God loves me. Through the realization that God loves me not because of what I do or don’t do. But He loves me because of who He is and who I am. He is my Abba Father and I am his daughter. Nothing I can do or say changes that. He loves me. And He loves you!
I still don’t know where God is leading me. But I do know that He wants to me “get it” this time. To grasp just how much He loves me. In spite of my sins, mistakes and ugly attitudes….He loves Bridgit. And through His love for me, I am free totally free to unconditionally love others. Not in a judgemental, hypocritical way. But a genuine, heartfelt love for others.
Where are you at in your love relationship with God? Have you experienced the unconditional love of our Abba Father? If not, any the books listed above, not to mention The Bible, would be a great start to getting acquainted with God.