Sunday, January 27, 2013

How Does God Treat You?

Some of us think of ourselves as though we are a stubborn and resistant piece of cement that God can hardly wait to break. “Jesus! Do whatever it takes to break Ralph Harris; he’s just so hard hearted. I can’t use Him until he’s broken!”

“Yes, Father, I see what you mean. I’ll work up a plan and get the angels on it right away. He’s a tough one, but we’ll get it done.”

Those who think this way often explain the circumstances of their days along these lines, as though the One who had rescued them was now the One resisting them. Rubbish. Everyone born again by the Spirit has been born of a new nature, God’s nature, and has everything in keeping with the terrific new creation they have become. At the core of their being they will never again be unyielding pavement, nor will they have a rebellious spirit, nor will they need to be broken. If believers believe that they have a rock for a heart, then they will interpret most every hardship or difficulty in their day as God working to bust them a good one, getting their attention and securing their allegiance—finally. “Knock that off, son! Or I’ll really give it to you next time!”

Sometimes I give my dog a boot to her backside, sending her a message, but she’s a dog and we do not speak the same language, nor do we have the same nature, nor do I live in her! I may get the behavior I want (and the lowered head and tail between the legs, as well), but so what? Do I get any glory for what I’ve done? Any worship or praise? Any true love? Is she glad and thankful for the boot? No! She just wants to do whatever it takes to avoid it in the future. Is that how God treats us, like His special pack of dogs?

That’s a dog’s life, but it’s not mine and it’s not yours. God has made you compatible with Himself—He’s got far better ways of motivating you from inside of you. . .because, as Paul wrote to the Christians at Philippi, “it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13) He’s pretty good at that. He’s been God for a long time now and had a lot of practice—you’ve got no worries.

(This is a transcript of yesterday’s video, “How Does God Treat You?”)

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