Do you have unrealistic expectations in life? We are here to listen.
“Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O LORD.” (Psalm 97:8 ESV)
A mother bent over her child who had just snatched a candy bar from the bin in the checkout line. She put the candy back in the box, and in a stern voice instructed him, “It’s wrong to take something without asking permission.”
The child stomped his foot. “But I want it.”
The mother looked her child in the eye and said, “You have to learn that you can’t have everything you want. One of these days you’ll thank me.”
About a month earlier my own grown-up child had thanked me for being a stern but fair parent. He told me that he always knew the rules, even if he didn’t want to obey them, and that he also knew he was loved even when he didn’t follow them. Actions had consequences, but the door to my love and forgiveness never closed. I told him I treated him that way because that is how God treats me.
The people of the Old Testament lived under God’s rules. They expected judgment according to how well they obeyed those rules. But what about us New Covenant Christians? Romans 8:1 says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Later in verses 35 and 36 Paul states that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. That’s true, but condemnation is not the same as judgment. Judgment can be couched in love, just as a loving parent fairly judges a child’s actions against the rules they have set.
God is still our judge. One day we, who have taken the Holy Spirit into our lives by confessing Christ as our Savoir, will be judged (Romans 2:16, 2 Timothy 4:8-11), as will everyone else (1 Peter 4:5). But, does God not also judge us today? Yes, He does. And like Zion, we should rejoice.
God’s judgment comes in the Holy Spirit’s prompting—that small “You better not do that” voice deep in our souls. If we disobey it and fall into sin, His Spirit will keep tapping on our heart of hearts until we come forward, confess and ask for forgiveness through the Blood of Christ.
In the process:
We will have learned Truth.
We will have learned that God is a fair and good judge.
We will have learned obedience and contriteness.
We will have become more in tune to the Holy Spirit’s voice in our lives.
We will be able to witness to others that we are not perfect, but forgiven and they can be as well.
That is something to rejoice about.
Heavenly Father, True and Just God, thank You that You love us and care about us enough to judge our thoughts and actions so we can grow in the knowledge of Your righteousness. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us into truth and for Your Son, Our Savoir, who by His death, made a way for us to kneel before Your throne, ask forgiveness and receive reconciliation. Thank you for giving us the Bible by which we are rightly judged, and for letting us know Your love rules over all your judgments. Amen.
Question – What is your response when you feel God judging your actions?