“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1: 4-6 New International Version
Billions of the people born on planet Earth question their value every day, wonder if they are truly loved. A vast number of men, women, and children are abused every day; many die because of the abuses they suffer. Those who survive often become abusers themselves, because it is what they know as normal.
We may often be unaware of the damage being inflicted on us or others because we don’t understand that what we are experiencing is not normal, whether it is physical, emotional, mental, or even spiritual abuse. Upon reaching adulthood, thousands are shocked to discover there are different family dynamics than what they experienced. It can come as a surprise to find families who are able to relate to each other without the pain of abuse.
What we experience in our family directly impacts how we view God. Masses of people struggle with seeing God as a loving, benevolent, caring parent, because their relationship with their human parents is far from loving. That challenge dogged me every day for many years in my relationship with my own father, so I understand how the “Father Picture” isn’t going to be very helpful for some. I’m not sure what will be helpful, however I do believe God will provide the right visual aide for you if you ask Him.
I’m not even sure what has been, or is, my visual of God. My thought of God is not so much a visual as it is an absolute reality. The question concerning the existence of God has never troubled me. I’ve always known He was there! I wasn’t always so excited to know Him, but I know now He was always excited about knowing me!
I struggle with believing I have any value, that I am worth anything. I question whether there is a need for me to exist. This comes from attitudes expressed to me as a child. Some are able to use their childhood experiences as springboards to greatness, others not so much. Why the difference? Good question! The answer is as varied as the people questioned. The abuses drive some people inward, some outward, and some just get stuck with the lies playing over and over. How does this change, what can make it different? Grace can and does make all the difference!
Grace intervenes, reminding me the lies will only bring destruction into every relationship God has provided for my life. The Comforter brings into our hearts and minds the Truth as it is found in Jesus. In everyone residing on this Earth, on this planet that is our home, a struggle exists. It is a fight that impacts our todays, our tomorrows, our Eternity.
The war between the enemy and our Creator and Savior, Jesus, was to decide who spoke Truth. That controversy was decided on a hill called Calvary where Jesus took the sins (everything including the darkest, deepest, and most shameful) of a whole world on Himself declaring us free, clean, and whole. He gave to us His Birthright. We became the sons and daughters of God just as He had decided from the very beginning of beginnings.
Here is where I believe we tend to be sidetracked, the enemy draws our attention away from the Truth that is Jesus. The enemy works to trap us in the lies which God is in the process of destroying!
What I seem to be running into time after time is this: “Who am I going to believe?” It is such a simple question with eternal consequences. This question and a few others have been popping up in my personal life. Who will I believe? Will I choose to believe those who love me, care about me, are concerned about my welfare? Or do I choose to believe the ones who are seeking to cause me harm, don’t care how I am, are only concerned with themselves and their agenda?
When the questions are put down on paper, the choice is a no-brainer. Yet I have lost sleep, been withdrawn as I struggled with the perceptions and attitudes of those who meant me harm. All the while I was closing myself off to the very ones who wanted to bring healing into my life. Even as I write this I see how crazy my attitude, my choices have been concerning the friends, family who love me.
It is the same for each and every one of us in our relationship with God. He tells us we are His, created and intricately designed. He tells we are clean, freed from sin. He tells us we are adopted, He points out we were chosen before Creation, and He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Jesus Christ!
And who do we choose to believe? Do we believe God? If we don’t, why not? Has God lied to you? Maybe He cheated you, stole from you? We get so caught up in the lies of the enemy that our attitude calls God a liar! Our very approach to salvation denies the power of God to save, it denies the Gift of Jesus, and His sacrifice. It denies the pain He took for every man, woman, and child that has been or will be conceived on this broken world. Jesus took all the pain on Himself for you and me, for everyone, so that we would all be saved.
If we become so obsessed with our own salvation, how do we invite others to meet Jesus? If we can’t accept the Salvation Gift Jesus offers us, how will we be able to offer it to others? How can we witness to the Salvation power of Jesus if we haven’t experienced it? And as Born Again Disciples of Jesus, why are those questions even questions for us?
God is teaching me to accept His words as He has given them in His Word. It is a challenge to believe He sees value in me, but He says He does. I struggle with the idea that He has plans for me, that I’m in His Plans, but He says He does. Just writing those two sentences is a part of Grace in Process. Without His presence, His Grace in my Process, I could not write any of these words.
Simply because God says it is becoming the reason I believe. He shows me His way; He sends correction into my life. He continues to remind me I am chosen, and He reminds me you are chosen! No matter what we think, we see, or we feel, we are His chosen and deeply loved children. God says so! That’s the best reason to be secure!
Anyone who trusts the Son of God has this truthful testimony at the core of his being. Anyone who does not trust God calls God a liar because he ignores God’s truthful testimony regarding His own Son. And this is the truth: God has given us the gift of eternal life, and this life is in His Son. If you have the Son, you have eternal life. If you do not have the Son of God, you are not acquainted with true life.
I am writing all of this to you who have entrusted your lives to the Son of God—so you will realize eternal life already is yours. John 5:10-13 The Voice
Have you struggled with knowing you are secure in God’s love?
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