“I don’t deserve your grace & love.”
He was a leader in the church. He helped start his own campus ministry. Many people looked up to him. But, somehow he found himself participating in sexual touching with a girl whom he had led to Christ.
He dealt with the spiritual consequences of this sexual act by accusing her of her part before God and forgiving her and confessing his part. He still had to deal with the claims and bonds that had been formed, but he found it extremely difficult to ask for forgiveness for the sins he had just confessed. This was not the “worst” sin that he would go on to commit, but it felt especially vile considering his position of leadership in the church. There was much weeping.
He was believing a lie. “I don’t deserve your grace and love.” He knew that this wasn’t true, that God’s grace and love were free through faith, but he didn’t believe it in his heart. He felt like his hypocrisy was too much.
Being able to recognize it as a lie in his head, he rejected it. But, he was unable to change his heart about it so he asked God to break the power of the lie in his life. God did. He asked God to give him a truth to replace the lie.
He saw his Heavenly Father putting his arms around him. His Father spoke to him, “It’s okay. I have forgiven you. You’re carrying too much burden. I can lift it up.”
This imagery of a loving Father was new for him. He had no concept or picture in his mind of God as Father until this moment, only Jesus as Lord. He was able to accept God’s forgiveness because he was God’s son and did not have to question if his sin changed his status before God.
A slave approaching a master would have to worry about their status before him after messing up, but a son doesn’t need to question whether or not they are still accepted.
Many of us have struggled with, or are struggling with the concept of God being our Father. Usually, this is because of the distortion that has been taught to us about what a father is supposed to look like. Have you ever wondered why we prefer to approach God as “Lord” in prayer, even though the Scriptures teach us to approach Him as “Father?” What does the term “Lord” imply to you? Is it intimate, close and cuddly? When it comes to the deep secrets from our past, it can make all the difference in the world to approach God as “Father” instead of as “Lord.” We need a revelation of our Heavenly Father.
I hope this story helps you have hope. Maybe you’re in some deep sin that you don’t want anyone to know about. Maybe you are living a hypocrite’s life and it’s eating away at you. You are still God’s son or daughter. You can still approach him.
PS. I’m not dissing on Jesus and I’m not saying the term “Lord” isn’t appropriate for Him. I believe there is a time and a place to focus on the different aspects of how God has chosen to reveal Himself.