God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. I John 1:5b
There is much about God we cannot fully understand. He is holy, set apart, our Creator. Even spending eternity with Him, we will always have more to learn about Him.
Yet much of His truth could be no more simple, like loving God means obeying Him. I John 5:3 says:
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
And loving God means putting Him and His plans first. Exodus 20:3 says:
“You shall have no other gods before me.”
Who couldn’t explain these concepts easily using a parent/child relationship as an example? Still, these very truths can be a lifelong struggle to really believe and then to follow.
Sin has so tainted our hearts so that the very God that made us and loves us most could not seem more foreign. I think of Peeta in the Hunger Games. He was captured by the enemy and brainwashed into believing his friends and cause were actually evil. When Peeta returns to his fellow rebels, he seethes with hatred toward them. He must be restrained to not injure himself and others in his anger. Even after much time, he realizes that he can’t trust his own “memories” and insights and needs help discerning what is true or false.
Isn’t that how we act like toward God, our Creator? How we fight Him! We are so sure He can’t be trusted, He’s withholding the best from us. We are the ones confused! We have been fed lies since birth and believe them so easily because of this sin nature we all inherit. We can see the effects of our sin nature even in babies and toddlers!
So what do we do? We go to God’s Word and we learn what is true. We find what seems foreign, or unbelievable, or too good to be true… and we soak ourselves in it until we can believe it. We help those around us remember what’s true and accept the correction we often need ourselves.
God works miracles in these hearts of ours. Nothing is hopeless or impossible with Him. He takes the dead soil of our sinful hearts, radiated and sick, and replaces it with healthy soil. His Word adds nutrients and His Spirit water until one day we see a small sprout appear. With time He fashions a beautiful garden that brings us and those around us great joy. And our enemy can’t touch it…I love that part. He sure does try to intimidate us with his acid rain and nearby nuclear explosions! God always protects what He grows. Every flower, every tree testifies to the eternal hope we have in Him.
So we choose day to day to believe the One that loves us most, that heals our wounds and turns the impossible into daily realities. We remind ourselves of truth over and over until it becomes permanent in our minds. We sit at the feet of Jesus as often as we can and we listen and soak in His love for us. We believe what God says and look for the amazing ways He works to bring life and hope and healing. We say, “Yes, Lord” and obey Him. And in that place of complete submission and obedience and trust, we find everlasting joy.