We live at the mercy of our ideas. And that is never more true than when it comes to our ideas about God. If we think of him one way, it will color all of our expectations of him, and taint all of our reactions to what we perceive him to be doing — or not doing — in our world.
The thing that has changed the trajectory of my life the most — moving me from trying to appease God by my efforts and by trying to have everything figured out and being “right,” to learning how I could live inside the affection the Father already has for me and to let that be enough — has been learning what it means to live loved.
God loves you. It’s what we believe and what we tell others. It really is the most important thing, and it’s why I end every podcast with the reminder that “you are greatly loved.” Paul will say it this way: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Unfortunately, many of us have never learned to live as if he really did love us. And so we live captive to fear, and shame, and frustration, hiding from God much as Adam and Eve did in the garden. And there’s a huge difference between the knowledge of God’s love and actually living in that love. There is a huge difference between the intellectual acknowledgment that God loves us and the lived reality of moving through your life as if you actually believed it to be true.
All that has changed for me in the last dozen years or so, and what my family and I have experienced since has been much, much closer to fulfilling every hope and desire we had for what life in Christ was meant to be and how we could live alongside others in that same joy. And no, life has not been easy since then. We’ve known some very dark and painful times, but we’ve never been alone in them. We’ve been able to find our way into the reality of his love and follow him — very imperfectly — through those things in a way that has transformed us in the process. It is a much, much better way to live our lives individually and together.
Join me today as we talk about:
How we get from here to there.
What Ephesians 3:14-21 has to teach us about both God's power and his love.
What difference all this makes . . . really.
How to begin to view our circumstances in light of the goodness of God, as opposed to the other way around.
You will never obey one whom you do not trust. And you will never trust one whom you aren’t convinced loves you absolutely. And the Father loves you absolutely! Trusting God is not about outcomes, folks. This life was never meant to be one of ease and convenience. “In this life you will have trouble,” Jesus said. Rather, life is about an engaged relationship with a Father who loves you deeply, and who will walk with you, nurture you, and care for you through whatever life dishes out. The Father wants to provide for you a “peace that passes understanding” in the midst of the pain, uncertainty, and discomfort of life, because he's in it with you.
THAT is the journey God has called us to be on with him.
Resources for Today's Show:
I’ve just created a Facebook group for the Jesus Society Podcast, and I’d invite you to visit us there. Just search “Jesus Society Podcast,” and I’m sure you’ll find it. It’s private group, so you’ll have to ask to join, and there is a code of conduct you need to agree to. This is not a debate group, because I just don’t have the appetite for doctrinal battles. Feel free to suggest topics for episodes and ask any questions you
He Loves Me: Learning to Live in the Father’s Affection, by Wayne Jacobsen (2008)
Music and audio production by Nathan Longwell Music