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!!!