I was lying in bed a while back, praying. Not the ordinary kind of prayer. Deep, passionate, heart prayer. I had disobeyed. No, I had not “stumbled” or “fallen” into sin. I had deliberately chosen to disobey God. I knew it at the time and was feeling it now. I was in agony. It wasn't just the guilt, it was that I had broken the heart of my Heavenly Father. My prayers went something like this…
“God I feel awful. I have sinned against you again. Why do you put up with me? I don’t deserve a relationship with You or Your love or forgiveness. I have turned against You and hurt someone else in the process. I am guilty. I feel so bad for disobeying You. Why do you put up with me?”
As I was wallowing in my self-loathing, I heard God’s voice as His Spirit quietly spoke to my spirit. I figured He would and expected something like, “You’re right! You are an idiot. Over and over and over you just keep blowing it. You make me sick, but I have to forgive because I said I would. But I’m putting you on probation. So get it right.” That’s what I expected. In the back of my mind I thought it could also go like this, “Now, now, now. I love you and forgive you. You are my child so crawl up into my lap.” That’s what I get for having preconceived ideas.
What I heard was a blunt question. “When your kids mess up, what do you do?”
"I love them. I discipline them if I have to. But I reach out to them, pray for them and care for them even more than usual. I do everything I can to restore them. I help them know they are accepted and cared for through words and hugs."
"Exactly! Now, if you do that for your kids, don't you think that's how I'll treat you? And more!"
"Wow!" I said through tears.
A couple days later, God spoke again, this time through a book. "God expects more failure from you than you expect from yourself." On the surface, that sounds strange and disheartening. But stay with me here. It is not that He WANTS us to fail; it's just that He knows us, that we will fall or fail from time to time. We have the idea that we should be perfect and when we aren't we are surprised at ourselves. God knows that we are not perfect. And when we fall or fail, He is not surprised, but ready to forgive and help us up. In fact, when we start believing we are perfect, He'll stick out His foot and trip us up so we'll come back to Him. Pride always causes a fall.
I know what some of you are thinking… "That kind of talking will cause people to think it's OK to do whatever they want to do. They'll take it as a license to sin."
No, not if they are grabbed by God's love. Rather than giving me license, God's words caused me to desire to live in deeper obedience than ever before. I don't want to disappoint Him, I don't want to experience the separation, I don't want to break His heart. Because I have experienced His forgiving Daddy love.
I am still overwhelmed by God's words to me. Out of His love and faithfulness He picked me up, dusted me off, sat me on His lap for a while, and then placed on His path again. He has engulfed me with His ungraspable love and I am more motivated to please Him than ever before.
Have you and are you? I hope so. If not, why not today?
Crawl up on to His lap to experience ultimate love. You can trust Him.
"The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)
"And so we should not be like cringing, fearful slaves, but we should behave like God's very own children, adopted into the bosom of his family, and calling to him, "Father, Father (Daddy, Daddy)."" Romans 8:15 (TLB)