Friday, September 13, 2013

If God Loves Me, Should My Life Look Different?

Excerpt from Soul Cries devotional copyright Regan 2012

*2013 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist*

Luke 23:39 (The Message)

One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”

When I think of the cross, I remember Mary grieving, John at the foot of the cross, and Peter denying Jesus. I think about who wasn't there, the scattering of the disciples. And I think of the thief who said, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us.” This was as if to say, “Fix your situation to show me that God is really with you. If God were really with you, your situation would look better.” What a subtle invitation to believe a lie. “If God is really with you, prove it.” It reminds me of the temptation of Jesus in the desert, when the Adversary came and said, “If you are the son of God, command these stones to become bread” (Matthew 4:3; NIV). He challenged Jesus to fix His situation in order to demonstrate that He is God’s Son.

It is certainly not bad to try to problem-solve and fix situations. However, the lie is in the implication that your situation must be resolved in order to demonstrate that you are God’s beloved son or daughter. The lie is the suggestion that your circumstance speaks to whether you are loved by the God of the universe. We cannot look to our circumstances to make conclusions about God. We must start with what we know about God, and then make conclusions about our circumstances. God is good all the time. God is faithful all the time. God brings good out of every situation. God loves you and desires you all the time.

1. What do you believe about God? If you are uncertain, start here. Ask God to reveal His basic and unchanging nature to you. Then start with what you know about God to decide what you know about your circumstances.

2. Have you been invited to believe the lie that your circumstances somehow demonstrate God’s feelings toward you? Do you see the lie? How can you change your belief system to focus on the truth of God’s desire and love for you?