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Friday, May 1, 2009

I Only Have Good in Mind for You

This is Part Five in my series on Trust - please read the rest of the posts here:

Part One - "Waking Up to our Need for God"
Part Two - "Lean Into God"
Part Three - "It is Well"
Part Four - "Understanding God's Plan"

I Only Have Good in Mind for You
If there is any obstacle to our trust in God that is universal it is that we struggle with trusting in His love for us. For some this struggle comes from their own insecurities, for others this struggle comes from their life experience of not being able to trust their parents or others in their lives, for others it is a lack of trust that comes from their experience with the Church growing up. Either way this lack of trust in God's love will undoubtedly eat away at us and in time our faith in God, ourselves, and others will decay.

The great lie that Satan has been telling us since the fall of man is that God is holding out on us, that he is hiding something from us, that he is using us, that he doesn't really care, that he wants us to suffer, that he likes seeing us struggle, and the list goes on. Picture the scene in the Garden of Eden. How did the serpent get Eve to eat the apple? The same way he gets us to sin or to stop trusting God’s will in our lives. By placing doubt there, by making us question God’s love for us.

I can imagine the conversation:

“So Eve, I see you are eating of the fruit of all of these trees but that one. Why don’t you try the fruit on that tree? It looks so good.”

Eve replies, “Because Adam said that God told us not to eat of the tree of knowledge. So we don’t eat of that one, but we can eat everything else.”

Here comes old slimy again, “How do you know that God told Adam that? Are you sure Adam is telling the truth? And even if he is telling the truth, why do you think God would want you not to eat of that tree?”

Eve retorts uncomfortably, “Well because he said it wouldn’t be good for us

Cut off by the serpent, “I see, God doesn’t want you to have it all, he doesn’t want you to be truly happy. He knows that this tree is the one that gives you power, and control, and enjoyment. I mean Eve you agree that the fruit on that tree does look really, really, really, really delectable right?”

“Well, it does look pretty good.”

“Then why would God not let you eat of it, I mean he does want you to be happy right? He does want you to enjoy things, and you agree that this fruit looks so good. The only thing I can think is that God doesn’t truly love you. If he truly loved you he wouldn’t hold out on you, he wouldn’t keep you from true enjoyment.”

And with that sin entered the world.

Man has been falling into this same trap ever since. It is our doubt in God’s true and undying love for us that causes us to mistrust him and to sin. It is the basic human condition. I can see it already in my daughter. She is only seventeen months old and yet she can’t fathom why I don’t want her to have my coffee. She’ll shout, “Hot!” but then she still reaches out for it and whines for it. I can imagine her thoughts,
“If it isn’t good for me to have then why do you and Mommy seem so happy when you are drinking it, and why are you pining for coffee the rest of the day when you don't drink it?”
Are we not the same with God?

Why can’t I have this?
Why can’t I do that?
Why don’t you let me have fun?
Why do I have to struggle?
Why am I so broke?
Why can’t I get that job?

Yet God is crying out in answer to us, “I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU! I want only good for you. I have only good things in mind for you.” When we doubt God we mistrust his love for us, we mistrust his desire for our good. Even most of our sin has to do with mistrust of God’s love for us. Since sin is basically nothing more than taking what we want rather than receiving the gift that God has for us.

Since that very moment of the fall, God has been desperately trying to join man back to himself. Look all through scripture and you will find a God saying, I love you, TRUST IN ME!

Today look at your relationship with God and your life. Are you truly trusting in His will, in His plan? Do you truly believe in your heart of hearts that God has only good in mind for you?