Have you ever played that game where you put money into the claw like machine to see if you can grab hold of one of the many prizes in the pile? Let’s say you have an eye on one of those prizes and it looks like you could possibly attain it and you go for it. You end up grabbing hold of it with the claw, thinking, believing you have it. When all of a sudden it slips off and your time is up. Argh! Sometimes I think that is how we might look at God.
I don’t know about you, but for me I was the type of person that began to feel like I had to do something, get something right…have the right timing, the right prayer, the right words, the right thinking, the right amount of faith, the right obedience, there were probably many more rights I needed to do or say that I can’t come up with at this moment, but they were there. When I was a child God and I had this relationship. He and I would talk. My favorite place would be by my window or on my bed. I had no idea “how to talk to God” I just did. I didn’t go to church so I wasn’t learning anything from man just simply talking to God. He was my go to Friend, my Helper, He loved me. It was simple. When I started to go to church, in my late twenties, all of a sudden I wasn’t sure I had been “doing my relationship with God right”. All of a sudden I needed to act/do a certain way to “be right with God” so that my prayers will be answered, I needed to “pray a certain way” otherwise He wouldn’t answer. My whole perspective about Who God is and who I needed to be so that I would be able to have relationship with Him changed. It clearly became “if I can/do then God will”.
In all of this “learning” I found myself holding others to the same expectations that I held myself to and my “learning” passed on to other people. Until God intervened at my very simple request to know Him like He knows me. I could no longer teach or emulate what I had “learned in the church” because it had taught me to NOT see God for who He truly is. My relationship with God moved back to the childlike relationship I had before with Him.
God is God. What we need to realize is in this New Covenant He did it all through His Son Jesus. There is no need for us to maneuver the claw in the machine in hopes of attaining our desired prize. We no longer have to strive on our own to just get it right: my prayers, my life, everything will be better. See what Jesus did is pay in full for the entire machine and broke it open for easy access. All we have to do is believe in Him. Set our gaze towards Him. Understand that we don’t have to fulfill anything but the one requirement to believe Who Jesus is. The rest is finished by Him. We walk in this simple, beautiful relationship with God no matter what we have or haven’t done when we simply believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Light. Once we believe we have the greatest gift ever:relationship with our Father Who created us. His love abounds to us no matter what we have done, what we may not have done, our lack, our weakness NOTHING can stand in the way of His LOVE.
Our perspective in the church needs to change. The church, the teachers, the leaders, need to see Who God is; what Jesus finished for us; and where we stand, as believers in Jesus, because of what He did and what God sacrificed on our behalf. When we realize the fullness of this we will be walking in the new wine and be able to put it in the new wineskins. This understanding is foundational to our belief system. Once we understand this we see God for who He is. Repentance is just seeing God for Who He truly is. Scripture opens up so much more clear when our foundation is set firm upon Christ. Remember it is Christ Who is our Rock, the Cornerstone, and the government (church, secular) sits on His shoulders. Let’s look at the word in Matthew 16:13-19:
“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Matthew 16:13-14, 16-18 NASB
When I read this the other day the word “upon this rock I will build My church” was highlighted along with “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. The rock that Christ will build His church on is the foundational truth of Who Christ is. When Jesus is taught and preached, the gospel of Grace is given. This is when you will see thousands flock to the One who did it ALL for them. See this is the original message. He is the original teaching. This is what the apostles first preached about after being filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. When Peter tells the people to repent he is telling them to see Who Jesus is, Who God truly is. They fall on their faces because all Peter did was to preach/teach them who Jesus is and what He came to do. Out of this teaching came freedom, salvation, love, filling of Holy Spirit, relationship, healing, community, generosity, deliverance and so much more. For too long the church has taught on the how to of freedom, salvation, love, Holy Spirit, relationship, community, deliverance etc but not on the Rock that Jesus said He would build His church on. The foundation is Jesus and when this simple message of Who He is, What He has done, ALL of what He has done, and Where we stand because of what He accomplished at the cross is taught and preached then the gates of Hades will be UNABLE to overpower it. The “it” here is us, the individuals that make up the whole body of Christ otherwise known as the church.
“Lord is it possible to get this far and just now understand who You are? I’m feeling foolish yet relieved as well. Because what I bought before I just can’t sell.” – Wishful Thinking by Mercy Me