As a kid growing up I had a pretty big mouth and enjoyed talking smack as much as the next guy. Unfortunately I didn’t really know how to fight nor did I have a physique that implied I could. That never swayed my confidence however. You see, I had a number of things on my side. Well, a number of people, to be more precise. I always had a sense of confidence that the other guy may not be scared of me, but he sure as heck would be scared of those who were with me. You see I’m number 4 of 5 children which means I’ve got three older siblings and not only were they on my side but so were all their friends. I was bold because I believed that those who were with me were greater than those who were against me. This too is how many biblical characters felt when faced with great opposition (Rom. 8:31).
How would it change your Christian life if you really believed God was for you? If you’re not a Christian what difference would it make to your view of God if you knew he was for you? As noted in my previous post (http://wp.me/p1gDan-3B), we doubt God is for us. BUT HE IS FOR US IF WE’LL JUST SEE IT!!! In this post I want to look at multiple ways the Bible gives to show that God is for us. Additionally I would like to note a great book by a friend, that God used during a time of great despair to deepen my faith in God’s love for me personally.
‘Experiencing The Trinity – The Grace of God For The People of God’ by Joe Thorn. Stop reading and go buy it. It’s short, it’s simple, it’s great. Much of what is in this post came from my studying that book and the scriptures.
Let’s have a look a three reasons we can know God is for us in this post. Then we’ll look at three more in Part 3 next week.
GOD IS INTERESTED
A common experience at the Lewis dinner table is my children talking over each other as they fight for the undivided attention of my wife and I. Like a reporter at the White House it’s as if they feel they have to compete with each other for our attention and have a limited window of opportunity. It reveals their great need to know we are listening and interested. If I’m honest sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not depending on my day, what’s on my mind and sometimes even just how interesting my kids stories are. I know I know, Dad of the year right here.
But what about God. Is he interested? Is he listening? To me? To you? Surely we couldn’t possibly have his attention when there’s so many vying for it? Certainly he has more important things to do than listen to our trivial prayers and daily concerns? The Bible says God is interested. He’s watching. He’s listening. He’s thinking about you and me.
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. Psalm 139:1-4
The Bible teaches that God’s love for us is such that his ears and eyes are turned towards us. Unlike the flawed parent that I am, God’s mind doesn’t wander. He’s not preoccupied with the to do lists of tomorrow or the stresses of today. He is interested in you; his attention is toward you; and he is waiting eagerly to hear from you, even if he already knows what you’re going to say. Whether it be our stresses or successes he is listening and is interested.
GOD IS INVOLVED
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26
God is not only listening and interested; he’s involved. Not only is his heart for you, so too his active hands. Consider what it took to get you that one piece of fruit you ate this week. The farmers, the workers, the machinery, the weather, the transport, the supermarket, the economy…everything. All for you. God is crazy about you and more involved in your life that you even realise or give him credit for.
You see the question is not are you all in with God. The question is ‘Is God all in on you?’ and the answer is YES. There is never a moment of your life when God is disinterested, unaware or inactive. Many christians verbally affirm theism (belief an involved creator) but function out of deism (belief in an uninvolved creator). We don’t believe that God is that involved in our lives. But he is and wants us to be aware of just how involved he is. And not just on our good days, but also our bad days. After all through our good times we’re just ignorant of God’s involvement, through our bad times we question it.
Consider the words of Jesus: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29–31). God’s promise to us is not just that he’ll never leave us but that his hand is toward us providing us with everything we need in every situation we find ourselves in (2 Cor. 9:8).
Joe Thorn writes in ‘Experiencing the Trinity’
He watches over you and cares for you with not only good intentions, but also with successful actions. He even numbers the hairs of your head. This means that no detail of your life and existence escapes God’s attention, just as the life and death of each individual sparrow is accounted for in the sovereign care of the Lord. But you are no bird. You have far greater value as a person both made in God’s image and adopted as a child through Jesus. The Lord is your Father, and as such his eyes are fixed on you in the midst of all you must go through… This is comfort for the soul that is hurting and frightened. All his actions toward you are full of grace. Like any good father, the Lord watches over you, protects you, and provides for you.
GOD IS INVESTED
How do you evaluate the value of something? The price someone is willing to pay for it. Well God was willing to pay the highest price for you. He’s all in and fully invested. This is what instilled confidence in the Apostle Paul to live for Christ. Paul didn’t try his hardest to live for Christ in the hope that it would impress God enough for God to choose him. It was the very opposite. Paul realised God made the first move. God was invested in Paul well before Paul even thought about God. How did Paul know God loved him and was for him? THE CROSS!!!
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
The most glorious person in the universe thought it worthwhile to die for you. He was more willing to lose the universe than lose you. When you’re in the midst of your anxiety, in the pit of despair, on the path of giving up, look to the cross and be reminded that he is for you because HE GAVE HIS LIFE FOR YOU!!!
No impersonal force, cosmic law or external necessity compelled Christ to die. It was love, unmerited, immeasurable, infinite, that sent Jesus to the cross. Not for his own sake but “for you” he endured the rigors of Calvary. And by his willing death and triumphant resurrection, he conquered Satan and broke his power and the power of sin over your life in order for you to live free and to be all he designed you to be. If there was any evidence that God was for you this is it. HE LOVES YOU AND GAVE HIS LIFE FOR YOU!!!