If the truth sets us free, the converse is true. Lies hold us captive. What we believe about the very nature of God is of infinite importance. There is a fundamental truth about the nature of God:
" God is love "
1 Jean 4: 8
JJesus is the perfect expression of love. A faithful image of God can liberate and allow believers to live like Jesus. We were created to know the love of God and to be transformed into him, but a false vision of an angry, vengeful God, waiting for us to come into norms, can alter our witness and our spiritual life.
Here are 5 signs that can alert us to our misconception of God.
1. You are motivated by shame rather than love.
Feelings of shame or guilt often reveal our inclination to think that God loves us for what we do.
We don't have to imagine God's feelings towards us. God is unconditional love. Your devotional life is a response to the revelation of his love, not a necessity to attract God's favors on you.
“For us, we love him, because he loved us first. "
1 Jean 4: 19
2. You are afraid of being outside the will of God, rather than believing that he is leading you.
God's will is not a mystery. She is not a giant puzzle. Being too worried to understand what God wants for our lives betrays a lack of confidence in his plan for us. He has authority and guides our lives. Jesus told us:
“Fear not, little flock; for your Father has seen fit to give you the kingdom. "
Luke 12: 32
We can pray in faith, confident that we see the kingdom of God and be used by God in His plan.
3. You need to defend the gospel rather than reveal it
There is nothing wrong with a healthy conversation about faith, but when you feel compelled to “stand up for the faith” at all costs, there is a misunderstanding. Jesus did not come to live and die to defend an ideal, principles and beliefs. He never defended the Gospel, he revealed it. Jesus came to reveal the Father:
“Believe me, I am in the Father, and the Father is in me; at least believe because of these works. "
Jean 14: 11
God doesn't need to be defended, but he loves to be revealed. The best “defense” of the gospel is to live by expressing the love of Jesus in our lives.
4. You confuse asceticism and holiness
If you tend to equate pain and suffering with holiness and a godly life, you have a misunderstanding of the heart of God. The verse from Matthew 16, “Take up your cross and follow me” is certainly an invitation to follow Jesus fully. Pain and suffering are part of Christian life, but they are not the end of it.
Even for Jesus, suffering and death were not the end. The destination was the resurrection. “Take up your cross” is not a celebration of suffering with Jesus. It is an invitation to live in the power of the resurrection. Yes, sacrifice is part of the journey, but suffering is not the path to holiness. A godly life is living in the joy and life power of the resurrection.
5. You try at all costs, instead of letting yourself be transformed
Jesus did not die and rise again so that you could do harder than him. He conquered so that you could be transformed. Feelings of spiritual inadequacies are often evidence that you might have a misunderstanding of his perfect love. Jesus lived 30 years without performing miracles. Then he was baptized and his father said:
“This is my beloved Son, in whom I have placed all my affection. "
Matthew 3: 17
It was the will of God that led Jesus into the power of miracles.
Discipline and principle are important, yet the Christian faith has never been to seek to become better, but rather to become certain of the love of God.
source: Relevant Magazine
Originally published October 27, 2016
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