What is your true perception of God?
The discipline received as a child can significantly impact how we view God. Subjected to isolation by being told to “go to your room” for time-out away from others or a parent’s visible anger toward the child will instill fear and rejection. Most likely, the child will mature into an adult that views God as a “Punisher” instead of a loving Father.
The unbelievers and believers who love sinful pleasures will also view God as a punisher. They readily attribute death, disease, and destruction as vengeful acts of God. The believer desires God’s blessings and favor but stands on the deceptive [and non-existent] a gray area of a middle ground, which Satan has developed as reality. The unbeliever desires to live as they please but does not want to pay the consequences of serving the evil one.
God gave Jesus, His only Son, to redeem us from the consequences of sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NKJV). What more can we expect? Yet, daily we receive unmerited love, grace, and mercies. “Because of the loving devotion of the LORD we are not consumed, for His mercies never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness!” (Lamentations 3:22-23 BSB).
Most are familiar with the Israelites freedom from Egyptian slavery. An 11-day journey became a 40 year wandering without purpose lifestyle. The love of pagan practices, which included sexual immorality prevented all that were 20 and older from entering the “Promised Land.” Nor were Moses, Aaron, or Miriam allowed to enter because of their sins against God. Despite God being the ultimate in love, grace, and mercy, disobedience has consequences.
Let’s look at God’s grace and mercy from a different perspective. Your employer, mortgage holder, or vehicle finance company developed an employer/employee or lender/borrower contractual agreement. How long will you receive their “grace” before you are terminated or your home or car repossessed? Yet, God tolerates our rebellion against His love and law, which are designed to keep us on the path of righteousness.
“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13 BSB).
Our true character is the secret desires of our hearts that are naked before God. Our pretense or masquerade is fully exposed to God. Yet, we have a Savior, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His life, so we do not have to experience the final death of destruction. And Jesus is still serving humanity as our Intercessor, receiving our prayers of forgiveness and forgiving us without condemnation.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin.… (Hebrews 4:14-15 BSB).
We condemn ourselves by willingly choosing and participating in sin. “As for anyone who hears My words and does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world. There is a judge for the one who rejects Me and does not receive My words: The word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.…” (John 12:47-48).
The price of sin places us in spiritual bankruptcy. Sin desensitizes, reshaping the mind to its pleasures, resulting in the turning away from God. The outcome is the rejection of God, His law, and the ability to obey. No longer do Bible study and prayer have priority in our lives. Our spiritual strength depletes quickly because we have severed our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Even so, God pursues us. Is it possible that your trial is a nudge from God that He is using to save your soul? Reflection on our lifestyle choices reveals who we are serving. “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…” (Joshua 24:15 NKJV). Through the Holy Spirit prompting us to choose a holy life, we repent and serve God with humility and obedience, or condemn ourselves by continuing to sin against God.
Changing our perspective of sin and its deadly consequences allows us to view sin as God sees sin. We are recipients of the free gift of salvation. Neither can we earn blessings. God has promised to provide (Matthew 6), protect (Psalm 91), and give us eternal life (Revelation 21-22) in the New Heaven and New Earth when faithful and obedient. Seeing God as a loving Heavenly Father requires us to possess a heart overflowing with love for Him.
Prayer: God, we ask for forgiveness of our sins. We are blinded from our actions, which prevent us from seeing you as a loving Father. We ask for strength to stand strong against the sinful pleasures of this world. Thank you for the gift of Jesus, and your grace and mercies. Hear our prayer, O Lord that we ask in the Worthy name of Jesus. Amen.