Over the course of the past five weeks, we’ve been focusing on our gospel fluency. Simply put, gospel fluency is the ability to communicate the truths of Jesus into the everyday stuff of life. We’ve looked at the life of Jesus Christ and the implications His story has on our lives. Because He lived a sinless life, we are able to take on His righteousness. Because He died the death we were supposed to die, our debt is cancelled and we are made clean. Because He rose from the grave, we are no longer slaves and we have a living hope. Because He ascended into heaven, He sent down His Holy Spirit and now dwells among us.
In addition to these promises, He also promises that one day He will return. He is not done with us yet, and it is His desire to see all His children choose a relationship with Him. The Bible is God fighting to show us His true character- a character of abundant love, grace, and generosity. How we view God’s character directly influences how we interact with Him. If we doubt His character, we will approach Him with hesitation.
In Revelation 21, John shows us a little glimpse into the Father’s heart. He reveals that God’s dwelling place is with man. How incredible is it that the Creator of the universe, the One who dwells in heaven with angels, chooses to make His dwelling place with us?? John also shows us that what breaks our hearts- the things of this world that make us weep or make our blood boil- also break the Father’s heart. When He returns, He promises that there will be no more mourning, crying, or pain. He will wipe away our pain. He is making all things new, and He promises that all who put their trust in Him will be His child, receiving His inheritance.
However, He also promises that the cowardly, faithless, detestable, murderers, sexually immoral, idolaters, and liars will be thrown into hell. That’s something we do not like to talk about. It causes us to question if God is actually good if He is going to throw people into the lake of fire and sulfur. However, what we need to remember is that He does not throw people into the second death without ample opportunities to choose a relationship with Him. Only those who persistently reject Him are thrown into hell. Loving Him is completely our choice- if it wasn’t, we would be mindless puppets. He wants a relationship with us, not enslavement. He puts everything He has into winning our hearts, but He will never make that choice for us. Hell is a secondary plot line. It was never His intention or desire for humans to dwell there. It was made for fallen angels. They wanted separation from Him, so He gave that to them.
2 Peter 3:8-9 shows us the real heart of our Father.
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
He does not want anyone to perish. He wants each and every person to choose a life with Him, a life of love, joy, provision, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and adventure. He made you so that He could be with you. The things we doubt about Him or hold against Him are misunderstandings of His character or intent. I’m thankful that He doesn’t hold those things against us. He wants to prove our doubts wrong. His character stands against attack and questions. It is never changing, and it is perfect.
He wants us to ask our questions. As we ask questions, we dive into a deeper understanding of Him and deepen our relationship with Him. When we ask Him to show us who He is, He will. He will reveal Himself abundantly. “It’s impossible to become overfamiliar with God.” We are on a quest for Him, and it would not be a quest without questions. In fact, He loves questions. In the King James translation of the bible, there are a total of 3,298 questions. Many of them are questions that are vertical- between man and God.
“God, our Maker, Savior, Redeemer, and King, wants interaction with His prized creation even in all our flaws and frailties and doubts and failures. And now just interaction. He wants engagement. And not just engagement. He want intimacy. With you. Not who you wish you were or act like you are in front of spectators. You.”
He wants that intimacy with you, but we will never experience the fullness of that if we are scared to fully surrender. It is okay to ask questions and bring Him your doubts. If you ask Him to show you who He is, He will.
So my challenge to you is this: what doubts and fears about the Lord’s character are holding you back from full intimacy with Him? Bring those to Him, and I assure you He will answer you.