Sunday, September 6, 2015

Yes, He's Still There

 As intimacy with our Creator grows, it becomes easier to abandon doubt.

How does intimacy grow between two individuals?

We stop holding back from each other, we dare to reveal our whole selves to each other and in doing so, love grows, trust grows and intimacy grows.

Once we’ve been betrayed and hurt a process of withholding begins within us, for the sake of self-protection.

In our relationship with God, disobedience is betrayal. Yet, when creation betrayed our Creator, He already had His arms out waiting for us.

“But God commends His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

God didn’t wait for us to make the first move. He didn’t wait for us to recognize our wrong doing or to come to Him to ask forgiveness. No, He provided a plan for our redemption and the reconciling of our relationship with Him before we even rebelled.

God’s love for us is unconditional. Nothing can separate us from His love!

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39 (NKJV)

Right in the middle of our ugliest sin – God loves us!

Most of us have known personal betrayal and the agony of the pain it causes. Who among us hasn’t felt that anguish?

We know trust is seldom easily restored, and as the betrayals amass, trust can completely fade away.

And even before we consider trusting our offender again, we’re confronted with the dilemma of forgiveness.

I believe the best way to enter any relationship that’s expected to last, especially marriage, is with the intentional plan to forgive. Offenses will come.

“Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!” - Luke 17:1 (NKJV)

Many of us attempt to enter into relationships with each other and with God, and expect to never be offended.

While walking out the gospels, Jesus even said things that offended His followers, many stopped following Him when He told them they had to eat His flesh and drink His blood. Without understanding, that does sound sick and disgusting.

When God confronts our sin, our pride, our disobedience or even our lack of participation in the relationship, sometimes we tend to get a bit bent out of shape. Don’t we? Often we’ll flat out deny our part in the matter.

Relationships between people require attention. If you routinely ignore your spouse, they’ll become offended, thinking they’re not important to you. How can we expect to ignore the most important relationship of our lives?

Our wounds can make us do crazy things.

But, unlike people, God is always anticipating our return, always looking to the reconciling of our relationship with Him. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” - 2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)

God, being God, reaches out to us continually.

Yet, we, in our fear or pride, attempt to hide things from Him, perhaps because we get away with hiding them from ourselves and others for a season.

We all need validation; to share our story in our own way. (I realize not everyone feels the need to talk to anyone, anywhere, like I do.) Yet, we think we can hold back parts of our story from the One Who’s seen it all.

As much as we crave intimacy, we’re the ones who stand in our own way.

God desires intimacy with us so much so, that He chose, out of love for us, to cover the cost of our offenses. He lovingly provides endless intimacy for the taking.

God loved us first, so that we could love Him. “We love Him because He first loved us.” - 1 John 4:19 (NKJV)

It’s our move.

It’s your move.

Decide now; what is your next step?

“…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But, as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:15 (NKJV)