April 25, 2010
In The Misunderstood God,” Darin Hufford writes (page 102):
“The fact that He created you and me with choice is evidence that God is “you-seeking.” He waits for your choice in any situation, and once you make it, He accepts it, good or bad.”
Okay, I can see that. Sort of. He doesn’t hit you over the head and force you to withdraw and change your choice to His choice. Because if He did, then effectively, you would not have had a choice at all.
Hufford adds: “He stays with you all the way, no matter what.”
See, here is where I have trouble. Because, I suppose, I was not brought up to believe in the security of God’s children. And I have to admit, I can still worry about that sometimes. Oh Father. I want to KNOW YOU. I want to KNOW TRUTH. Please.
Hufford goes on:
“God’s will is that you use your will. He gave it to you. He delights in it. He loves the way you think and reason. Wherever you go and wherever you end up, He will be there with you. When you ask God where He wants you to go or what He wants you to do, His response is, “Where do you want to go? What do you want to do?”
Ummm… My will is good? Really? What about “Your will be done?” Of course, we are made in Your image… and I suppose that includes being made with a will… Oh my goodness, that’s a new thought for me… Father?
And… woh! Do we really have that kind of freedom? Doesn’t Father know what is best for us? I know that You “love the way I think and reason.” You wouldn’t be encouraging me to carry on these conversations with You – and others – if You didn’t. But – will You really be with me wherever I go? Even if I take some “wrong turns?” This doesn’t mean, surely, that You will be pleased if I make choices that are outside Your character?
“His Spirit will never overpower you and your choices… You were created in His image, and part of that image is having choice… When His Spirit lives within you, you’ll have self-control…”
See, that’s what I mean. I do have choices. But if I abuse my freedom by making choices outside those that are within the parameters of the “fruit of the Spirit” (the Spirit’s parameters of course still give me a huge amount of space, an enormous number of possibilities – because it includes all the choices that reflect God – and God is IMMENSE!!!)… anyway, if I make choices that are in the image of the enemy rather than in the image of God, then I am no longer operating in freedom, but in bondage – again, as I was before I was in relationship with You – bondage to sin. Isn’t that right?
“Believe it or not, love desires your independence. Independence is the very foundation of free will, and your freedom is the image of God in you.”
(Oh my. So how does that line up with what I’ve been told so often: “Sin is independence from God”? Father?)
But I do have to agree – emphatically – that “your freedom is the image of God in you.” And the image of God in me does influence – joyfully – the choices I make – in freedom! Hmmm… another of those round and round and round relationship things that boggle my little finite mind! But fill my heart with joy!
Hufford sums up (p 103 - 104):
“Everything is different now because of what Christ did! We are now family members… It’s imperative that God’s heart now be viewed as a Father’s and not a dictator’s. Fathers are not self-seeking.
Be aware also that becoming Christlike is not a process in which we train ourselves to “impersonate” Jesus. Becoming Christlike is the process by which we allow the same essence that motivated and drove Jesus to also drive us in life. It’s the essence of Christ – His character, not His personality or mannerisms.
… This is essentially what being Christlike is about: being driven by the same power that drove Christ, namely love.”