Thursday, December 1, 2011

He Loves You For You

God wants us to love and trust Him for our benefit not out of His need. He enjoys it when we love and trust Him because He enjoys the relationship, He enjoys the affection. He knows that loving and trusting Him is what is best for us.

Many don't think of God as a loving Father. They see Him like an angry boss. They work for Him and are in constant fear of Him firing them (breaking fellowship) if they don't do exactly what He says (obey the written commands and extracted principles in the bible). They think that if they work hard enough and do a good enough job then God will finally acknowledge them, grace them with His presence, and then hand out a few bonuses (blessings) before telling them to get back to work.

A Father and his children can work together but ideally that is not the basis of their relationship. With God everything is ideal. I pray that all of us will see that more and more as our lives go on. The basis of our relationship with God is love not work, duty, obligation, or responsibility. We think God wants us to love and trust Him "this much" but we feel like we only love and trust Him "so little." God is not measuring you. He simply longs for authentic relationship. You simply cannot be commanded and obligated to love when you have never known love.

When we work with Father we see that His work is all about loving others. Love relationships will have their difficulties but what more joyful thing in this world is there than love? That is all God desires for us to do! God knows we love best when we have understood what it is to be loved by Him. When we try to force ourselves to love out of an obedience to a command rather than out of a heart that has been loved by God we will shame ourselves and push others away. They will know that our "love" isn't focused on who they are and what they need but on our own fear, commitment, and perceived obligation to obey a command to keep God pleased with us.

It is impossible to love selflessly when you think you have a God whose love for you is conditional. When you think God's love is conditional you will try to obey His commands to love for the purpose of trying to meet His condition so you can get His love. You will try to perform for God out of fear of losing His favor and that performance isn't out of love for God or for others.

God's love is not conditional but it is often not obvious to us. We will see it more and more as we grow to understand that God is the source of all good and we need do nothing more than to ask Him how He is loving us today.

Instead of thinking "I need to trust God more," trust Him to grow your trust in Him. Ask Him to make you aware of His trustworthiness, to show you why it is best for you to trust Him. God is certainly not offended by such requests. He will not hand you a snake when you ask for fish (Matthew 7:7-12).

God is our Father. Fathers give affection, protection, & instruction. God is the perfect Father who is love. He is the most loving and trustworthy being that exists. He is looking out for our best interests, He is looking to benefit us. What God knows benefits us the most isn't always what we think are our best interests, it doesn't always line up with our ambitions, desires, plans, or goals. God's love surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:19). If we trust Him and His love for us we will have the most satisfying journey we could possibly have in this life.

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