"Run to Me" Tuesday Psalm 103:12-13
“He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.”
Psalm 103:12-13 (NLT)
I have needed grace lately…actually daily…how about you? Becoming acutely aware of our own weaknesses and limitations sets up the possibility for different responses from us depending on our current belief structure and relational knowledge base of God. Ultimately, in the context of relationship with God, our response to our failure will involve choosing one of two paths: running to Him or from Him.
That choice will be made from our current inner understanding of God’s love for us which can be severely hindered or frequently skewed by several factors. One such factor is understanding that God is a Father, and not just a Father but a “tender and compassionate” Father.
For those of us who experienced a harsh, distant or altogether absent earthly father, it can be hard to connect with God as our Father. We tend to project on to Him our experiences and believe Him to be the same as what we experienced. What can make matters worse is that much of religion also portrays God as angry, unpredictable, hard to please or just distant and apathetic. But what is the truth about Him?
God is a perfect Father whose nature is love.
In order to truly begin to grasp the love of God we will have to leave behind what we know of love from the world around us. Most of the love we find and experience in the world within humanity is fairly conditional, inconsistent and most incomplete. Even though many of us as Christians are “working on it” our love is still fractured and is not a true imitation of God’s love yet.
Perhaps the most significant difference between the love we find in the world around us and Gods love is this right here:
God maintains His love for us even in our failures because His love was never based on our behavior.
It’s unconditional. He bends toward forgiveness and is the very essence of grace. Mike Bickle takes this reality of God’s nature even deeper in stating, “God enjoys the relationship with us even when He doesn’t agree with our choices” (Studies in the Song of Solomon)
This is a challenging revelation of who God is. I don’t know about you but I find my love for others quite conditional at times. I find it a challenge to maintain healthy relationship with those that I find hard to love.
But God is not like us.
He maintains His desire for relationship with us even when we are struggling. The bible adds an exclamation point to this truth by it’s recording of a plethora of human failures redeemed by a merciful and faithful God.
Why is He so gracious?
Besides the fact that His very nature is love I believe verse 14 clarifies a basis for His grace towards us,
“For He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust”
He knows our struggle. When we look at small children we don’t expect them to be able to lift heavy things, solve complex math equations or even prepare dinner for the family do we? Why? Because we understand their “weakness” and we relate to them based on what they are capable of in their present state. The truth is, although sometimes we may have an inflated perception of how “righteous” we can be, God knows without His help we can’t make it.
The book of Hebrews echo’s this same thought when describing Jesus as our High Priest,
“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” (Heb.4:15)
One of the keys to learning how to take our weakness and failure to our Father is to become convinced of His love and heart towards us. He is our merciful and compassionate Father. He see’s our willingness to follow Him even when we have not fully achieved the task yet. He gave His Spirit to help with our obedience and He gave His Son to complete our righteousness.
We can stop pretending.
The lies of religion and deception of sin have taught us to fear God in an unhealthy way, viewing Him as an angry and distant judge with impossible standards. This, He is not. He is our loving and good Father who even brings discipline in our lives out of love to rid us of what ultimately just destroys us.
Let’s run to Him today with whatever we are facing and find that He is just what we need.