It has also become obvious to me that when His order is upset by human ideas we will miss out on the abundant life He intended. Sometimes the day goes wrong, attitudes flare, or even loneliness seeps into our spirit. Saint or sinner, something is skewed. Maybe you are looking for a quick read, a simple 5-step plan to happiness, or a magic wand; but I hope you will invest a few minutes of sincere thought to follow this through. Choose to understand your life from God’s perspective and you will, in turn, find lasting fulfilment.
God created each of us for a one-on-one relationship with Him. He is our Creator and uniquely fitted us to connect with Him. The creation story tells us of real human people who enjoyed a close and comfortable communion with Him. This first couple looked to Him as their source for everything: physical, spiritual, emotional. They had no problem with the term: “Lordship”.
Until. Until it was disrupted. The Bible tells us, “through one man sin entered the world . . . ” (Romans 5:12). With their choice to sin, everything changed. The perfect order of Creator and creation was destroyed, and I feel it today in every sense of my being – even in my inability to communicate just “what” it is that I am missing. It has often been said we were made with a God-shaped void. One of Christianity’s earliest missionaries, Paul, describes us as people on a search who “seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him – though he is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:27 NLT).
Seeking, feeling – maybe even stumbling. Any chance that describes your life? The struggle is real. Aren’t you ready for more than just band-aid solutions to the everyday problems you face? Maybe your marriage is falling apart? Maybe it’s your health? Your kids? Your job? Your finances? Your _ – fill in the blank. There’s a reason things are spinning out of control, and (forget the band-aids!) it can only be corrected from the inside out.
So now we know we were created for a planned relationship with God; the union was disrupted; and we spend our days groping our way back to the Shepherd of our soul. Until this basic relationship is restored, we will never be complete. Enter religion. Simply put, “religion” is man’s attempt to fix the missing connection. Over and over, and over again. We try. We experiment with religious experiences. And we do our best at being good. Surely, it will be enough?
When Jesus walked this earth He pointed out the sobering truth that there will be ones who will knock on heaven’s door at the end of days and say “Lord, Lord, open for us”. And Jesus said the only answer they will hear is, “I do not know you” (Luke 13:25). Clearly, they didn’t have the right connection. The relationship was never restored. The fact that they called Him “Lord” didn’t help.
In fact, the “Lord, Lord” words meant nothing.
Maybe they had spent earthly days practising their religion of choice. Perhaps they readily spoke His name in special prayers. More than likely, they had even left a trail of good deeds behind them. Yet the words echo through eternity with an endless ripple: “I do not know you”.
So, how do we solve this serious connection problem? There’s a lot more at stake here than petty annoyances to our day. Our underlying relationship with God needs to be restored or we will fall short of heaven. And the Good News is: God (not religion) has already spanned the gap for us. Until we lay down our attempts to earn God’s favour, we can never receive His salvation by grace. Our rituals, our pious good deeds, and our self-help ideas won’t work. They fall short. It is all and only Jesus that can balance this equation. Jesus paid our sin-debt by His sacrificial death on the cross. And it is this death that can heal our relationship once and for all time.
“He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross ... By his wounds you are healed” (1 Peter 2:24 NLT).
When God looks upon the suffering of His perfect Son, He is satisfied; He showed this by raising Him from the dead. If God is satisfied, am I? Seeing the cross from God’s perspective is life-changing! From the inside out.