We love (Him), because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Yesterday I finished by reminding you that because of our position in Christ, God the Father never sees us any differently in spite of the good or bad choices we make in life. What about when we make bad decisions and bad choices, do our choices affect His relationship with us? I recently had this debate and thought I would share it with you. I hope that you can use it some time when you are approached with this same question.
The question was; do our choices and decisions affect God’s relationship to us? I ask that question the reverse of what you are most likely used to for a reason. I believe that it is important to realize that we have that relationship with God because HE wanted one with US.
So the question has to be asked in that way to reflect our helpless state in securing our own salvation and relationship with God. It begs to reason then, that if we cannot do anything to gain a relationship with God what can we do to maintain that relationship with God? Do you follow? If I could not love Him until He loved me, and I could not be saved until He called me, then how much of “me” was involved in contributing to be a part of this relationship?
This is not like a marriage, where he asks and I agree or decline. The theology I hold says that God chose me in eternity past (Eph. 1) to be His child and because He chose me it was a given that I would at some point in my life respond. So how much of “me” is involved in maintaining the relationship? Is obedience asked for? Yes it is asked for and in some cases, obedience is commanded. We see this in the imperatives in Scripture.
All of the “One Another’s” are imperatives- love one another (John 13:34), be like-minded toward one another (Rom. 12:16), care for one another (1 Cor.12:25) and so on. Those are not just suggestions, they are commands. Another imperative is that we “walk worthy of the calling we have received.” Eph. 4:1. A natural step toward walking worthy is to obey the Word of God.
We obey because we desire to glorify God, not because we fear what will happen if we don’t. Far too many of the Christian women I know obey out of fear, not out of love or desire to glorify God. Those are an afterthought. We often “do for God” out of a desire to gain approval, be safe, avoid problems…
Are those the motives and actions of a loving relationship? Are these the desires of a loving heart that wants to glorify God? Beloved, is it God’s desire that you live in fear and terror of Him? Is it right that you obey and make right choices on the outside while your heart is rebelling against Him? What is more important to the Lord?
…for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
If your choices have no bearing on your relationship with Christ, then where is the consequence of bad choices? What is the result of sin?
We rightly experience feelings of guilt as a consequence of sin and “bad choices.” We know that although we have grace that overflows, knowingly and intentionally sinning is throwing the grace of God in His face. In all cases, the guilt we experience is the consequence and it is intended to draw us back to Him. Guilt is intended to remind us of the cross, to remind us of our need for what the cross brings us; His grace and mercy. The cross reminds us that Romans 6 is true.
Jesus Christ combats our sin with His mercy and grace not shame and banishment!