God doesn’t ask us for much. The world keeps asking for more.
Perspective is a powerful thing and when it comes to navigating life, can alter your reality. If you can change your perspective, you can change your life. A majority of the people I encounter regularly have a Law-based perspective of God. That is, a majority of people see God and His Church as trying to control your behavior and to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
For some people God seems like a detective trying to examine your life and find out all your guilt. This Law-based perspective will cause people to behave for fear of punishment, but the long term impact is negative. I believe that this is where our country is after years of Law-based instruction; people now are daring God to stop them from doing what they want.
The problems with this Law-based view are countless. For example, God is not trying to control you; He is trying to help you remain safe and healthy. Imagine someone telling you to stay away from certain dangerous parts of Chicago. Are they trying to control your choices or help you make an informed decision? If we go there just to prove we can, we put ourselves at risk.
God knows far more than we do; He sees the future and knows it already. God designed and created us; He formed us in our mother’s womb and knows our every thought. If God wanted to control us, He could. Our perspective of God should not be Law-based but rather Gospel-based. A Gospel-based perspective begins with knowing God is for you and wants you to have your best life now and forever.
God is the author and perfecter of our faith and is qualified to give us wisdom and insight into our decisions. God knows the long term and short term impact of our decisions and gives us great advice for long term joy and happiness. Most importantly God knows that the world never stops asking for more.
When we worship the world and its material nature, we are never satisfied. When we worship the world and the things that it offers, we will never be content. There is always something bigger, better, shinier; there are newer, fancier and things with more accessories. When we measure ourselves by the world, we always see someone who has it better and we never have enough.
God knows we reap what we sow and receive the rewards we pursue. If we pursue the world, we are never satisfied and are filled with regret. When we pursue God and His Gospel-based perspective, we realize we are forgiven. We trust we have all we need and are filled with contentment. We recognize that God loves us and gives everything we could need as well as leading us in love for others.
Love God, who already loves you, and love your neighbor as yourself. This is all God asks. That doesn’t sound like the request of an enemy, but it certainly doesn’t give us freedom to do whatever we want. I guess the question is who or what will receive your attention and influence your purpose and satisfaction in life? I guess it depends on your perspective.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” 1 John 3:1
His servant and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss