I am frequently asked about when we make bad decisions and bad choices (when we sin); do our choices affect God’s relationship to us? I ask that question the reverse of what you are most likely used to for a reason. I believe that it is important to realize that we have that relationship with God because HE wanted one with US. Here is some wonderful news for this beautiful new day: because of our position in Christ, God the Father never sees us any differently in spite of the good or bad choices we make in life.
We love (Him), because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
So the question has to be asked in that way to reflect our helpless state in securing our own salvation and relationship with God. It begs to reason then, that if we cannot do anything to gain a relationship with God what can we do to maintain that relationship with God?
I could not love Him until He loved me, and I could not be saved until He called me. How much of “me” contributed to being in this relationship? My relationship with God in Christ is not like a marriage, where he asks and I agree or decline. The theology I hold says that God chose me in eternity past (Eph. 1) to be His child and because He chose me it was a given that I would at some point in my life respond.
Obedience is asked for and in some cases, obedience is commanded. We see this in the imperatives in Scripture. All of the “One Another’s” are imperatives- love one another (John 13:34), be like-minded toward one another (Rom. 12:16), care for one another (1 Cor.12:25). Other verses such as, be holy as He is holy (1 Pet. 1:16), submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Eph. 5) and wives respect your husbands (1 Peter 3:1) are not just suggestions, they are commands. Another imperative is that we “walk worthy of the calling we have received.” Eph 4:1. A natural step toward walking worthy is to obey the Word of God.
We obey because we desire to glorify God, not because we fear what will happen if we don’t. Far too many of the Christian women I know obey out of fear and a desire to avoid guilt, not out of love or desire to glorify God. Sadly, love for God is often an afterthought. We often “do for God” out of a desire to gain approval, be safe, avoid problems…
Are those the motives and actions found in a loving relationship? Are they the desires of a heart that wants to glorify God? Friend, is it God’s desire that you live in fear and terror of Him? Is it right that you obey and make right choices on the outside while your heart is rebelling against Him? What is more important to the Lord?
…for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:16-17
Our feelings of guilt are a consequence of when we sin and make bad choices. Although God gives grace that overflows, I am still are aware of guilt when I sin. Guilt is intended to remind us of the cross, to remind us of our need for Christ, of His grace and mercy, and to remind us that what Romans 6-8 say is true!
Jesus Christ combats our sin with His mercy and grace, not shame and banishment! His love for us is perfect and complete. Be careful not to ascribe the tendencies of mere humans to an amazing God.