I have had a lot of thoughts about what to write the last couple weeks. Several of them I have started and never been able to pull together to completion. But as I sit down now and think through all of them, I noticed a common thread.
Each started post was originally birthed from a frustration about how others were speaking about God. It was like a little fire burning down in my soul. I felt burdened to speak and give people another filter in which to see God work around them. I wanted to say that God was not really like that. Here are a few examples of what I have been hearing others say:
1. The key to Christian growth is learning more about the Bible.
I love the Bible. However I believe people can know the Bible well and still miss God. Look at the Pharisees for evidence. People need to find God. The Bible can lead people to Him, but if they are only looking for knowledge or a list of rules, then God will remain distant.
2. So many people are lost, how can you just sit there?
Guilt has been used as a motivator in the Church for far too long. I know God has told us to go. How can they know if we don’t go? Still let us not forget that God doesn’t love the world more than He loves you. You are not expendable. He leaves the 99 for the 1. You are that 1. He will drop everything for you. You are important to Him.
3. I’m just a sinner saved by grace. There is nothing good in me apart from Christ.
Too many of us are afraid to live life because we are afraid of ourself coming out. We are new creatures. We have been given a new heart. Everything alive in us wants to live in connection with God. Our real true self longs to please God. Therefore if we want to please God, we must live from that place of true identity and stop being scared about being known. Let’s share our struggles, fears, joys, dreams, thoughts, etc. As we let that which is within us come out of us, we are expressing everything God created us to be. We have no condemnation in Christ Jesus. All of His works are wonderful.
4. The first prayer God hears is the salvation prayer.
God didn’t start loving you once you became a Christian. He has always loved you and always drawn you to Himself. He looks for every opportunity to love on you because He thinks you are amazing. Everything God creates is good. Even though we may try to hide our greatness in sin, that goodness God put in us is still there.
5. The world will reap what it sows.
The United States is trillions of dollars in debt and therefore a financial crisis is coming. Look at all the bad decisions people are making. God will punish them. As Christians we are too quick to want judgement. God says it is His kindness that leads to repentance. In His forbearance He overlooks sin. He is patient with us not wanting any to perish.
How I View the World
Where I believe I am different than the above statements is I believe God really loves all of us. I look at these statements and see an underlying belief that God hates sin and is frustrated when we do it. Sin makes God angry.
I believe God dealt with sin because He loves us. When we sin, He still loves us. When we are dead in our sin without a thought of God, He still loves us. God is not looking to punish the world; He came to save it.
I don’t believe God is angry and looking to punish sin. I believe God is loving and looks to bless. This affects how I view others, myself, and life.
As we start a new year, I would like encourage all of us to see the people around us as people God loves. Let us see them as created by God with wonderful gifts to give to the world. Let’s speak life to one another as if we are talking to someone very dear to God. Let’s us view ourselves as people who hold the delight of God. Let us see every circumstance as an invitation from God to know Him more. May 2014 be the year where God invades every area of our life because we decided to see the world through His eyes of love.
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.