“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” –John 14:6
There is not a good deed, a job well done, a self-sacrifice, or a self-condemnation that can cover our sin. There’s not a fig leaf fancy enough that can atone. It is God alone. His boundless love for us propels Him to relentlessly pursues us. He can’t help but to call for us. Our job, our sacrifice, is to humbly accept His offer of forgiveness and allow Him to restore all that we have forfeited.
He can & He does!
Moses murdered a man. David had an affair, got the girl pregnant, and then had her husband killed. King Nebuchadnezzar, of Babylon, was an arrogant and bloodthirsty man. He liked to watch people burn alive! Peter walked side-by-side with Jesus, his friend, and still denied Him when things got a little scary.
God passionately pursued them all. When a heart repents and turns from wrong, God restores. God gives new hearts.
After 40 years of living a quiet hidden life, stripped of all titles, Moses was chosen to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. God even allowed Moses to see His glory. God sheltered Moses in the cleft of a rock, because our physical selves cannot handle the weight of His full majesty, but God still allowed Moses this intimate moment. He was Moses the murderer, but now he is Moses the forgiven and the redeemed.
There were some tough consequences for David’s sins, but there was also amazing redemption. When David repented, God continued to bless him with many victories. David, a mighty king, was named by God with an honorary title, “a man after God’s own heart.”
God loved the wicked King Nebuchadnezzar so much that He stripped him of every earthly blessing, all his social status and his power, to get his focus on what is truth. Through the storm of losses, God already had a plan in place for Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom to be restored. After 7 years of eating dirt this earthly king lifted his eyes to heaven, and then his “understanding returned”.
“My reason returned to me… Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.” – Daniel 4:36-37
Can you see now? Do you realize that you and I are not so special that God cannot redeem us too? It’s pure arrogance to think we’re beyond His reach. But do you also understand just how uniquely valuable we are?
“Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”” –Genesis 3:9
God came walking in the garden like He did every day. God already knew the choice that Adam and Eve had made, the choice to ignore His warning, the warning any loving parent would give a child, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat,”. God tried to protect them from harm, but instead they chose to listen to the voice that led them to believe a lie. Thinking God was holding out on them, they reached for what appeared better than what they already had, and they ate. Their eyes were opened. That voice did not tell a complete lie, because now they did understand more than they had before, now they knew the weight of shame.
So often we trade the whole garden for the knowledge of shame.
Shame’s voice always sounds just like the voice that reasoned us away from God in the first place – the voice of the thief. The thief’s voice also mocks us after we concede to his tempting. Why does he temp us? It is his hatred for God not his want for us. God loves us, so the thief reaches to take from God what God holds so dear – YOU!
But God already had a plan in place to free Adam, Eve, and all of us who’ve been tempted and shamed. The very moment He comes calling, “Where are you?” He’s ready to show us the way back to fellowship with Him.
“But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Rom. 5:8, (amp)
“Where are you?”
At one tree we picked shame up. At another tree we can lay shame down.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” ~ Jesus
Are you ready for a new heart? Are you ready to drop your fig leaf?
It doesn’t cover much anyway!
God already knows where you are. Nothing is hidden from Him. Love stands waiting for you. Are you ready to follow the voice of truth?
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” – John 3:17
Jesus left heaven for you!
We’re not so special yet we’re so uniquely valuable. So let’s drop our fig leafs and come home.
Are you ready yet? Are you ready to allow God to restore all that’s been forfeited?
~ A big thank you to my editor, Kimberly Wyse. I could not be so clear without her.