02 May Receiving by Faith What God Already Provided
I am so excited to have my husband sharing his thoughts today. I am always so honored when he agrees to post, because his words are so eloquent and rooted in truth. I hope that as you read this post today it blesses you and gives you a deeper revelation of truth.
Receiving by Faith What God Already Provided
Almost every relationship you have ever had is performance based. The more you do, the more you are rewarded. If you mess up, you pay the price. One of the hardest things we as believers will ever do is understand and operate in God’s system, which is completely different. God has completely loved you and blessed you, before you ever existed or did one thing. That great love included offering you complete forgiveness and salvation – already accomplished – before you got your start. What you do or don’t do does not make God love or bless you more.
That doesn’t make sense right? Usually in life, when you do good things or avoid bad things, you get more benefits or peoples’ appreciation. But God’s goodness and love towards you doesn’t change based on what you do – you can’t increase it or decrease it. He demonstrated and proved it in Jesus – he held nothing back, meaning there’s not more to get. You can receive more revelation of God’s love – how amazing, powerful, abundant, and good it really is. You can receive the healing Jesus obtained for you through the cross by putting your faith and trust in his finished work and blessing.
What I just described in the past several sentences is what is commonly referred to as “grace”. God already accomplished and provided everything described above, and you had no part in it. For a lot of people, this is hard. And not at all what church or Christians have communicated to them their whole lives. It should be completely freeing, but also understandably confusing compared to this performance-based world.
The part you do have in all of this is your faith; it’s the only thing you have that you can give to God. He loved you before you put your faith in him, and he loves you even more after you place your faith and trust in him. Let’s recap the last paragraph quickly before moving on – your performance and doing good things do not make God love you or bless you more. His highest love was given to you in his son Jesus, and you are blessed completely by all that Jesus accomplished in his death and resurrection, such as the gifts of peace, joy, and love. This has all been provided already, in the past. Your part is to receive it, and you receive it through or by your faith.
What about the crucial disciplines many usually associate with the type of performance that moves God to bless or love you? Church attendance, Bible study, praise and worship, prayer and serving? God doesn’t bless you or love you more because of what you do, or love you less or punish you if you sin. God could not love or bless you any more – and this is grace, because it wasn’t earned. The good things I just listed change you, give you revelation of how good God is, and increase your faith to receive the love, blessing, healing, etc. that have already been provided in Jesus. Pretty challenging, right?
Equally challenging is surrendering to the truth that God is only good – nothing bad is ever from him: natural disasters, sickness, death, loss or suffering. Sin, Satan, and brokenness are in the world, and we endure their consequences, but God does not send or ‘permit’ any of those bad things – not for any reason or purpose. It’s the enemy who kills, steals and destroys, and Jesus who came to give abundant life. All of this may be new and challenging for many people – it sure was for me! I don’t want to go on for too long, but I do want to provide info for an awesome book that does clearly explain all of this in more detail which you can find here.
Lastly, I wanted to link to a portion of a message that touches on these ideas a bit. The speaker talks about a ‘transactional gospel’ or transacting with God – basically trying to apply the performance agreements we normally live in to our relationship with God. The speaker brings up questions we know all too well:
Has anyone been disappointed with God at any point in your life?
What does God want from me?
What do I have to do to get God to bless me?
Its about ten minutes – start it at 17:34, or better yet just hear it all!
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PS. If you are going through infertility, please head over to join a faith-based support group I founded, Moms in the Making!
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