Well, I’m very well aware that much of my writing is often superfluous and difficult to comprehend or mentally follow. Whether it’s the side effect of constantly-running mind or the fact that my parents were very insistent the Plaat children learned to write/type well at a young age, is irrelevant. However, this is one blog post that I’d suggest you read and think about every word. There’s a lot packed in here.
First, I would like to introduce the topics that are going to be discussed. I’ll be writing about conviction, the love of God, our deserving of His love, and who we are as human beings. Let’s begin.
In Bible study, last night, we discussed the concept of conviction and how it interacts with our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Have you ever felt conviction for a wrongdoing, misstep, or failure to meet the mark you knew was possible? What did that feel like? Perhaps there have been instances in your life where you let down a close friend or relative, triggering a deep feeling of guilt and hurt on your part. If you were to think about this feeling, how would you describe it to somebody who was unaware of what conviction was? How would you describe the feeling of needing to apologize, to somebody who had never done anything wrong?
See, in the Bible, we are told that Godly sorrow brings about repentance for our actions. This word “repent” is not simply a human apology, but the very action of turning around; never to return to the action that led to this feeling of deep conviction. And this is where my question lies…
If God, an infinite and perfect being, who we can only speculate and ponder about, loves us with a perfect love, is the conviction we are getting from the response of our bad actions the right level of conviction to be had? In simple terms, do we apply the same petty level of conviction and self-remorse to our Heavenly Father, who has never done us any wrong while only showing us complete, undeserved love, that we give to those around us? We instantly feel bad if we spill somebody’s coffee by accident. However, is the conviction we feel when sinning against God on the same level or playing field as the realm of “human” conviction we live in? To have a better understanding of a more right image to be had of God, please get a copy of A.W. Tozer’s “Knowledge of The Holy” from my website, under “good reads”
The word “sin” has a very interesting origin. It comes from the medieval times where archers would compete in archery competitions. Unlike the familiar stories of Robin Hood that you and I are familiar with, where the target has one bullseye and many outside circles, the targets simply had one small black dot in the center of the target. There was only one way to score in this competition, and that was to hit the target in the center. Any other mark on the target, whether it was one inch away from the black dot or completely in the grass, was marked as “sin” on the scorecard. Think about this. Apply.
It is very common for us to enjoy the benefits of God’s love without understanding or having experience with a worthy sense of conviction that would truly lead us to turn around and repent.
Secondly, for those of us who have understood what it means to touch into the realm of conviction, you will be very familiar with the low feeling you feel after royally screwing up something that you know displeases your Heavenly Father. It is in these times that we feel most undeserving of His love, groveling in our own misery. Here’s the kicker…
It doesn’t matter if you are on the highest mountain of righteousness or in the lowest valley of your sin, you are no more, or less, deserving of His love in either of these spots.
See, were you to be more deserving of His love when you were living 100% righteously, that would show His love can be bought with a price of actions, thought, and heart intent. This would cheapen the gift that His love truly is. Were there something we could do that would somehow make us more eligible recipients of His love, it would detract from the completely underserved gift that His love is. You must separate your understanding of His love from the human mechanism of love you are familiar with.
Third, it is this love element from God that is quite the problem. That is, if you really think about it. If we feel that there’s something magical we can do to accept His love, or be deserving of His grace for any reason, it completely cheapens the entire element of our redemption. This, to us humans, is a huge problem because it forces us to accept the fact that we cannot “win” or “steal” His love, but must accept it with 100% humility and acceptance. Short point – but please read A.W. Tozer’s chapter in KOTH about the Love of God.
Finally, there was a friend of mine who was discussing the intricacies of the universe and just how incredible the creation of God is. Citing the numbers of stars in the galaxy, the number of muscles on a caterpillar neck, and the uncountable number of leaves in a forest, his mind was blown by just how insignificant we are in the sight of God. However, I would choose to disagree! God spent five days creating all of the elements of nature, but spent an entire day simply creating man. We are fearfully and wonderfully made! We were created in His image and God does not make mistakes! You are not a mistake!
We look in the skies and gaze with wonder at His creation. We walk in the forest and are overwhelmed with His attention to detail. We see the oceans and marvel at His mystery. We look in the mirror and say “I hate you.”
See, you have been fearfully and wonderfully made by the One who cannot make mistakes. His love for you is overwhelming and powerful. His call for you to live righteously is difficult and painful. However, His reward and promises are beyond measure of what we can conceive of.
You are loved.