In my circle of friends I have a girl friend that is expecting her first baby...well, babies. She is expecting twins. They are little miracles who we have waited for and waited for.
All this time they have been growing and flourishing inside their momma. My friend has eaten healthy, drank lots of water, gotten exercise and taken her vitamins like a good girl. She has done everything in her power to make sure they are growing healthy.
See, those babies don't grow because they just decide to grow and stretch themselves into full term infants.They don't grow because they woke up one morning and said...hey, let's get out of here? No, they grow because their momma is providing them with nourishment, a warm place to sleep, love, and comfort. When they are born, they will continue to grow because they are being fed, loved, clothed, and cared for by their mom and dad. Their growth will be natural and predicable, it will be effortless on their part and it will "just happen"...as long as they keep getting food, rest, exercise, love and all the things vital to their well being.
Have you ever had or known a child to refuse to eat? I have.
When my oldest son was 8 months old he refused. He was transitioning from breast to bottle and he decided neither would work. This momma panicked. I knew what he needed, yet he refused. It was as if he was saying, "I got this." Did that work out for him? No, he eventually took a bottle and ate his baby food. He wasn't going to keep growing because he just decided to grow, he needed nourishment among many other things.
Isn't that how we act sometimes towards our Heavenly Father? "I got this!" I'm just going to grow and stretch myself and I don't need anything except my own willpower. It doesn't matter that our Father has what we need to grow waiting for us: that He has already prepared everything; love, food, rest, and so much more. But we are in our high chairs screaming and throwing our carrots because we think we know what's best for us.
Ephesians 1:4-6: "Long ago, even before He made the world, God chose us to be his very own, through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault--we who stand before him covered with his love. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to! Now all praise to God for his wonderful kindness to us and his favor that he has poured out upon us, because we belong to His dearly loved Son.
Even before time began he chose us. He chose us to be holy. Yes, holy!
Really? Us? Me? My husband? My kids? Us? HOLY?
Is this a mistake? What is going on here?
It also says we will be blameless in His sight? Blameless? Without fault?
How is it that scripture says this but I can't think of anyone hasn't failed at trying to be "holy".
Wait...that says..."in His sight" right? How can that be?
Here is what I love...here is what I caught in a study and reading I did recently...
in HIS eyes. That is right! Those are the words that made all the difference.
God sees us differently than we see ourselves or each other. When we are made "new" through Christ, Christ covers us just as the scripture above says. Covered, like a warm blanket that a mother throws over her sleeping child. We are covered in the light of Christ's perfect love. Just like any parent, He lays it over and stands back in awe of the beauty before Him. That's all He sees is perfect love.
Why? Because he wanted to...see, right there in the scripture. He wanted to do this thing for us.
And when we wake up and realize what He has done, truly done, he just wants us to thank Him and love Him for it. (Ep 1:12)
Now with the forgiveness and covering we can come before Him. (Ep 3:12)
How many times have I stepped up to the throne of God in prayer, and said "I'm sorry", or stand before with false humility. He has known for since our creation how we are going to behave and knows all our weaknesses. Did you catch that? We can stop feeling the guilt or shame and stop begging for forgiveness to Him for being human; after all, He made us that way. He was just patiently waiting all along while looking on you as His perfect creation that was brand new and beautiful. We don't have to beg, or say "please". He's going to do what you need of Him. Just believe it! It might not always be what you want but it will ALWAYS be what you need. (Ep 3:12) An apology should always be followed by asking for forgiveness, as His child, He has done just that. There's no need to beg.
He just wants us to believe that we can approach Him and ask for whatever it is that we need. He is ready to provide. He is ready to help us grow. It will be effortless when we decide to let Him provide for us the things we need and to give up on us trying to stretch ourselves into something we can only become in time with His love and nurturing.