Can I give you ride home, girl?
The question was an offer she wanted to be received, which I also needed. I was dependent on someone to give me a ride home and she wanted to but I still needed to say “yes,” to say that I would step into that care and go with her! How many of God’s offers are like that? We have to say “yes” to enjoy them.
Too often we don’t get the deal. We try to shrug off truly acknowledging our dependence on what He offers. But we can’t have the latter without the former. Since when does a child ever get the benefits of their relationship with the father if they refuse they act like the child they are? Isn’t it necessary for a child to relate to his father in humility–recognizing the nature of the relationship–for the relationship to truly be enjoyed? Isn’t there tension when roles and boundaries are ignored–when people disregard the way things are designed to work–not just between children and parents, but employees and bosses, student and teacher, husband and wife?
You may not believe that each of these relationships is role-defined. You may be conscious of many places where the ordering of things is not consistent with what I’ve said above: there are parents who don’t believe that such expectations are fitting with the positive rearing of their children; there are teachers who value free expression more than pushing their students toward positive moral development; there are employees who believe there should be no delineation between them and “the boss”; and lastly, their are husband and wife teams who do not consent to the idea of role-distinctions and the limitations that come with them.
I recognize this. But, I would like to point out one special point that still fits into all of this: What you or I believe may be relative to us, but in relation to God it is insignificant–leaving no relevant imprint on reality–if it does not agree with what He truly is and does. In terms of our relationship with Him, our thoughts are in error–no matter how central they are to our perceptions of life–if they take our side into account without considering His side–even if it does not support our side.
We may be fine with children getting all the benefits of relationship without any real responsibility to the parent. Yet our assent is of no real concern if God has contrary thoughts. Why? Well, in the case of us and God, He is the Father we are the children. In our part on earth as parents, we raise our offspring according to our philosophy. In the same way, God “raises” His creators (who owe Him life) His way. Regardless of whether we’re willing to function as obedient children, we cannot change how He has chosen to “parent” us. His way has the final say in this.
We may choose to rebel, but if we do, we cannot expect to enjoy relationship. By the very nature He has given it, rebellion breaks the possibility of relationship. We have been given the freedom to say “no” in our disinterest but, should we expect God to dishonor the freedom-gift He has given us and still respond to us as though there were nothing wrong? No, surely He sees the obstacle of our disdain before His face whenever He looks at us. There is no avoiding it.
If the rift between you and God concerns you, realize that for it to be mended, you must turn and agree to bring yourself in line (or be brought in line by God) with how He operates. To have relationship with Him, it is imperative that we value what makes the relationship what it is. We can return to the Father-Daughter/Son relationship by receiving the welcome of His First Son. Jesus has been given authority by the Father to reconcile us to relationship with Him. The Son took on all the offenses that were racked against our names and brought reproach to His name before the Father. He received punishment so that we might receive the grace that would make us beloved children of the Father in right relationship once more. Do you want that?