A Man Who Pursued God

In memory

The men who followed Him were unique in their generation. They turned the world upside down because their hearts had been turned right side up. The world has never been the same. - Billy Graham, speaking of… Click To Tweet

Reverend Billy Graham passed away February 21, 8 a.m. at the age of 99. I thank God for his life and legacy. We pray for those He left behind.

As a child and young woman I remember sitting before our family’s black and white TV as Billy Graham spoke to thousands, boldly proclaiming that Jesus was the only way to heaven and the only source of lasting peace and hope. Because I’d already accepted Jesus into my life, I took his life and ministry for granted. To me, he was a just a preacher with a southern drawl being used by God.

(taken from the Los Angeles Times)

However, when I read His biography, “Just As I Am,” first published in April, 1997, I discovered an amazing man of God whose life and testimony greatly impacted the world. In honor of a man who pursued God with all his might, and changed the world in the pursuing, I’d like to share some things about him worth emulating:

  • He was born in 1917, and grew up on a dairy farm in Charlotte NC. As he grew, his aspirations led him in the way of professional baseball. However, at the age of 16, out of curiosity he attended the revival meetings of a traveling preacher, Mordecai Ham, and found himself drawn to the preacher’s message of personal sin and a need for repentance. Although he was ‘a good boy,’ the preacher’s words struck Billy and he knew they were directed at his heart, his life. His decision to give his heart to Christ and pursue the calling God gave him changed everything. In obedience he left his dream of baseball and enrolled in Bible college. Upon finishing several years of Bible school he became a Southern Baptist preacher. Later, he traveled the country leading crusades and preaching the very message that had changed his life.
(taken from the Los Angeles Times)
  • In the 1950’s, his revival meetings were unsegregated.
  • Personal integrity and his witness for Christ were so important to him throughout his ministry, he set up several safeguards so as to never be alone with another woman other than his wife.
  • Although he was friend to every president since Truman, he never used his platform for personal gain.
  • He went anywhere God sent him and gave him the platform to share the gospel, even though some of his international crusades were controversial at the time.
  • When going into a city for a crusade, he always coordinated with the local churches so as to give a place for new converts to grow in Christ.
  • The finances for his crusades were always handled by a separate organization so as not to appear that he was personally profiting from the money given.

As I look at his life, I am reminded this man was nothing special on his own. He grew up as many of us, yet lived a life so unlike ours. How?

  • He chose to follow God with his whole being wherever God directed.
  • The message of the gospel and the change it had brought to his own life was worth any risk.
  • He made certain that his words matched his life as best he could.
  • He took steps to make certain his was a life that represented Christ well.

I’d like to close with a quote from his later years. When asked if he would change anything regarding his career he responded:

“I would study more. I would pray more, travel less, take less speaking engagements. I took too many of them in too many places around the world. If I had it to do over again I’d spend more time in meditation and prayer and just telling the Lord how much I love him.” – Billy Graham.

If I had it to do over again I'd spend more time in meditation and prayer and just telling the Lord how much I love him. - Billy Graham. Click To Tweet

Graham in 2010.

Graham in 2010. (Nell Redmond / Associated Press)

Lord, thank you for this man’s life and legacy. May we as believers emulate his love and devotion to you. May we willingly step out and risk everything for your gospel. May we live even as we speak. Please. In Jesus’ name, amen.

(All photos were taken from a Los Angeles Times article on the life of Billy Graham.

With love,

Robin❤

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Do I Willingly Cover Another’s Shame?

REFLECTINGGOD'SFRIENDSHIP (2)

As I consider Christ's sacrifice to cover and eradicate my shame, it makes me ponder: am I willing to cover the shame of another? Click To Tweet

Post 5, 2018

I was at a meeting a couple of weeks ago where I knew no one. Most of us at the meeting were strangers, so as the meeting commenced, we each went around the room and shared a bit about ourselves. It wasn’t long before a particular individual stood out as someone wanting to control every aspect of the conversation. With almost every introduction, this person had something crucial to say about this or that and so interrupted almost everyone as they spoke. Even after the introductions, she dominated the discussion, oblivious to the facial expressions and body language of the other participants indicating frustration at her monopoly.

I began to rile inside with the inability to stop her interruptions, and longed for the moderator to step in. As the evening progressed, I realized I needed to check my own body language so as not to come across as rude and indifferent, yet am not certain how well I accomplished grace. I was really ticked off.

Once alone, and again the next morning, my emotions were still unsettled and a bit miffed. As I remembered the previous evening, I began to pray, “Lord, would you please convict the hearts of those moderating so this doesn’t happen every week? Would you let them realize they must gain some control of the situation?”

love covers

Then the inaudible voice of the Holy Spirit began to speak and convict me, “Robin, what if instead you prayed I convict her of her need to control all conversations? What if you asked me to free her from her bondage to needing control? What if you prayed my Spirit move within the meeting each week and moderate all conversation toward building one another up in Christ?

Then without warning, the Spirit began to hone in on my own heart….What if you saw your own need to control and show grace? And what if you considered maybe why she may have this tendency?

What if I checked my own heart and loved in a way so as not to add to another's wounds by my own frustration toward them? Click To Tweet

Covering shame.

God’s love through me sacrificing my comfort to cover her shame. Or as the Apostle Paul put it:

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Truth. Life. Transforming me, then transforming others through me.

Lord, forgive me for thinking not of her need, but only of my own discomfort. Forgive me for looking only on the outward appearance of things, and thank you for reminding me of someone’s bruised heart. Forgive me for wanting to take this into my own hands and forgetting your Spirit is able to move and work in a grand way to free each of us. Please use this time to show each of us our need, and may your Spirit love lavishly through us as we meet.

So all can experience having their shame covered.

For your honor, and our good.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

You may also wish to look at the previous post, “A Love that Covers Shame

With gratitude for God’s love covering my shame,

Robin <3

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A Love That Covers Shame

Post 4, 2018

_Come now, Let us settle this,_ says the lord

Last week I visited a friend with two adorable children under 5. During the visit I noticed the two-year old head to the fridge, open the door and hide while attempting to sneak a snack. Her mamma smiled and softly explained her daughter had recently begun helping herself to a snack before lunch. As mom and I talked on, the little one, oblivious to our watchful eyes, walked quietly into the open dining area only feet away. Grasping her piece of cheese she hunkered under the dining table with an occasional turn aside to see if her deeds were still unnoticed. Soon mom turned to her daughter and quietly spoke, “Honey, I don’t mind if you have cheese.” Upon realizing all was well, the toddler quickly came out of her hiding space to join us as she continued to munch.

Shame and guilt always bring separation while God desires reconciliation. Click To Tweet

From the first hint of shame and guilt in the garden, mankind has assumed a holy God reviles us as our rebellion deserves. Certainly Adam and Eve felt that way. Upon discovering their nakedness for the first time, Adam and Eve covered themselves in leaves then hid from God in shame and fear. When they failed to show up for their daily visit, God called their names, and their response immediately alluded to the fact of what they’d done. Their rebellion brought shame and made them incapable of standing before a holy God. And with shame, Adam and Eve wrongfully assumed God would also now shame them, and so ran from rather than to His presence.

However, a holy God never desires us to stay within our shame, so after enacting discipline to bring them to repentance, God slaughtered an animal to picture the slaughter of His Son centuries away, and personally fashioned garments for his beloved children. Even in rebellion, God’s immense love acted to cover their shame and remove their guilt.

True love always strives to cover the guilt and shame of the beloved. Click To Tweet

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Genesis 3:21 (NIV)

Centuries later as Jesus, God’s own Son, realized his death was imminent stood on a hill outside Jerusalem, and looked over the city where He’d soon be beaten, mocked, and then crucified. As His Father did so long ago, He longed to not only cover the guilty shame of His people but eradicate it by the sacrifice of His own blood. Knowing His sacrifice would be rejected by many He cried out:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. Luke 13:34 (NLT)Jesus invites us to (1)

Where today are you? Do you continue to hide in your shame, assuming God despises you for your guilt and shame? Or have you run to Him, asking Him to remove its stain for you?

May I please pray for you?

Dear Lord, it’s so easy for me to assume you despise me in my guilty state, and wait for the opportunity to expose and punish me. Yet, I see here you long to cover my shame and guilt rather than expose me further. It seems to says you long to eradicate my shame rather than punish me. Help me to trust the truth in your words. My guilt and shame are great, and I long to find freedom from their torment. Would you make a place for me under your wing? Would you cover me and heal me? Please. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Come rest under God’s covering embrace with me. It’s wide enough for any who choose to shelter there.

…be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:7-8 (NLT)

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You may wish to also look at the previous post, “A True Friend” or the next post “Do I Willingly Cover Another’s Shame?

With much love,

Robin <3

Should you wish to comment publicly, please do so, but of you wish your comments to remain private, please comment in the following section.

A True Friend

a true friend post 3 2018 2

Post 3, 2018

“If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t it never was.”  – Jess Lair

An eternity ago that quote adorned a poster of an idyllic countryside hanging on my bedroom wall. At the time, I was head over heals in love with a beau who failed to feel the same making our relationship anything but idyllic! During those tumultuous months, I often gazed at that quote and thought my world would end if I ‘let him go.’ In reality, I was far better off when I finally loosened my grasp long enough for him to escape. I had a lot to learn!

Although not a statement I’d base my entire life on, there’s some truth in it. Relationships won’t last if there isn’t commitment from both ends. Those who are willing to wait forever for their partner to come around often end up broken-hearted. At the other end, people who smother others with a steel-like grip eventually find themselves lonely.

Often, those who don’t know God speak as though following Him requires bending to His ‘steel-like grip.’ Yet, in reality, the opposite is true. God is supreme, yet as I look further at the the story of mankind’s beginnings in the garden, I see something I wouldn’t necessarily expect from a supreme being. One of the first gifts God gave those He made in His likeness and image was the freedom to pursue or reject His rule.

One of the first gifts God gave those He made in His likeness and image was the freedom to pursue or reject His rule. Click To Tweet

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

…The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:8-9,15-17 (NIV)

A TRUE FRIEND OFFERS THE ABILITY TO CHOOSE

A previous post details why God forbid Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Suffice it to say it was for their protection. What I want to note is, through that tree God gave Adam and Eve the ability to choose either to pursue Him or walk away. ‘You can eat from the myriad of trees and plants I’ve made for your nourishment and enjoyment so you may live abundantly, or you can choose this one tree and suffer consequences beyond your current ability to understand.’ As supreme Creator, God could have made a nice comfy garden with the most wonderful foods and greatest entertainment, but with no ability to choose. God didn’t want servants or captives, He wanted friends so He willingly provided an opportunity for His friends to say “no” to friendship and His rule by eating from the forbidden tree.

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A TRUE FRIEND IS WILLING TO SACRIFICE TO RESTORE FRIENDSHIP

Yet God’s love didn’t end in giving Adam and Eve the freedom of choice. God also saw the dire results of their choice, and their forthcoming inability to escape their own consequences. In amazing love, God formulated a plan to rescue and restore not only they but also their children and children’s children. The only possible rescue would be of such a magnitude so as to require the death of His Son as a ransom.

The greatest evidence of God’s love is that although we’ve rebelled against His rule and scorned His friendship, He’s made a way for us to be restored.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. Romans 6:5-11 (NLT) emphasis mine

God's greatest offering of friendship came while we were His enemies. While we rebelled against His rule, He loved us to the point of sacrifice in order to restore friendship with Him. Click To Tweet

Supreme Creator. Highest Ruler. Yet He didn’t force Himself. He offered Himself. Then in lavish love made a way for rebellious subjects to return home, through the death of His Son. Where are you today? Are you a loyal friend and subject to His rule, or are you wandering about needing God’s love to show you the way home?

True friendship recognizes that the only way to restore a broken friendship is for the one scorned to make a way for the offender to be restored. Click To Tweet

To view last week’s post in this ongoing series, click here. To view the next post in the series “A Love the Covers Shame,” click here.

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Amazing Grace! God’s amazing grace chooses to restore, not destroy

Hopeless No More! God’s amazing restoration of relationship  came through the death of His Son, Jesus.

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With much love,

Robin <3

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An Introduction Unlike Any Other

friendship with God begins with

Post Two, 2018 (Formerly En Courage)

The beauty of a true friend comes from camaraderie and the confidence in knowing, “You really get me and still like me.” I remember when my husband and I were dating, I would sometimes remark, “Just wait, when you really get to know me you may not like me as much as I can be ‘fiery’ and my passions can get the better of me sometimes.” He’d laugh nervously, and I always wondered if he was re-thinking his undying love. I’m so glad he decided to marry me anyway, and although he knows me well, he even likes me.

To think of God as one who could be my friend wasn’t something I used to consider because, “My end of the friendship wouldn’t satisfy. God may love me but He couldn’t really like me.” Yet God’s Word says so differently. Why’s it so easy to doubt?

As I pondered and prayed over where to begin examining how I could ever be confident as God’s friend, the thought came to me, “Begin at the beginning.”

If I want to get to know someone, I must first be willing to listen to what they say about themselves. And if I want to get to know God, I must be willing to do the same. Click To Tweet

If I want to know God as friend, I need to discover who he is and why He says friendship is even a possibility. I can’t just take the word of others. Nor can I assume the outcome of my query based upon my own presuppositions or prejudice. I need to take the time to find out by sitting and listening to God and by spending time with Him. If I fail to do so, I will misunderstand Him and possibly assume things about Him that aren’t true.

Do I really want to know God, or do I only care about others’ opinions of Him?

There have been times I’ve said, “I’ll never be that person’s friend because…….?” Yet later discovered all I presupposed was wrong and we became the best of friends. In the same way, I’m learning to know God as ‘friend,’ I need to spend time getting to know Him. The only way I can do this is by reading what He says about Himself and by communicating with Him about myself. God speaks to mankind first through his Word, the Bible. We communicate to Him through prayer.

So then, what is the first thing God says about Himself?

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God….”

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When we’re first introduced to someone, we often begin by mentioning something important about ourselves, something unique to us. No one but God could ever open an introduction with, “Nothing else existed before me.” If anyone other than God said such things, we’d be calling the police and moving away s.l.o.w.l.y. So this statement obviously sets God apart. But why did God choose this statement to introduce Himself, of all the things He could say?

Genesis 1:1 is God’s introduction to mankind.

Since God was in the beginning, before anything else existed, He’s set apart from everything else as supreme. That’s an important thing to know about God. There’s nothing above, or even near Him in rank. I imagine for some, this causes red flags! We know plenty of people who think they’re better than us, and they don’t mind letting us know in not too pleasant a fashion. But, let’s give God’s intro a chance and see what comes next.

God goes on to say:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth….

The second thing God wants us to know about Himself is that He used His supremacy to give the gift of life! And when He finished, He was so pleased with the beauty, grandeur, and masterful craftsmanship of His creation, He declared, “It is good!” If you want to read the entire account–found in the first two chapters of the Bible, you can find it here in a modern language. (You may also be interested in reading a post about it here.)

God fashioned everything meticulously, in an order that would sustain and produce life with mathematical precision. And after thoughtfully creating all else, at the very last, He tenderly scooped up clay from the ground and with great tenderness formed man ‘into His own image and likeness.’ Then God-breathed, filling Adam with life.’ Within a short time, God, with the same care, put Adam to sleep, removed a rib, and beautifully sculpted a similar but unique form suited well to Adam and gave her life. None other of His creation was made with such intimate care. Why?

God gave us the gift of life for relationship with Him. That's why He made us. Click To Tweet

While God’s Son Jesus walked this earth, he often beckoned those around him to friendship. In the book of Revelation (the last book of the Bible) the Apostle John heard Jesus say:

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Revelation 3:20 nlt

When you look at the thought of becoming God’s friend, what holds you back? Would you be willing to comment or email your reasons? I’d love to discuss some of the reasons (without names of course) in future posts. Also, would anyone be interested in a closed FB page for further discussion with like-minded people? Let me know what you think.

If you are interested in looking at the previous post “Pursuing God’s Heart, Becoming His Friend” click here. If you are interested in the next post in the series, “A True Friend” click here.

I’ve created this free downloadable, as these are the things I’ve discovered over the years that have helped develop my friendship with God. Below is what it will look like in your inbox. To receive your copy, submit the form below, and it will automatically be forwarded to you. You will also be notified when new posts arrive. You’ll also be the first to know when there is exciting news, such as when my new Bible Study comes out (it will be a while yet). I hate spam, so I won’t send it. My posts come out about once a week, and any special notices will be sporadic.

