We don’t need to attain perfection in order to have acceptance from God. We may feel we are disappointing, but this is not how He feels about us.
I was at the gym a few days ago when I got a text from my mom that quoted a devotional we both read. “If God had a face, what kind of face would He be making at you right now?” I responded, “What are you waiting for? Why are you wasting time? Come to Me. I’m here.” I know there is much to be had in the presence of God, but I feel like my feet are cemented in the ground. I have been praying for the strength to shake it off and move in His power.
My mom responded “I used to always see a disappointed face. Now…He’s usually smiling.” When I read that I started crying! It took me by surprise, but I didn’t even care that I was in public. How long have I been operating from a low-level belief that God is often disappointed with me? Since that day I have been seeking to erase that lie and, as my 16-year-old daughter likes to joke, kill it with fire!
Disappointing: Striving for Perfection
Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in steadfast love.
Micah 7:18, ESV
Don’t we all agree God loves His children where we are? Yet we don’t fully believe it. It sounds good. Our spirit wants to trust that He is pleased with us. But our flesh is hard pressed to maintain the appearance of perfection. Pride is a liar. Striving to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect is a worthy goal. But He never once said in scripture that we were to strive alone. Jesus sent us a Helper.
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.
John 16:7, ESV
Yesterday morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “No one is as disappointed in me as I am.” We are our biggest critics, our own worst enemy. We’re relentless! I referred back to the conversation with Mom and soaked up her final thought from that day at the gym. “As we draw closer to Jesus, the Spirit searches deeper, turns the spotlight on brighter, so to speak. So what you’re feeling is a sign of growth.” Essentially, now that I feel like a fool I’m free to get over myself! It’s time to shake off that cement I was griping about and move toward truth.
Let those who delight in My righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, ‘Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of His servant!’
Psalm 35:27, ESV
Several years ago, while at Sojourn Church in Louisville, Daniel Montgomery shared two situations with the congregation before posing a question. First, he told us about a day where he basically got up on the wrong side of the bed. He was a grump-o-potomus the entire day, yelled at his kids, snapped at his wife and acted like a bear with his co-workers. The following day his quiet time was anointed and birds were singing. He loved on his family, was courteous to strangers at the coffee shop, and encouraged and laughed with his coworkers. That evening ended with a time of family devotion.
He asked which of those days we thought God was more pleased with him. The obvious answer is the day where he did everything right. But he said, “Neither!” God doesn’t base His affections toward us on our performance. He loves us and delights in us because we are His workmanship. Clearly, we are accountable for our actions, but we are His kids no matter how emotional or irrational we happen to be feeling on any given day.
Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. We belong to the King of kings. Struggles are inevitable. Temptations win out. But when God looks at us He sees Jesus, not our shortcomings. How differently would your day look if you truly believed that? The God of creation is fond of us.
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Fight the lies with truth!
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