#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important;}

Friday, November 27, 2015

[When I Feel Like] God Doesn't Want to Hear From Me

God doesn't want to hear from me. I failed Him again.

The shame rushes through her mind, repeats itself, a rhythm of guilt.

I haven't truly entered into prayer for days. I've prayed only at meal times.
I haven't studied my Bible in a week. I've barely skimmed the Scriptures. 
My heart and mind have been distracted.
I've placed my daily activities ahead of Christ. 
God is angry with me. My shortcomings far outnumber my successes this week. Again.

Do these thoughts sound familiar? 
As a girl, she is particularly accustomed to measuring her worth by her performance. It's the only life she knows--gauging her success by the number of people she can please. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, her church family. One day her husband. And of course, God.

But what if this is not the way God intended for her to live? What if He doesn't want to be another Person on her checklist? What if He doesn't ask her to perform to please Him?

You see, she is fallible, full of error, just like every other human being on this earth. She may sometimes succeed in impressing others with her performance, even those closest to her. But she will never impress God.

And that's okay.

God does not ask her to impress Him. He asks her to trust.

You see, just like many other Christians, she feels that when she fails God--when she sins or allows other people or things to creep into His place, when she neglects spending time with Him, when she lets dust build up on her prayer journal--God despises her. God is sickened at the sight of her. God rejects her.
She's used to rejection, because often her lifelong performance fails to please people in her life, and they reject her.

But God doesn't work like that. 

Does He desire that we spend time with Him? Absolutely. Does He command us to study the Scriptures and to pray? Absolutely. 

But when we fail, God still loves us. He is not sickened at the sight of us. He longs for a glimpse. He yearns for our homecoming, for our returning, for our repentance.
You see, repentance is not a once-in-a-lifetime experience that occurs at the time of salvation. Repentance is a continual surrender, a regular pattern in the life of the Christian. A turning away from--a shunning of--the sins that beset us.

The longer she waits in fear and self-loathing, the longer she rejects the forgiveness, the grace, that God has to offer, the harder it becomes for her to return to Him.

God does not ask us to perform. He asks us to trust. He asks us to learn and cherish His Word, to pour out our hearts to Him, to obey, because we love Him. This lifestyle will naturally result from His redemption in ours hearts. It will flow from us, just as His grace, His love, flow into us and fill us up again. 
This is not our performance--a contest to please. This is our lifestyle--a commitment to love.

When we fail, we must not run from Him but to Him. Knowing that we will fail again. But knowing also this: that He will not fail to forgive. 

Do not allow another day, another hour, another moment, to pass. Run to Him and re-enter into the unsurpassed delights of studying and cherishing the Scriptures, of pouring out your prayers to the God Who cares, and of basking in the lavish grace He bestows.

The Father still welcomes home the Prodigal.

No comments: