Finding freedom from performing and coming into intimacy is at the heart of experiencing God’s love, life, and joy. Let’s consider how this works.
The enemy is described as “the father of lies” in John 8:44. He constantly lies to us about God’s character, His plan, and His purposes for our life. And these lies can cause serious consequences in our lives.
If the enemy of our souls can convince us that God has rejected us, is upset with us, or has withdrawn from us, he knows we will hide from God and try to live our lives performing well enough to earn His love.
But when we are performing there is no intimacy. Our Christian life becomes an act or duty. So where did these feelings of God not accepting us come from? If we know that God loves us unconditionally, why are we trying to act right, dress right, do right to keep Him happy? Why can’t we just simply receive His love?
If you think of your actions of performing or striving as “fruit” on a tree, then you can look underground and find the “root” — the “why” to why you act this way. To get a better picture of this, here’s one of my stories.
When I was in the fifth grade I used to like a certain boy. He was redheaded, blue-eyed and I thought he was cute. I wrote a little “love” poem for him. As we kids did back in the day before texting, we passed notes in class. So during one study hall when all the students were quietly working, I passed it forward to him and waited.
As I was expecting to see him turn around in his chair and give me some little wink or sign of approval, much to my horror, he rose from his seat with the unfolded piece of paper and proceeded to read my poem aloud to the entire class in a mocking way. Stupefied, my face turned red as a beet and, wishing I could ball up as a dust bunny and hide under my desk, I felt so embarrassed. Surviving somehow, when it was all over I felt empty and dead inside. And really, something did die — my emotions. Right there, in Ms. Boree’s fifth-grade homeroom class, I vowed to never reveal my feelings like that again. And a lie from the enemy got planted, yes, rooted in my heart back then — expressing feelings, being vulnerable is painful. Don’t do it. It hurts too much.
Relating to God
So as I grew up, sharing my heart, my emotions, became shoved down and “performing” and working hard became my standard. This is how I expressed love to God. It was easier to “do right” (my duty) than to open up to love and intimacy. This “root’ lie from the fifth grade was causing me to put away all my emotions, stop feeling and just “do.” Besides, God didn’t need all my “feelings” to be expressed anyway, did He? Aren’t we just supposed to be obedient to His commandments?
But intimacy and love is what we were created for. We were created in God’s image, and God is love. (I John 4:20)
My duties and performing acts were my “fruit” revealing a “root” hidden below. But the truth is, I don’t have to do anything to please Him, He loves me just as I am.
“There is nothing you can do to cause God to love you any more than He does right now. And there is nothing you can do to cause God to love you any less.”
Working hard for God and performing doesn’t earn His love. His love is already there for us to receive.
God is a Lover, Not a Liar
Father God is a lover; He is intimate. And He sent His Son, Jesus, to restore us back to that intimacy with the Father. (John 14:6) Scriptures remind us that He has loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3), so let’s not allow the enemy to steal, kill and destroy us by using the hurts of the past to fill us with lies and stop us from loving Him and revealing His love to others. Let’s be willing to see any “bad fruit” in our lives and pull up those roots so we will not miss out on the joy of deep, intimate communion with Father God.