In my last blog post, I introduced you to my youngest brother Lowell. Unfortunately, he was never able to break free from his bondage to sin or his addiction to heroin. His addictions had him locked down so tight for so long, that he could not break free physically; however, “relationally,” He chose God! Understand, like me, Lowell continued to sin after he chose to enter into a relationship with God. Which begs the question, does our sin negate what God did? Not at all. You see, our salvation is never about what we can do; it is and always has been about what God has already done!
Perspective #88: Our salvation is never about what we can do; it is and always has been about what God has already done!
It is about what God did through His Son Jesus Christ on the cross almost 2,000 years ago. Understand, when you break free of one sin, there is always another one there to take its place. Let’s face it; you will be a sinner until the day you die. There is no getting around this. And it doesn’t matter whether these are big sins or little ones. So if, on this side of Heaven, you will ALWAYS be a sinner, how can anyone get to Heaven?
Quite simply, it is not about your sin; it is all about your relationship with God. Desire a relationship with God first; God will work with you over time to take care of the sin issues in your life. Just understand, you are never going to be “free from sin” until you die. This is not a “license” to sin; it is just a fact that you ARE a sinner. Only within a relationship with God can you successfully focus on doing good and refrain from doing evil.
Perspective #89: Only within a relationship with God can you successfully focus on doing good and refrain from doing evil.
Now, don’t make a mistake and say, “Well, I only have little sins anymore.” Understand, ALL sin, big, little and everything in-between is offensive to God. It doesn’t matter to Him. What matters to Him is your passion, your desire for a relationship with Him. Ask Him to come into your heart. Tell Him you want a relationship with Him, desire to get to know Him and what He wants for you! Then ask Him to help you to see sin as offensively as He does.
When you do this, then and only then, you will start to focus on falling in love with Him more and sinning less. Because now, your relationship with God is what is driving your behavior. You do and don’t do things because of your relationship with God. You choose not to sin because you know Him and how sin will interfere with your relationship with Him, and the last thing you want is for something to come in between you and Him.
I’m not sure if my brother Lowell realized this or not, but no matter what you do, say, think or don’t do, God is ALWAYS going to love you! No matter what!
Perspective #90: No matter what you do, say, think or don’t do, God is ALWAYS going to love you! No matter what!
Understand, God is never going to like your sin, but He is always going to love you!
Perspective #91: Understand, God is never going to like your sin, but He is always going to love you!
God’s desire for a relationship with you will not change until the day you die. At that moment, your decision on whether YOU want a relationship with God is final. By this time, you will either surrender to Him and His will for your life or continue to rebel and defiantly shake your fist at Him. Either way, for you, His very next act could be His final act of love towards you. He will either say to you, “My son, my daughter, come into my house for all of eternity and enjoy your inheritance (which the best part is Him),” or, out of love, He’s going to honor your desire to NOT be with Him, to NOT have a relationship with Him. At this time, He will say to you, “As you wish, depart from me.”
The only problem with this is that most of us don’t realize what this truly means. We haven’t taken the time to get to know God. When you know who He is, then you know the depth of the devastation of God saying to you, “Depart from me.” What is happening with this statement is, God is saying, “I love you too much to dishonor your desire to NOT be with me. I have created a place for those who do not want to be with me.”
Since God is all goodness, happiness, joy, love, peace, kindness and so much more, when you say NO to God, you are also saying NO to who and what He is. You are saying NO to all goodness, happiness, joy, love, peace, kindness and so much more because that is who He is! Since He is not going to be where He sends you because you want nothing to do with Him, you will not have those things as well, and that, my friend, is the worst part about saying NO to God.
Because you want nothing to do with Him, you want nothing to do with goodness. Because you want nothing to do with Him, you want nothing to do with happiness. Because you want nothing to do with Him, you want nothing to do with love. Are you getting the picture? Do you see how devastating saying “NO God” is?
