Friday, July 19, 2013

Strangers In Our Own Home

We are not bold enough. Often we try to be too polite with God. We act like visitors in a stranger's home, not wanting to offend or get anything dirty. There is a difference between how children react as a guest in someone's home and as a family member in their own. Why would we act like guests in the presence of our Father? Why would we treat him like a stranger? Why are we so afraid to act like family and why would we ever ask for something he has already promised to us?

Could you imagine this conversation:

"Mom, can I have some clothes? Can you give me some clothes please?"

"What are you talking about? Your closet is full of clothes?"

"Yes, but can I have them? Can you give them to me?"

"I already gave them to you. They are yours. Go ahead and wear them."

"Are you sure I can wear them? It won't offend you? I will clean the whole house if you let me wear them."

"What? Are you feeling okay?"

But we do it all the time. We treat our relationship with our Father like we are strangers in his house. We are afraid to touch what he freely gave to us. We don't act on his promises. It's like he has to give them to us again and again. They are ours.

There is nothing wrong with reminding God of his promises in boldness. It is not so much that we are reminding God as we are reminding ourselves. The psalmist stated it rather frankly:

Listen, Lord, as I pray!
    Pay attention when I groan.
You are my King and my God. (Psalm 5:1-2)

The psalmist comes with boldness, demanding the attention of God, not because he deserved it but because of the relationship: You are my King and my God. There is a lot he says in that declaration. God has made promises that have obligated himself to us. Because he is our Father he has bound himself to certain things.

You may think, "God, is Sovereign, he can do what he wants". True but our Father will never go against his character and his promises come out of that character. He is our Father. He has adopted us as his children through Jesus Christ. In doing this he has obligated himself to fulfill all the promises given to us, as we remain his children. Look at how the psalmist understood it even at that time, before Jesus:

You are my King and my God.
Answer my cry for help
    because I pray to you. (v. 2)

"You are my King and my God and as such you are obligated to answer my cries for help because I am asking my King." Jesus communicated with us the promises of the Father. He told us to go to the Father with whatever we needed. He told us to stop worrying about what we need here and concentrate on the Kingdom because our Father would look after what we need here. We don't need to come with hat in hand to our Father. We come in with the boldness of children who trust their Father to be who he says he is, one who loves us and pours out all his goodness on us. But remember that it is the parents who establish the rules in the house. The kids do not get to do whatever they want. There is correction:

You are not the kind of God
who is pleased with evil.
    Sinners can’t stay with you.
No one who boasts can stand
in your presence, Lord,
    and you hate evil people.
You destroy every liar,
    and you despise violence
    and deceit. (vv.4-6)

Our God is not a "genie in the bottle" who grants wishes. He is our Holy and Righteous Father who expects relationship. He loves us and wants us to love him in return. He wants us to consider what is important to him to be important to us. He wants us to walk in his footsteps, to reject evil and to cling to what is good. It is in this relationship of obedience that we have the boldness of any child to come into our Father's presence, to love him and to expect good things.

Stop acting like a stranger in our Father's house. To be honest, it is kind of creepy. It's like we don't know who we are. Stop it and be the child that you are. Princes and princesses in the Kingdom of God is who we are and our Father keeps us constantly in his presence. Live with boldness and walk in what has already been given to you.

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