Psalm 25:8-10 (TLB)
The Lord is good and glad to teach the proper path to all who go astray; he will teach the ways that are right and best to those who humbly turn to him. And when we obey him, every path he guides us on is fragrant with his loving-kindness and his truth.
I was recently informed that I am the meanest mom ever. A title given in high regard bestowed long ago by my oldest child, I have worked diligently over the years to uphold the duties of such and carry out my obligations to continue to wear the crown. These words are usually uttered in frustration when I do not bend from my original expectation of one of our children. I am not your friend’s mom, I am yours (aren’t you the lucky one). I hold that responsibility in the utmost respect as I believe it to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. I also believe that one day when I stand before the Lord that I must give an account for my life and those people that He has entrusted to me including my husband, children, family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances and strangers. It really doesn’t hurt my feelings when I am told that I am mean, not their friend, or they don’t love me. I completely understand. It is my job to love and discipline them as human beings. With the help of God to mold them into the people He created them to be which means there will be days we do not agree but they must accommodate my way out of respect. On those days that they decide to obey, my kindness is extended to them out of love. But on those days that seem to fill those adolescent years, it is a battle of wills and I hold the upper hand. Their flesh rises up to assert some authority only to be stricken down by the truth (for now) you live in my house, eat all my food, rely on me solely so you will follow my rules whether you like me or love me is of no consequence because of my love for you I will not back down.
God is our loving father. He has provided a way, the only way, for us to return into a relationship of right standing with Him by giving up His One and Only Son, Jesus to die for our sins. We become His Adopted Children the moment we surrender our addiction to the darkness to fall in love with the Light of His Love. God is ready to pour out His Loving Kindness on all mankind. The invitation reads, “Whosoever will let him come.” Salvation is only the beginning of what the Lord has in store for us. Blessing and prosperity are traits associated with His Loving Kindness. However, there are many frustrated people who call themselves Christians but do not understand why God is withholding His Best. He is not. Not at all. God pursues us every single day of our life with His Goodness and Unfailing Kindness. (Psalm 23:6) We walk with His Hand of Blessing on our head. So what’s the problem? (Psalm 139:5)
Deuteronomy 5:9-10 (TLB)
You shall not bow down to any images nor worship them in any way, for I am the Lord your God. I am a jealous God, and I will bring the curse of a father’s sins upon even the third and fourth generation of the children of those who hate me; but I will show kindness to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
I was told by a loved one once that people bear the curse of parental sins for up to the third and fourth generation. How heartbreaking! But I learned that this is before God opened the windows of Heaven releasing mercy and grace thanks to Jesus. Through the Power of the Cross, we can wipe clean generational curses. However, the Cross does not change the Law or its Regulations. It deals with our inability to do what the Word says consistently. The Lord promises to show kindness to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
God desires two things of us to release His Loving Kindness including blessing and prosperity in our lives. It is faithfulness and obedience. Do we call Him the meanest dad because of it? Sometimes when we get frustrated because we want our way and God’s Blessing, too. By refusing to yield to His Love to follow Jesus Christ, we forfeit the kindness hidden in our submission. It is not God’s Fault that we do not have His Best. It is predestined for our life. It is in our willingness to strive for a life of faithfulness to God in all things, as well as, obedience in the same.
If I want God’s Best, I have to do it God’s Way. Sound familiar? It is kind of like the house rule – “It’s my way or the highway!” Just as I bear the natural responsibility of my children and it is my role to mold and shape them into good people, surrendering my life to Jesus means He is to do the same. We don’t always like God’s Way because it is contrary to the world in which we live. It does not line up with human thinking or society’s norm. But I guess it all depends what you want out of life. If it is your desire to experience God’s Glory, you will remain faithful and obedient to the Lord.
