We all have a spiritual need to be loved–to be accepted. When we don’t know God intimately through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we may seek approval in multiple ways:
1) Gain Approval
What can I do for you?
2) Win Approval
What can I do for me?
3) Demand Approval
Using force or control
4) Steal Approval
Through lies and deception
Here is the Good News—when you come to Christ you are reconciled to Father God and are accepted in the Beloved. Eternally accepted and approved.
John 1:12 “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”
Ephesians 1:5 “He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
Romans 15:7 “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”
If you do not encounter the love of God you will live as an orphan. But Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” The very core of my identity, the core of my existence is being the beloved—we are sons and daughters. When you see yourself as a son or daughter your behavior changes without receiving any rules. The power of God’s love is amazing!
More and more, the motivation for what I do is my love for the Father. I want to honor Him. I want to share His love. We have a perfect Father in heaven and perfect love casts out fear. The Father is never looking to punish me, He is looking to empower me.
If you live with unshakable joy you are experiencing the unbreakable love of God the Father. This love has the power to crush lies and false beliefs. This love has the power to set you free from the grip of sin. This love has the power to correct sexual orientation, and the power to demolish rebellious desires and behaviors.
Is your obedience motivated by duty or intimacy? Failure to keep the Lord’s commands is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. The real issue in disobedience is a relationship problem–do you have a relationship with God? Are you growing in intimacy with God? If we wrestle with being consistent in our obedience, the remedy for the problem is to love Him more, seek Him more, talk to Him more, praise Him more, thank Him more! How do we grow in our love for our Heavenly Father? To know Him is to love Him.
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
This isn’t Jesus asking you to do a favor for him—what He is saying is that if you know Him you will fall in love with Him and have an overwhelming desire to follow Him.
If you see His extravagant grace and tender mercy working in your life—if He has revealed Himself to you in His word, in prayer, in your circumstances, in the circumstances of those around you—if the love of the love of the Father has melted your heart, you will burn for Him and desire to be like Him.
1 John 5:3-4 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.”
When asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. Matthew 22:36-38
When asked which is the greatest commandment God has given, Jesus said to love Him. A person’s love for God is directly proportionate to their knowledge of Him. This is why knowing Him intimately is everything.
Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Isaiah 43:1b,2,3a,4a “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.”
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.