“God wants you back.”
God wants you to be a garden person; He wants you to walk with Him, to live in relationship with Him. He wants you to know His love for you.
He wants your life to be the daily outworking of bringing the life of the heavenly realm into the earthly realm: “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). And what is His will? The expression of His life and love on the earth.
This kind of God-life brings life, and joy, and healing.
It brings reconciliation with God.
Another way of saying this is that it brings salvation.
How do we enter this kind of life?
It’s fairly simple, really.
We acknowledge that we do things that separate us from God—the things that are hurtful to ourselves and to others; the things that mess up our lives and make us less and less like God, less and less like Jesus, less and less in harmony with the Holy Spirit.
Those things that are less than fully loving; that produce conflict or argument rather than peace or joy; that arise from impatience, or greed, or envy; that murmur with sounds of gossip or hate or prejudice.
We call those things sin; anything that separates us from God is sin. All those biblical laws people talk about? They were given for the good of the people, and for directing their hearts to God. (There were a few that were concessions to the hardness of the people’s hearts, Jesus taught; but most of them were to teach the people how to live lives that were pleasing to God and that were healthy and wholesome for them and their relationships with others.)
So what do we do with these things that separate us from knowing God? We come to the end of ourselves, and we give them to Him. We ask for forgiveness, which comes through Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross.
That’s an odd idea, isn’t it? The concept of sacrifice for sins is foreign to us in our time. But that’s the plan God made for sin; it was paid for by the sacrifice of animals. It worked that way for centuries; but finally, One sacrifice was made that was found worthy and was pure enough to cover all: Jesus gave Himself for us.
He said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
He is also the Bridge. If we want to get to Father God, we come by way of Christ. He is the means by which we in our humanness can connect with God in His perfection. It is through Jesus that we can know forgiveness; and it is this forgiveness that brings us into right relationship with God.
When we come, finally, to the end of ourselves, He is there.
[As Lent unfolds, we’ll be looking at “Four Little Words that Can Change Your Life,” taken from Colossians 1:20. The first entry in this series was posted on February 28, 2012.]