What God Really Wants

I read another devotional with a statement that got me thinking. The author (whose books I generally enjoy) said God has given all of us a mission in life, and we will one day have to give account of our mission and can then rest from our labors. He said: “We seldom realize fully that we are sent to fulfill God-given tasks.” Another well-known author talked about the assignments we receive from God. These statements, along with the oft-used God uses us, make me uncomfortable and I finally understand the deep-down reason why.

Taken together, they pull me back to my past, when I lived and breathed legalism. Each of these statements implies failure – I might not discover or fulfill my mission; I may not complete my tasks or if I do, my work might not be satisfactory; if I am being used by God, I might not live up to his expectations. I could disappoint God, displease him (see my previous posts on these topics) and then I could be in danger of losing out on salvation.

I never want to go back to a legalistic view of God. I never want to sink back into separation theology – of believing anything I do wrong can drive a wedge between us, even a little bit. In Christ, we are as close to Jesus as we want to be, and he is as close to us as our own hearts. Any idea that we are only here on a mission to finish tasks for him or to be used for assignments diminishes the relationship God wants to have with us, the relationship he created us for.

For twenty-five years, the only relationship I had as a Christian was with the law; now I revel in a relationship with my Abba God and I’m thankful he doesn’t want to use me to fulfill tasks or assignments. He loves me more than that.

Against the Wind

It was calm today, but last week the wind was blowing pretty hard. I don’t like walking when it’s windy but decided I needed to get out and move. So I braved it. As I walked, I played Pollyanna’s glad game, where you try to find something to be glad about in every situation. I was glad it wasn’t snowing or flooding! I also told myself I was burning up extra calories moving against the headwind, which was something else to be glad about.

Going against the wind (I hear music!) is an expression we use when we hold opinions or beliefs different from the majority. I couldn’t help but think about grace. Most Christians will tell you they believe in grace but in real life, are still trying to earn favor with God and even their salvation. Many churches say grace but preach legalism. If you really live a grace-filled life, you often find yourself moving against the wind of legalistic teaching and pressure to do enough, be enough, perform well enough.

Rest in the grace of Christ, but don’t let the wind blow you back into legalism.