Is God Angry?
Seeing Father God’s heart of love is the only path to Christian maturity.
John 3:16-17 — For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
When I was still a boy my family and I went to a restaurant. My brother and I used our napkins properly and kept our elbows off the table. We were not noisy nor did we interrupt, in fact we did not speak unless spoken to. A couple sitting nearby commented to my dad how well-mannered my brother and I were. What they did not know was that we lived with an abusive father and were obedient for fear of our lives!
My father extracted our obedience, but at what cost? I grew up hating him and rebelled in every way. He extracted obedience, but he did it based on fear and control, producing only an outward conformity.
I cannot put into words how huge I think this is! This is the church; this is the world system; this is the debate of our times! A huge amount of preaching relies on the idea of threat, punishment or judgment. I feel like this is bringing God down to man’s level or projecting onto God how man would do things. Having to resort to threat is weakness, it is fear-based and it implies insecurity. A bully would not have a need to intimidate if he was secure! I grew up with an abusive father and it was all based in fear. I just cannot believe that God is in heaven wringing His hands over what in the world He is going to do with so many disobedient children!
Bill Johnson once said, “A battle is brewing, not over the Holy Spirit, healing or revival, but over the goodness of God. If I did to my children what some people accuse God of doing to His, I would be thrown in jail for child abuse!”
God is not destroying cities with earthquakes or floods. He is not causing storms and hurricanes because of sin, and He is not putting sickness on people to try and teach them something. He is a loving God. 1 John 4 says that God is love and so everything He does is with love in mind. Am I saying there are no consequences for sin, of course not, but I believe how we look at it is vitally important. Man chooses his own way, the world is under sin, and breaking God’s laws bring reaping. If an airplane loses a wing and thus breaks God’s laws of aerodynamics it will crash, not because God poured out His wrath but because laws were broke. God’s will is that all the people on that plane would be saved, 1 Timothy 2:4.
True obedience is born out of a heart broken by love not out of scaring someone into “fire insurance.” It is love alone that can make a person feel safe enough to lower the walls down from around their heart and move into empathy. True conviction has to have the element of empathy for it is then that we see how our actions have hurt others, we move out of selfishness and can begin embracing steps of humility! Even to the point of seeing our need for a Savior.
A loving father is one who sets boundaries for his children, gives them free choice but also does not rescue them from the consequences of their actions. He never devalues, demeans or belittles, and it is certainly not his heart to pour out his wrath on his disobedient children.
God is well able to be the mature one in our relationship with Him, to take the high road, not being childish or petty. He is not threatened by ways we are still selfish and immature. He rejoices over us with joy and singing (Zephaniah 3:17) and His banner over us is love (Song 2:4).
Twice Blessed says
Great message. A word in season. Well worth chewing on. Blessings.
Mark Jarvis says
Hebrews 12:28-29 teaches, “…we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For God is a consuming fire.”
Please do a devotion on this text.
The more I’ve realized God’s love and acceptance for me the more I’ve wanted to know Him. When I was afraid of God’s punishment for not measuring up, I wanted to just escape Him. I despise the teachings that would say you have to be good enough because they steal a person from true intimacy with God. It’s ubsurd to say that we have anything at all to give to Him. We have nothing to give Him and it’s not even possible to live up to the law (spiritual but I am carnal, Romans). The more I understand grace the more I’ve wanted to pursue the Father.
Dallas Willard said it well ‘Grace is not opposed to effort. It is opposed to earning. Effort is action. Earning is attitude. You have never seen people more active than those who have been set on fire by the grace of God. Paul, who perhaps understood grace better than any other mere human being, looked back at what had happened to him and said: “By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” (I Cor. 15:10)’
Jesus saw the hearts of the “religious” people who would try to keep the letter of the law but did not have any idea about the spirit of God’s laws.
Read Romans: There is now no condemnation to those who is in Christ Jesus because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Jesus came to make a way for God to forgive our sin and through him the love relationship that God intended in the Garden of Eden can be restored when we accept God’s son’s gift to us.
When our earthly children’s behavior is destructive, we have a reason to be angry, but we never stop loving them. It takes time to discipline (actively teach our children) and many parents don’t want to take that time. There are logical consequences to sin, but God’s love for us never changes. He never leaves us.
Wow, this really is a good word Robert. I thank God for his unmerited favor in my life. It really motivates me to press on to the mark of the high calling. If it depended on me, I would have given up a long time ago. You and Cyndi keep on keeping on because you are a blessing to the body of Christ!!