“She hoped to please him by working like a slave when all he wanted was her love.”
That’s a quote from Redeeming Love, a novel by Francine Rivers. The book is about (don’t worry, no spoilers here, simply giving the overview that’s already at the back of the book) a Christian man who’s told by God to marry a prostitute. At the part of the book that’s quoted, Angel (the prostitute) is already married to Michael (the Christian man) and she basically tries to please him and make up for her wrongs by doing chores. She didn’t realise that he already loved her more than anything (except God of course), and that was never going to change.
When I read that part, it really made me stop and think for a bit.
Wow Chidera, that’s how you are with God.
A lot of times, even though I know that’s not the way to handle it, I think I can earn God’s forgiveness by doing certain things. I may go several days without properly digging into the Word and I feel super guilty. Then I make the decision to be more consistent with my quiet time with God, and when that works out and I feel like I’ve accomplished something, and I’m now in God’s “good books” again.
Don’t get me wrong, God is certainly more pleased with you when you spend more time with Him, because He wants a deep and intimate relationship with you. But you not spending time with Him doesn’t change the love He has for you.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below - indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Romans 8:38-39
And yeah, I know what you’re thinking. It’s easy to read the above scripture and believe it in your head, but to actually believe it in your heart is kinda difficult.
How can someone so powerful and perfect and flawless, love me, so sinful?
How can He love me regardless, even when I sin against Him? When I ignore His calls to fellowship with me, or His convictions when I’m straying further away from Him by the things I do? The answer is: it’s impossible for man, but possible for God. We only fail to understand God’s love for us because we try to understand it through a human’s perspective. God isn’t human. Not even remotely. He is perfect, and the definition of love. God. Loves. Me. God loves me more in a moment than anyone could in a lifetime. And nothing I do can change that.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.
- Galatians 2:20-21
So basically me trying to earn God’s love by keeping the law is basically me saying that Jesus dying was a waste of time. Which it most definitely wasn’t. PSA: this does NOT mean that we can do whatever we want to do knowing that God will still love us.
Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realise that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.
- Romans 4:15-16
God’s grace should not be an excuse for us to sin, but that's an entirely new post on its own.
All in all, remember that GOD LOVES YOU. He really really really does. Oh, and y’all should definitely read Redeeming Love, it’s an amazing book.