I came into my DTS and YWAM with the mindset of it just being a cool opportunity for young Christian adults, who weren’t exactly sure what to do next in their lives, to grow more in their faith and get involved in some mission work. Although that may be the case for many like me, that is not the mindset I have anymore. For me, what made my mind take a complete 180 was the Father Heart of God week. It was only our second week in and I was already going through a life changing experience.
Growing up in Texas and attending a good Christian School my whole life, I thought I had the concept of a relationship with God down. I was taught from an early age how much God loves us and that Christianity was about not living in sin and being obedient to His commandments. My whole life I had this mentality that if I could reach a certain level of obedience then I would be satisfied and at peace.
Obedience is the lowest level of intimacy with the Lord.
Then after this week I learned that obedience is the lowest level of intimacy with the Lord. It creates distance because we view God more as a King who harshly disciplines every mistake we make. An even more common mentality is that because we’re obedient, God will bless us with what we want or what we think we need. I’m not saying you can be too obedient, but instead of being obedient just because you want something or that it’s just the “right thing to do”, go out of your way to thank God and tell Him you love Him. God doesn’t owe us anything and we should live out our lives proclaiming His goodness no matter the situation. Out of the overflow of your heart, be obedient as a natural act of love.
The phrase “Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship” has tragically become so well known, people don’t even realize the significance behind it. People don’t understand how personal God is, that He loves us so much and desires an intimate relationship with us. The Cross is the best possible example of that love and desire. It’s a revelation of our value; Christ died for us, He endured what we endure here on earth, and He was tempted like we are tempted. Why? Because we are valued. God wants His heart in your heart, and He wants you to know you are valued.
He is a forgiving and loving Father, full of goodness. He eagerly wants us to realize our worth in Him and acknowledge that He is a good Father no matter the situation.
That is what really hit me hard. I realized that because of my past mistakes, I filled my head with self-condemnation and unworthiness instead of receiving conviction from God. I never felt worthy enough to accept God’s love and believe in my heart that I was truly valued and desired because of my past mistakes. People do not usually recognize it at first but this is a form of pride. It’s a kind of pride called Inferior Pride, and it happens when we think too lowly of ourselves. What we are saying is that what Christ did for us was not enough, and that His sacrifice on the cross was not big enough for our mistakes. If we can realize God’s mercy for us, withholding His wrath despite the fact that we deserve it, then we can start on the path of eliminating pride. God does not hold our sin against us. He is a forgiving and loving Father, full of goodness. He eagerly wants us to realize our worth in Him and acknowledge that He is a good Father no matter the situation.
Written by Will McClain