Tuesday, April 1, 2008

...How do you view God?

I often wonder, how do people view God or how do they perceive Him? For years I had a sense that God was loving, but stern, not always happy. That's how I perceived Him to be based on how I lived my life. I would have told you I fear God, but my fear would have been, well.... the afraid kind of fear. (Sounds more like an Old Covenant Christian, huh?) Honestly, I truly had a sense of reverence for God, yet it was laced with a strict mentality, or ultimately a belief that God was shaking his finger at me. This is probably so, because most of the Christians in my life were often so serious and, pardon me, "uptight." I did not see a genuine joy and freedom in the lives of most Christians.
Does anyone know what I am talking about here? Growing up in a Christian world, going to church and private school, I always had this nervous sense of getting in trouble. Why? Is that how God truly is? He loves us, but at any time he may be unhappy with our foolishness, or silliness or wrong choices. And for some reason I could never be fully comfortable with myself for fear of some kind of rebuke or disdain. This way of viewing God followed me into my adult life, unfortunately! And for years I really was afraid God was not pleased with me. I often thought if I wasn't living a holy enough life, God might not be pleased with me. This is truly sad, considering at this point I was a truly saved regenerate Christian!
The truth is, God IS happy! And he has been all these years! God dealt with all his wrath at the cross over 2000 years ago! His wrath was totally satisfied for all sin for all time!! This fact, alone, is good news! That we have a satisfied, happy God! I think understanding this has truly given me peace and security (along with all the other wonderful truths of the Gospel) -but I seriously carried a burden around with me for so many years that kept me in bondage and an unhealthy, unnecessary fear! The truth is God has loved me before the foundations of the world, regardless of what I would do in my life! He knew one day, Jesus would pay the price for me to live in this freedom and in confidence that God is happy with me!! Thank you Jesus that you created a way for me to live in unity with my Heavenly Father, in peace and harmony and totally free from any disdain or anger towards me for how I live!!!
My current desire is to display God's heart of love and satisfaction and delight to my children! I want to save them from years of disillusionment of God's true character and true heart of love for all His children! (and the truth is God loves everyone! even those who haven't yet become true children of God.)
I know now that I was under the demands of the law until I came to Christ. But, what I don't understand is why all the adults in my life acted like they were under the law as well. (not to judge anyone here, unfortunately, I am finding all too often most Christians do not understand pure grace, it seems many Christians live as though they are still under the Law, and do not fully embrace God's New Covenant of Grace.) When I came to Christ, I died to the law. However, I did not know this truth, so I lived as though I were still under God's law, and His wrath. Confusing! So many years of my Christian life were spent in condemnation, when Christ had already purchased me freedom!! How grievous!
As a parent, I want to show my kids their current state before God. I want them to understand how they are under the law, and how the law is meant to show them their need for a Saviour. And I pray, that the Spirit would woo their hearts to God Himself. But, in the meantime. I do not want to give them the impression that God is angry. I want them to have an awesome view of a Amazingly loving God!!!
These are just the thoughts that were blazing through my mind this morning. I am still contemplating how I view God and how to be a loving example to my children, only by His grace and the power of the Spirit is this possible. Boy am I grateful, he didn't leave it up to me!!!


Steve LaBs said...

Great thoughts Lydia, I was especially interested in the thoughts dealing with parenting at the end. I have often wondered that; How I can portray God in such a way that Ellie (and hopefully more kids along the way) wants that relationship with God so much, but also make her aware that currently she is under the law and if she does not turn will be under Gods wrath.

I think a lot of it comes down to how much WE are truly delighting in God and enjoying Him. If we live like we are under the law it wont be too attractive to those little watching eyes. But on the flip side, if we have a deep, joyful relationship with the Father and express all that He has given to us, it will become more attractive.

I guess we have to focus on both sides of the coin? What life could be like in God if they accepted Him, and what life will be if they reject Him?

Any thoughts? (From Lydia or the rest of the reading crew?)

lydia joy said...

Thanks Katie, I am trying to understand more fully the position of the non-believer before God, does God still have wrath for them?? I thought all His wrath for sin was fully poured on Jesus at the cross! So I am not so sure my kids are under God's wrath! (any thoughts anyone?) I know they are seperated from God, and will be eternally condemned to hell if they do not repent and believe, and that they do not benefit from what Christ purchased for us through death on the cross and triumphing over the grave(freedom,joy, peace, healing, preservation, wholeness).....so they will live life void of the privileges of Christ's accomplishments, and will not be able to fellowship with God, additionally they are left under the curse of the law, now I know the law brings wrath, but is it God's wrath????
Yes, I agree, we can be examples by delighting in God..I'd like to think that's part of training them in the way they should go!
And we, from experience and our own testimonies surely can share both sides of the coin (including the part when I was saved but bound in legalistic mentalities, hopefully sparing them living in condemnation...)
Anyway, I am rambling on and on here....I would love to hear others thoughts on this as well!

Steve LaBs said...

Just so you know your blogging conversation is with, it was me (Steve) who posted the last one. Sorry! We share our blog so I will have to put my name on there next time!

- Steve

lydia joy said...

Aaah, thanks Steve,( you sound a lot like Katie in your comment, hehe!)

jul said...

Yeah Lydia, I couldn't figure out why you thought it was Katie because she usually signs her name, but then again, it is very rare to hear from Steve on here, hi Steve!

That's really all I wanted to say lol, deep stuff..................

lydia joy said...
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