Monday, June 20, 2016

God Doesn't Abandon His Children

I often wonder why God chose me. I don't have much to offer in terms of success or fame, and my track record hasn't been stellar. I probably wrecked our fellowship more than helped it when I was in college. I often struggle to run to God for help. I'm a slow learner and mover. And I often question why God would even want me, with all my faults, mistakes, and quirks.

There's been a history of people walking out of my life, and of all living beings, the God of the Universe should have every right to walk out the door with them. In my self-depricating, pessimistic view, what do I have that would compel God to stay?

But that's the wrong question.

What did God do to ransom sin-sick orphans to Himself? He gave everything.

In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ...” (Ephesians 1:4b-5a) We were orphans, but God adopted us through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

This is why I wept this past Thursday.

In DiscipleMakers, as we promote our staff, we encourage and honor them in front of the whole team. It's an incredible honor. I found out two weeks ago that I was to be promoted. Now, promotions in our ministry aren't like that of the secular workforce. But it does mean I will be entrusted with more responsibility, the reward of faithful stewards.

However, when I found out, after my initial excitement, I was subdued. One of my deep fears was I would get up there, and everyone else would look at me and say, “Why is he there? He's not supposed to be there, what were you thinking!?”

After I and a few others were recognized, we prayed. And the men who prayed for us were men who had invested deeply in me, even when it probably seemed like I was a lost cause. Every reason to walk out on me. And they didn't. They didn't give up when I gave them every reason to. And as we prayed, I realized something else: I gave Jesus every reason to walk out on me...and He refused.

Instead, He began the slow, painful, glorifying process of sanctification, not only affirming my sonship, but making me more and more into the man I am supposed to be, which will culminate in Glory. I'm not the wayward orphan I was in the summer of 2005. I am a valuable son of God.

This is why I wept. My life experience has been that I need to prove myself to find love. And here I was again, feeling this deep inadequacy that I had no right to be honored like this. But God didn't give up on me, doing much to change me over the past ten and a half years. And slowly, surely, I'm reflecting just a bit more of the image of Jesus. And He's not leaving me, ever. He committed to me to the point of death.

God doesn't abandon His children. He's committed to working deeply in our hearts. And even when we don't measure up, God reminds us that our status in the family had nothing to do with our efforts. It has everything to do with what He has done.