To give you context to this post, I just watched Father of Lights, by the same director as Finger of God and Furious Love, with some of my friends last night. I didn't really want to watch it because in my head I was thinking- 'I've heard just about as much Christian-ese as I can handle.' But boy am I glad I stayed.
I want to quote something from Darin Hufford in his book "The Misunderstood God"
'The great counterfeit of kindness if manipulation.
When the antithesis of kindness, manipulation, is present, true kindness becomes voided out. In order for kindness to be authentic, it must have no ulterior motive behind it. The moment a hidden motive supports a kind act, the act itself ceases to be kind and suddenly becomes manipulation.
This is why most people's response to a kind act is 'What do you want from me?' We have grown accustomed to the lie. It is beyond our comprehension why anyone would do something nice without wanting something in return.'
This has been the story of my life (among so many other things it turns out) since I was just a child. I was sold a package that contained manipulation that looked like sincerity, love and security but it was just that- manipulation. I won't go into details of how this was demonstrated to me but I will say that because one of my primary love languages is gifts- you can imagine what getting gifts with motives will do to you over the years. It has painted a picture of love that I have never been able to relate to. This is no wonder then I cannot relate to the father because after all, he gives us things so we will love him, worship him and give him all the glory. (Right?!) Sounds kinda selfish if you ask me. But this is how I view him- a father who gives and takes as he pleases to manipulate me into doing what he wants. Think about your view for a minute and tell me there isn't any form of manipulation you feel in your relationship with the father.
This was my view until about a week ago and it was just overwhelmingly confirmed last night. In the midst of struggling with what I consider heavy sin, I received the one revelation that has finally broken me. Broken me to the point of no return. I will never be where I once was because it lived in the land of death and desolation. Tho I may have had plenty of correct views of the father, I didn't have THE correct view. As I was cowering in a corner screaming and holding up my fists ready to take the beating, all I got was love. No whispers of condemnation or disappointment. Just this: try to do anything that will divert my love from you and I will show you that it never will.
What do you do with that? That's the best part- nothing. You are required to do absolutely nothing with that revelation- and that is why it has me so broken. I can say, like Paul, that I am a wretched human being but God has placed me on the other side of the cross so my words are void. My father saw my life, past-present-future, he saw everything I would ever do and he still chose me to belong to him because there would never be anything I could ever do to change his view of me, because he saw me from eternity, in His son.
I am ruined my friends. I have run in what I thought was the opposite direction only to find out I was running straight to him. Where can I go? Where can I hide? The good and bad news is you cannot hide anywhere- and even if you have reason to hide- he'll never let you slip out of his reach. Because that's what father's do.
How does this change things? Knowing the truth about Him changes everything. It changes my thinking. It changes my words. It changes my actions. It changes my views. It changes my life. This is finally the answer I have been searching for this whole time- why do I believe in what I believe in? Because there will never be a love as real as this one.
Dang it- that is so satisfying to my soul. If you haven't had this revelation I say 'watch out!' because he's coming- and his love spreads like wildfire.