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On this journey too,

Robin <3

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Pursuing God’s Heart, Becoming His Friend

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Post One, 2018 (Formerly En Courage)

As this new year takes shape, I’m thinking a lot about my word for the year, ‘Heart.’

My goal for 2018 is to pursue God’s heart  by discovering more closely those things that matter most to Him. For me, this doesn’t necessarily mean projects and social interest, although it could include that. It does mean discovering God’s personality and thereby growing in intimacy with Him much like I got to know my husband. I learned my better half’s heart and passions by taking time to listen to him long before I spent time with him in pursuing them. And in spending time with my husband, my priority is on what matters most to him. I can do ‘my thing’ when he’s not around.

HOW WILL I DO THIS?

  • Reading and studying the Bible looking for what moves God to respond, whether positively or negatively, what brings Him joy, what hurts Him, what angers Him
  • Reading and studying the Bible to discover why God would respond to me and call me to friendship with Him, and how I should respond in return
  • Meditating on and memorizing some of these verses, passages to get them stuck in my heart and brain
  • Praying the verses/passages back to God, making them personal to our relationship
  • Worshiping God for who He is and His heart toward me

WHAT PROMPTED ME TO MAKE THIS 2018’S WORD?

I’d have to say last year’s concentration on ‘Perspective’ greatly influenced this year’s longing to not only know God’s heart better, but align mine with His. Last year I often prayed,

God replace my perspective with yours regarding yourself, life, and me. Click To Tweet

As I prayed this prayer, read God’s Word, and pursued God’s perspective in daily life, God answered my simple request. I began to discover two things critically important to pursuing God’s heart and becoming His friend:

WHY DOES THIS MEAN SO MUCH TO ME?

I don’t think many of us mortals can boast that we know God’s heart. Most often, we assume we can’t know it and so don’t even try. But His Word says we can and so this has become the greatest pursuit of my life. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be ‘besties’ with the God of the universe? I mean no disrespect, and hope none is taken. God is holy (so far above us) yet His Word says he longs to be our friend.

“And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: ‘Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.’ He was even called the friend of God.” James 2:23 (nlt)

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.” John 15:13-15 (nlt)

 

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I can’t think of anything better than to be God’s friend. But, first, I must know His heart to understand what a friendship with Him would look like. Friendship doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it happen without work. That’s just the way relationships are. So, through this coming year, I’m going to be focusing on how I can be God’s friend. And I’m going to take my readers along with me on the journey.

To become God's friend, I must know His heart. Click To Tweet

CHANGES COMING TO THIS SITE

As I take on this task of pursuing God’s heart by learning about friendship with Him in 2018, I will also be making changes to ‘En Courage.’ I’m coming to realize, because of my life’s journey with God in 2017, my passion is more aligned with helping other’s experience friendship with God. Because of this, I will be changing the title and emphasis of this site to more align with my passion. I’m currently working on a new title and categories, along with posts that will represent this new focus more fully. I won’t be getting rid of the old posts, but will be adding them into the appropriate new categories.

What do you think? Does this intrigue you? I’d love your feedback. Also,if you’d like to read the next post in the series, click here.

Until next week!

Robin <3

If you would like to comment, you may always do so in the comment section. If your comments are more personal or if you’re uncomfortable within this public forum, you may always comment below in order to remain confidential. I love your comments either way!

 

2017 Perspective Changes

In this new year, Lord, change my perspective so I see you, me, and life as you intended and not as I've assumed.In Jesus' name,Amen

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2017 Word for the Year…What happened?

Last year this time, I discovered “Word for the year.” I’d never heard such a thing, and found it intriguing. After accidentally stumbling upon blog posts from those accustomed to choosing a word, I began to wonder if God was trying to tell me something. In praying on what He’d have me do, I felt to focus on “Perspective” during 2017.

Why ‘Perspective?’

When life gets hard, I don’t spend a lot of time asking ‘why,’ but I sometimes find myself acting as though God doesn’t care by shying away and scrambling for my own comfort. Life isn’t easy, and there are still many struggles with two of our sons. At first I didn’t know why God chose “Perspective” as my word, but later realized God wanted me to perceive Him, and ultimately myself within suffering, from a clearer perspective.