Many of us will say “NO God” after putting little or no effort into getting to know Him. Some of us will say “NO God” after investing years in trying to get to know Him. Substituting rules, regulations, and rituals for a relationship. No matter what, we all get to make the same choice, and in the end, it all boils down to you either saying “YES God” or “NO God!” Again, this choice will always be yours to make. You just have to make sure you choose wisely.
God wants us to get to a point in our relationship with Him where we can say, “God, no matter what, I’m going to love You!”
Perspective #92: God, no matter what, I’m going to love You!
Loving God is not easy. What if God tests your love for Him? How will you respond? What if He takes your father home to be with Him, and then two and a half months later, He takes your brother, and a month after that, he takes one of your best friends? Can and will you say, “God, no matter what, I’m going to love you!”
Of course, this is not a question I can answer for you; this is a question you and God have to work out together. But before I go, let me give you one more question. Do you love God enough to say, “My love for God is unconditional”?
Perspective #93: My love for God is unconditional!
Be careful. Think about this for a minute. Regardless of what God does, or allows to be done in your life, can and will you say, “My love for God is unconditional”? Here again, this is not a question I can answer for you; this is only something you can work out with Him. We always need to understand and remember Perspective #10: “Just because things are not going the way you planned doesn’t mean they are not going the way they should.”
This requires you to trust God for every aspect of your life: good, bad and ugly! This isn’t easy. I know it hasn’t been easy for me, Mr. Temper-Tantrum! So many times, in my past, when God has challenged me, I have gotten angry and thrown a temper-tantrum. My desire is never to do that again. I truly want to say, “God, no matter what, I’m going to love you!” After all, no matter what, God loves me! And no matter what, God loves you, even if you don’t love Him. Even if you don’t love you, He still does!
Perspective #94: No matter what, God loves you, even if you don’t love Him. Even if you don’t love you, He still does!
A few years ago, at work, I was having a horrible day. It was the day I went from hero to zero. After three years of doing everything I could to help this company succeed, I got told 25 different things I was doing wrong. My boss had a bulleted list, and he went through every one of them and wanted me to sign the list and promise to rectify them.
If you’ve ever come in early, stayed late and worked your butt off to make a difference only to be told it’s not good enough, you know what I mean. Devastated, I left the office right after that. I was supposed to meet my wife and daughter for dinner but could only seem to drive around in circles. I did not know how to face them in this condition. As I turned into the restaurant, I threw my hands up in frustration crying, “God, what else can I do? Nothing I do ever seems to be good enough.” Finally, I had to pull over. At this point, I was on the verge of tears begging God, “Give me something, anything. I do not know what to do. I do not know how to respond.” I don’t know why but I turned on the car radio, and at that very moment, the song No Matter What by Kerrie Roberts came on. If you haven’t listened to it, I highly recommend it; it is now one of my favorites. The start of the song goes something like this:
I'm running back to your promises one more time, Lord that's all I can hold on to. I gotta say this has taken me by surprise. But nothing surprises You
Before a heartache can ever touch my life, It has to go through Your hands, And even though I keep asking why I keep asking why
No matter what, I'm gonna love You, No matter what I'm gonna need You, I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain, But if not, I'll trust you, No matter what, no matter what
It’s a choice to love God, no matter what. Me, I want to make that choice every second of every day. I’m not very good at it yet, but I’m hoping someday I will be.
Now you can see why I love this song. It speaks volumes to me. Thank you, Kerrie! No matter what I do, no matter what I’ve done, God is going to love me. And this is the perspective I need to have with my relationship with God. No matter what happens, no matter what God allows to happen, even if He chooses to give me two beautiful boys with special needs, I’m going to love Him, I’m going to trust Him, no matter what!
Let me encourage you to continue this journey with me in getting to know God and discovering who He is and what He’s like. Pick up a copy of the next book in this series, or visit WalkerJamesAuthor.com to sign up for our newsletter, or to ask your questions and find valuable materials to assist you in investing and growing your relationship with Him.