Sometimes I get caught in the trap of thinking that God’s love and His perfect plan is only perfect when I am perfect. I read His Word and I see TRUE love demonstrated as I hear John 3:16 repeated once again, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Yet do I truly believe it or am I a faker? Do I believe that God loves me, JUST because he loves me? Or do I believe what I do not voice; that God loves me when… I stand boldly for him, I am a leader in the church, or I perform some self-sacrificing act?
In Posers, Fakers, & Wannabes, Brennan Manning says, “Here’s the thing: It’s no trick to feel loved by God with our lives together and our support systems in place. Self-acceptance comes easy when we feel strong.” So what happens when I miss the game-winning shot, or despite hours studying, I get a low mark on a test, or I haven’t made time for God for a whole week? That is when I feel like ignoring Him even more because I don’t want to get near enough and see disappointment in His eyes.
If only I could just remember his Word (maybe I should nail his reminders to my wall or tack them to my bathroom mirror). Like in Romans 5, “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person - though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” or 2 Corinthians 12, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
God has been teaching me not to run from Him when I fail, but to lay my failures at His feet and let Him refresh me. How can He ever get the glory for what He is doing with my life when I always try to take the credit, whether good or bad? Never-the-less, I praise God that He chose me - while I was still a sinner! He knows my heart and that I am not always thinking of others first or weeping over the lost. Yet in the middle of it all, He chose to use me for his glory, right where I am. This realization has helped me to relate to the families and youth we are working with, and even my own family. He is teaching me how to extend the same grace to others that He has lavished on me. He has called me to run to Him for strength and restoration when I fall. Most of all, He desires me to give him the glory when I succeed (or even when I fail), because it is all part of His perfect plan.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2