Being involved with sports throughout college, there was always pressure to perform. I had pressure from coaches, peers, family, and the media. Under this pressure, I thrived. I thrived because I learned to perform. But, I also felt pressure from people in religion. This was the pressure that almost destroyed my view of and relationship with Christ because it gave me a desire perform for approval before God. Author A.W. Tozer said “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us” and my view of God became extremely distorted.
I rarely experienced intimacy with Christ because God knew my heart. In my heart I thought if I shared my faith, was involved with bible studies, had a quiet time, memorized more scripture, or prayed long enough He would love me. I was searching for approval in things and activities in addition to Christ. I realized I was trying to earn His love. I couldn’t grasp that Christ was enough.
Until God smacked me with this bit of truth I heard from a Downline staffer: “God cannot love you more than He does right now and He cannot love you less. God does not love some future version of you, He loves you, right now, as much as He ever will.” Oh the joy and freedom to be me and be accepted despite who I am and how I perform. I had never realized and still do not know how wide, how long, how high and how deep the love is that the Father has for us in Christ.
We work from favor, not for it. I pray that God may reveal this truth to you as well.
Contributed by an Emerging Leader (2012-2013).