Earning God's Love
God asked me why I wanted to serve Him, and I realized it was to earn His love. What do you think He told me next? Likewise, what gets in the way of your relationship with God? What is your experience when you show up with God in an authentic, childlike way? ❧
Video Transcript (edited):
It’s 5:30 in the morning. I woke up and couldn’t sleep. I prayed and felt prompted to make this video. So here I am, in my pajamas, at 5:30 am.
What I want to share today starts with a story. One day God asked me if I would accept a position serving in my church. We call these positions “callings” and so I may refer to it as a calling, but basically it’s a position to help with the operations of running our church congregation. This calling that God asked about was kind of big and challenging, and I felt scared and heavy about it. I thought about it for awhile and eventually, even though my heart was still scared and reluctant, I told God that I wanted to be willing to do this job. I wanted to say “Yes” to Him. His answer back was, “Why?”
Wait, “why?” His question took me back! Stunned me to silence. I thought for a long time before I answered Him. Yet, what was so interesting was that my immediate gut reaction, right after God asked “Why?,” was to say “So that you’ll love me.” But I checked myself; I knew in my mind that I shouldn’t be trying to earn God’s love, so I tried to think of the “right” answer. I searched and searched inside me, but it didn’t come. That initial gut reaction was exactly what I needed to share and discuss with God. It was what was actually sitting inside my heart, motivating my relationship with God.
So the first message I’m sharing today is that we can approach God in a child-like way, without pretense. We can show up with God exactly as we are, even with the answers that we know in our minds aren’t truthful or aren’t “appropriate” or “correct.” My children do this easily, all the time. It might be a screaming tantrum on the floor or raw selfishness or overflowing love and joy. Whatever it is, they show up with 100% of it, without a filter, without armor. Over and over I try to learn this lesson: to show up with God exactly as I am. And over and over I slip back into pretense and block myself from God.
Eventually, I shared that first impulse with God. I said “Well, God, I think I want to do this because I want you to love me.” And He said, “Oh Sarah! I love you! I love you completely. You can’t earn my love and you can’t earn more of my love. My love is not at all dependent on you serving me in a position in My church.” Then He asked me again, “Why do you want to accept this responsibility?”
I hope I don’t leave you in too much suspense because I’m actually going to leave that story there and not tell you the ending! Because my point of this story today is to show up child-like with God. It opens communication. It opens our hearts and lets God in.
Another message I’m sharing is that God loves us completely, both you and me. And because He loves me completely, I can show up with God in full confidence that He loves me. He loves me unconditionally, no matter what I've done, no matter where I’m at. No matter how much I’ve screwed up. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t listen to Him yesterday and I was absorbed in things that have no spiritual importance. It doesn’t matter how far I’ve gone off His path for me. It doesn’t matter whom I’ve hurt, even if that person is myself or God. Even if I’ve eaten the fruit in the garden of Eden like Adam and Eve and introduced death into the world when He told me not to. God loves me completely and unconditionally. When I internalize that truth, I can show up with Him as I am, even with all of my sins but without shame, without telling myself I’m unworthy of love. Without protecting and distancing myself from God because I expect Him to criticize or condemn me.
And so my message is three-fold. God loves us perfectly and completely no matter what. As a result we can show up as his child, confident in that love, no matter what. And there’s nothing we can do to earn more of His love.
What blocks you from God? And what are your experiences showing up in that child-like way with God?
That’s all for now. Keep shining!