 

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Embarking on an Adventure…In a Garden…..

As I approached the new year, I felt led to re-read the creation from Genesis one through three. Since creation is the place suffering began, I prayed to see it all from His perspective rather than my own. Upon ‘entering’ His newly made garden, I marveled at all God called “good” –He left nothing out. His new world was beautiful, amazing and safe.

I felt a twinge of jealousy as I ‘observed’ Adam and God walking together in the cool of the day. I allowed my mind to imagine all they must have discussed as Adam navigated his new world and new role as ‘governor’ of God’s kingdom, chuckling at the thought of Adam asking, “What would you name this creature with the long neck, spotted back, and black eyes with long lashes?” With awe I envisioned the God of the universe bringing each animal to Adam, and gleefully anticipating the name he’d choose. I still smile at imagining Adam’s bewilderment of the intricately made wo-man, “What does she mean when she says….?” What must these relationships have looked like in such purity and innocence? No barriers. No shame. It brought God delight to bless His creation well.

As Creator and Sustainer, God deserved allegiance, but rather than demand He offered His lavish best for all who would serve Him willingly. God longed for relationship, and knew purest relationship demanded free will, and so God offered such a lavish gift by placing both a tree and a serpent within the garden. Should mankind choose God’s dominion, neither the tree nor the serpent could harm them. Should they go their own way, God warned death would ensue.

Choosing God's way over ours offers us protection from the enemy's schemes. Click To Tweet

 

I Wept at The Weight of Choice…

For the first time I saw the consequences to God and His world in that one decision. God placed complete purity and innocence for his creation in jeopardy by giving his Adam the right to choose. To say his choice was ‘catastrophic’ is an understatement.

With the choosing, knowledge of evil suddenly altered Adam’s perspective of the One he’d so closely walked with–suspicion and fear indescribably marring the confidence and safety Adam and Eve had known.

  • Animals named by Adam, creatures God called ‘good,’ were now necessarily slaughtered to cover Adam’s nakedness, and to atone for Adam’s rebellion.
  • Not too much later, blood cried out to God from a grave as the first family lay torn apart by jealousy.
  • Within only generations, God would look down on what He’d made and weep as “every intent of the thoughts of his [man’s] heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:6)

I Marveled at The Beauty and Power of Lavish Grace….

  • Within moments of catastrophe, God stepped in, and fashioned a garment with His own hands from the carcass of an innocent animal to cover Adam’s nakedness and atone for Adam’s rebellion.
  • God swiftly meted out needed consequences and boundaries to preserve Adam from experiencing evil’s consequences forever while instituting a massive assault against the serpent–promising One from the woman’s own decedents would one day destroy the serpent and its rule.
  • His very Son would become the spotlessly pure sacrifice, laying down His own life to restore relationship with any who would come and bow before Him willingly.

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My Perspective Changed…

This change in perspective is dramatically changing how I view God, my relationship with Him, and suffering. I’m coming to see:

  • God made us to know only the goodness of His rule. But from the beginning none consistently choose God’s rule over self-rule.
  • Self-rule always has long-range consequences, not only for us but those around us, impossible to see ahead of time.
  • Our choices and their consequences (or the choices of others and their consequences against us) are never too big that God can’t restore and heal.
  • God’s greatest work is to grant us the ability and will to bend our knee to His rule and turn away from our self-rule. Therein lies the greatest freedom, the greatest love, the greatest peace, and the greatest grace. God with us. God for us. Emmanuel.

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Where are You?

Where are you as you face a new year? Are you looking for pain relief? Are you wondering who this God is and why He’s allowed your suffering? I’m so sorry.

May I Pray for You?

Lord, this life is hard. Too many things sideswipe us and nearly take us out. Yet, as I read your amazing story, I marvel that you long for us, within all our mess, to run to you rather than away from you. I marvel that you choose to dwell with us and have taken every measure necessary to grant us freedom within your presence. Change our perspective in this new year so we can see you as you are, and not as we’ve assumed you to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.

If you’d like to speak further, please join the comment section; or if you’d prefer privacy, fill in the section below and I’ll get back with you.

With much love and care,

Robin <3

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