This is how some people see God. They see Him with rules in hand, waiting for us to break one so He can punish us. If this were true, He would be considered a child abuser by every definition.
This image of God is from the enemy’s playbook. He alienates people from God by painting the picture of Him as a tyrannical, obsessive maniac bent on punishment. When I consider how many people actually believe this, I have to admit that the enemy has been successful in this deception.
I am grateful that God is not as the enemy portrays. The truth is that God desires healing and restoration for us more than we want it for ourselves. This being true, where do we get this abusive image of Him (aside from the fact that the enemy fosters it)?
We have this image because this is how people act. This is the true face of religion administered by humans who desire to control with domination rather than to lead in love. Most people do not know enough to separate God’s true nature from the image religion portrays. Therefore, they see Him the only way they can.
If we say that we have not sinned, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth isn’t in our hearts. But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.
(1 John 1:8-9 CEV)
This is truly grievous. John says in today’s Scripture passage: “He can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.” How, then, does this really work? This is the “short version”:
There is a system of justice in place in all Creation that cannot be waived, usurped, or transgressed without consequences. It is best understood as balance; it applies to everyone and everything–even to God.
God did not create us to be subject to sin. We did this to ourselves. Being unable to balance the system on our own, something would have to be done on our behalf to correct the imbalance (sin) and its consequences.
It was. Our healing and restoration from sin is so important to God that He chose to die for us to make it possible. This is not the religious rule-wielder most people imagine, is it?
Jesus’ atonement sacrifice for our sin reconciles us to God (brings us into balance with the system) so we do not have to die. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23 NIV)
In short, Jesus experienced our consequences (death) in our place to balance the system on our behalf. How much love would it take for you to choose to die for someone? Can you even imagine it? Jesus did–and did it.
So, how should we see God? We should see Him as loving us more than we can imagine–so much so that we can only accept it by faith because it is beyond our comprehension. This is the true image of Him.
All He asks in return is that we love Him and trust His love for us. He will even help us do this … if we ask.
From ministry friend Randall Vaughn.
Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved • http://www.e-min.org