DID YOU KNOW (2)
…That you can never disappoint God or let Him down?
How often I have heard a child of God bewailing the fact that he or she has disappointed God or let Him down. We attribute our own emotions to God as though He were human like us.
Let’s think about it. Why do people so often disappoint us? Is it not because we put expectations on others of which they are not aware and which they are unable or unwilling to fulfil? Does God do to us what we do to others? Of course not!
Why is it impossible for us to disappoint God?
Firstly, we can never disappoint God because He puts no expectations on us? How do we know this? David gives us the answer.
As a Father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust (Psa. 103:13-14).
God is fully aware of our human frailty. He knows that we are incapable of living up to His requirements on our own.
Secondly, God is all-knowing. In theological terms, He is omniscient. Once again, it was David who celebrated God’s omniscience in one of his most well-known and beautiful psalms.
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you, Lord, know it completely (Psa. 139:1-4).
How can God put expectations on us when He knows us more intimately than we know ourselves? He knows what we will think before we think it; He knows what we will say before we say it; He knows what we will do before we do it. He is always ahead of us, never behind us; therefore, it is impossible for us not to do what He expects of us without His knowing.
Thirdly, God treats us as His children. He knows that we are utterly dependent on Him. He likes it that way because He is the source of our life and of everything we need. He wants us to lean as heavily on Him as a new-born infant relies on his mother for everything. He trusts us only with that which He enables us to do and to be. If we fail, He forgives unconditionally because the blood of Jesus has already taken care of all our frailties, fallibilities, and imperfections.
Amazing as it is, God is very comfortable with us. He is never fazed by our failures. Perhaps the most glaring example of God’s patience and tolerance is the story of Peter’s failure. He was headstrong and cocksure of himself. Not even Jesus’ warning that he was on the brink of a terrible meltdown alerted him to the fatal flaw in his self-confidence. He felt strong enough to weather any storm, not knowing that a storm of such magnitude was brewing that he would be completely overwhelmed and swept into the betrayal of his dearest friend.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” (Luke 22:31-34).
Fourthly, God allows us to fail because failure is a better teacher than success. Success is more dangerous for us than failure because success is the breeding ground for sins far worse than our failures. Jesus knew what we are capable of doing and becoming when we ride the crest of the wave.
He taught His disciples, in His well-known pattern prayer, that within us are the seeds of our own destruction. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One.” We pray this prayer glibly and without understanding. Our real enemy is not the devil. Far worse is the enemy within. Jesus was well aware of what we are capable of becoming and doing – yes, under the influence of Satan, but because of our own choices.
We do not need deliverance from Satan as much as we need to be kept from the ravages of our own sinful nature. We are not Satan’s victims. If we were, God would not be able to hold us responsible for our choices and behaviour. We are accountable to Him for who and what we are because He gave us our free will and will never violate that gift.
He also gave us Jesus. Jesus came to save us from the penalty and power of sin. Only when we live “in Him” are we able to overcome the pull of self and sin.
Fifthly, God is in the process of recreating us in the likeness of His Son. He uses all our circumstances and experiences to expose the weaknesses in us so that He can hone our confidence in His perfect love.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, those who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers (Rom. 8:28-29).
No, we can never disappoint God. He works everything about us into that perfect image of His Son which, from His perspective, is already complete.
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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