I’ll be honest. Even though this issue of “Disappointing God” was the largest concern of people who responded to a blog about fears, delving into it left me feeling a bit uneasy. I didn’t want to scare people off or offer glib answers. But the whole issue of what God expects of us and how He responds to us is simply too important to ignore!
It is essential for us to remember that God’s expectations of us are motivated by love. He created us to enjoy doing life with us but we have settled for something far less than real life. So along with making a way for us to return to intimacy with Him, through Jesus, God also lays out boundaries of what matters most in life so that we can enter into the fulness of this new life. God expects us to…
- Be Authentic: (Mt 5:20) Jesus’ harshest words were for the Pharisees and teachers of the Law who talked a good talk but didn’t live it out.
- Use our gifts for the kingdom: (Mt 25:14-30) All of us have talents or abilities that can be used (often outside the church building) to bless others.
- Help those in need: (Mt 25:31-46) When we help meet the basic needs of others we are doing it to and for Jesus!
- Love others: (Mt 5:42-48) Not just those who are easy to love but even our enemies; and pray for those who persecute us.
- Forgive others: (Mt 6:14-15) How we forgive others directly affects our relationship with God.
- Love Him above all else: From beginning to end the Bible is God’s story of wanting to be close to His people.
But God knows that we will fail. That’s not an excuse but simply the truth of the matter. God gave us His Spirit to dwell in us and help us learn to embrace this new life but we will never get it exactly right. So the big question beneath our fear is: How does God respond when we disappoint Him?
God’s response to our disappointing Him is to give us another chance!
That may not be what you’ve experienced with your family or with friends or with a boss or in any other circumstance of life; but that is God’s response to us. Reread Luke 15 and notice how the father responds to the younger son. Reread John 21 and watch Jesus restore Peter even after Peter denied knowing Him three times.
Paul refers to himself as the chief of all sinners. In Romans 7 Paul agonizes over his inherent ability to disappoint God with his behavior and even calls himself a “wretched man.” But then he opens chapter 8 with this powerful statement:
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!”
Amazing! Then Paul closes out chapter 8 of Romans with an elaborate description of how nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God!
Thank You Lord for loving us and giving us another chance every time we disappoint You!