Thursday, April 21, 2016

the fluency of our faith (part 2)

In my last post, we touched upon the subject of God's agape love: the truest, most genuine and real love there is.  This form of love is the perfect love that every single person truly longs for.  However, only God can supply agape love.  His is the unwavering unity and passion that we attempt to reproduce within our human condition.  Sadly, our efforts always seem to come up short due to our own sinfulness.  Because without God, man's sin ultimately consumes and destroys.  For sin can only guarantee us one thing: death.  Thankfully, according to scripture, God's true love lasts.  His agape love remains eternal.  God's love is... because God is.

On some level that statement is hard to digest, isn't it?  How can Almighty God be complete LOVE yet still allow all that is wrong in our world to continue?  I mean, come on... why permit all this heartache in our lives?  That doesn't seem loving at all!  No one can argue, mankind is indeed plagued with pain, and loss, and sadness ALL THE TIME, and yet we still seem to want, need, desire, and seek after true love.  Why?

Before answering this question, I think we should re-visit who we are first.  Whether you believe in God or not, let's breakdown the creation of man as it is outlined in Scripture.  The Bible says that, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)  

Here, we are given no explanation or context about God, except that He existed already.  He was there at our beginning.  He simply was while creating all mankind and the universe in which we now live.  And this would make sense that God begins our timeline alive and with us.  For the Bible tells us that He is eternal.  He is the Alpha and Omega... The Beginning and The End.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)

Genesis proceeds detailing God's formation of the heavens and the earth.  But at the climax of this sixth day creation process, God makes mankind.  And He does so in a manner unlike anything else He has created before.  Here, God deliberately pauses to take note that He is making man in His own image!  WHAT?!!  Yes, from the very start, we are designed as His own familiar, special beings... mini-me's to the Most High, if you will.

In fact, mankind was so important to God that He structured the entire universe around his arrival.  Then, after days of simply speaking all matter into existence, Almighty God lovingly chooses to make us differently... and in His image, no less.  With His own hands, He molds us.  With His own breath, He gives us His eternal life.  We become living, breathing souls encased in an efficiently designed physical flesh package.  We are made exclusive - from the hands and heart of an availably-present Creator.  Wow!

All of this sounds pretty loving, doesn't it?  So, why now does this loving God allow so much wrong to occur in the very world He created for us to live?  How can we believe that this Agape Creator is still availably-present when we spend our days burdened with war, disease, illness, tragedy, heartache, and death?  Something isn't right... right?

So what has changed?

Well, that something "not right" isn't God, my friends.  That something is, unfortunately, US!
We changed.

Loving God created man so that we could know His fullness and live in the beauty and perfection and completeness of His glory.  He didn't need mankind - for He already was complete in Himself.  No, He wanted mankind.  He wanted a relationship with us.  He wanted to share His awesome glory.  God selflessly chose to make us to love us.  He made us in His image and gave us His eternal breath so that we might best know and commune with Him!  What an astounding honor our life actually is!  To be made with a purpose to glorify real love!  Surely, this is why we center everything around finding and knowing true love.  Why we crave it so deeply!  We were actually, in fact, created to do so!  We were made to worship and commune with THE GOD WHO IS LOVE!

And yet...

In His perfect wisdom, God does not ask mankind to unwillfully submit to His Agape, even though we were created explicitly for that purpose.  For true love cannot be forced or demanded upon with oppression.  No, instead God continues to selflessly give to His most special creation a free will... a choice... to receive or reject His gift of LIFE.  He lays out the canvas of our existence and affords us first the joy to experience His infinitely satisfying company with every good tangibility and sensation.  But then He also freely allows us to know ALL options - - even the option to go against His desired plan for us.  We are given the choice to love Him wholeheartedly, or to discredit and reject Him completely.  One choice promises us the peace of His agape love forever.  And one choice guarantees a spiritual death and separation from His holy throne forever.

So what happens next?  Well, mankind chooses wrong.  We sell out our birthright in order to fill our selfish bellies and betray the Word of our loving Father.  We sin against God... and the consequences of our free-will choice devastates all of creation.

And yet...

After we make the biggest mistake of our life (quite literally), God still agape loves us.  Why?  Because the Lord is unchanging.  Because God IS love.  Because our Creator desires to commune with us even though we are slaves to sin.

Yes, the free will of mankind now knows death's heartache firsthand, and we clearly regret the reality of the sin infected into ourselves.  But true love cannot be forced or demanded upon - especially through our oppression.  So, to fully know the brilliance of God's agape love, we are invited to align ourselves in His new hope.  You see, rather than immediately destroy us dead (post sin), God once again selflessly gives Himself to us - but now in the form of Jesus (God in flesh).  We are thrown Christ's spiritually saving lifeline as we live out our days in this contaminated human flesh. Once again, we can choose to love Him wholeheartedly, or to discredit and reject Him completely.  Once again, one choice promises us the peace of His agape love forever.  And one choice guarantees a spiritual death and separation from His holy throne forever.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  (1 John 4:10)

How will comprehending God's love help us express love well?  Phew!  We are still on this journey and there is definitely much to learn.  Again, I can't promise that I will be able to post a consistent daily blog entry due to my own health issues...  but God's timing is always perfect, and He will give us exactly what we need when we need it!  Until next time... LOVE!!!

God bless!

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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