Isaiah 35:8-10 (TLB)
And a main road will go through that once-deserted land; it will be named “The Holy Highway.” No evil-hearted men may walk upon it. God will walk there with you; even the most stupid cannot miss the way. No lion will lurk along its course, nor will there be any other dangers; only the redeemed will travel there. These, the ransomed of the Lord, will go home along that road to Zion, singing the songs of everlasting joy. For them all sorrow and all sighing will be gone forever; only joy and gladness will be there.
“But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:14) There is a reason Jesus called the Gateway to Life a small and narrow road. It is definitely the road less traveled. Few will every truly desire the Glory of God because their life is so much better just knowing Him, they do not see the point in following Him any further. I have children who are explicit rule followers then there are some (okay one) who lives to bend and break the rules for sport. I have five children and they are not all the same. The Lord knows exactly what it will take to get your attention as you are His Child. He loves us more than we can ever love our own children. He created you. He knows how you think. He knows everything you do. Most importantly and above all else, He knows your heart. God knows what you desire most. Through the course of life and experience as we walk with God, He raises our expectations according to His Glory which will require just a little more faith and obedience than last time. Will we be faithful until the end? Will we remain obedient? It is totally and completely up to us. If we want all of God’s Loving Kindness to pour out in our life, we must flow with the Living Water in us rather than wading through the stagnancy of life. There is one way. His Name is Jesus. He will never force us to follow Him, but those who do will be overtaken by His Glory.
Exodus 33:18-19 (TLB)
Then Moses asked to see God’s glory. The Lord replied, “I will make my goodness pass before you, and I will announce to you the meaning of my name Jehovah, the Lord. I show kindness and mercy to anyone I want to.
Moses wanted to be obedient. He wanted to do exactly as the Lord had told Him to do and lead the people out of captivity. He was struggling so Moses asked God to see His Glory. Now God could have shown him great feats of nature with rumbling earthquakes, powerful lighting and hurricane-force winds to drive home that He is an all-powerful God with thunderous fury. This is not the defining character of the quiet confident God who we serve. His Glory is His Goodness, His Kindness and His Mercy. To have a generation such as this and not destroy it as quickly as Sodom and Gomorrah only reinforces to me that fact that He is Good, He is Kind and that the Lord is Merciful.
If you are struggling to remain faithful or desire to obey but with hesitation, ask the Lord to reveal His Glory to you today. He will. It is not like that of a stern parent or uncaring boss, but He is filled with loving kindness and compassion for His Children. His Glory is His Love. The faithful love that is willing to accept the sacrifice of His Only Son just to be closer to you. He just wants you today. To be with Him will always require faithfulness and obedience whether we like it or not. On the days that we walk with Him – we will feel His Hand of Blessing and experience being wrapped in His Love just for inching closer. On those days that we fail miserably as a wayward child or prodigal son, He waits with His Goodness, Kindness and Mercy in His Hands waiting intently on your return to shower you in His Love all over again. He is a good dad even on the days I may think He doesn’t care, He is begin mean, or maybe forgotten me His Child. It is upon my return that the Lord reminds me that with just a little more faith and a slight hint of obedience He pulls me right back to Him tighter than before. God is the best dad ever. There will be days that we do not understand God’s Way or how He will make good on His Promises, but if we will hold on to the fact that He is Good, He is Kind and He is Merciful living on these truths in faithful and steadfast obedience His Glory will soon overtake us again and again and again.
I John 2:1-5 (TLB)
My little children, I am telling you this so that you will stay away from sin. But if you sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. His name is Jesus Christ, the one who is all that is good and who pleases God completely. He is the one who took God’s wrath against our sins upon himself and brought us into fellowship with God; and he is the forgiveness for our sins, and not only ours but all the world’s. And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By looking within ourselves: are we really trying to do what he wants us to? Someone may say, “I am a Christian; I am on my way to heaven; I belong to Christ.” But if he doesn’t do what Christ tells him to, he is a liar. But those who do what Christ tells them to will learn to love God more and more. That is the way to know whether or not you are a Christian.