Posted by: DCox | December 6, 2008

Exposed by the Father’s Heart

The Father (God) reveals our brokenness and wrong mindedness to us so that we draw near to Him, to His loving heart, as a response to the wonder of being accepted and loved unconditionally.  However, it can all go wrong.  We can be so accustomed to the messages we have heard all of our lives, that instead of clinging to the Father, we run.  We run because we are aware of our sin and wounds.  They tell us “I am not worthy of the Father”.  Shame and fear tell us that the Father can’t accept us. We create what Baxter Kruger calls a ‘mythological god’ that reflects back to us our own thinking.  We believe that God can’t accept us, or can’t accept us until … and that becomes our god.  For the non-believer, this misunderstanding of who God is can separate him/her from the Father’s good heart.  For the believer, it can result in attempting to earn God’s acceptance and love. 

Here’s a excerpt from Baxter Kruger’s Across All Worlds: Jesus Inside Our Darkness that is worth the read:

Jesus does not come to us as an abstract idea that we can think about in our leisure. He does not come to us as an idea at all. He comes as a person – beautiful, free, and alive in the joy of the Father’s embrace. He comes as the one anointed in the Spirit. Such beauty, such freedom, such life disturbs us to the core of our being. How could it not? For he finds us in our darkness. He is the other in our lives who will not go away, the other whose presence quickens us with hope and rocks our illusory world. For in his presence we feel loved and wayward at the same time.

Herein lies the crisis of our existence. Jesus Christ loves us too much to leave us lost and doomed in our mythology. Yes his presence inevitably exposes our living as bound in darkness and death. His sharing his mind with us sets a new world before us, confronting us with a breathtaking vision of his Father and of ourselves and others. This vision searches through our souls, faithfully revealing both that we are loved and cherished and included, and that we are a long way from living in the joy of the Father’s embrace.

Such exposure hurts like hell. Jesus, of course, intends no harm. The crucible of his presence is intended to awaken us, to give us solid hope, and to summon us to respond with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  … p 52

There is another, however, who drafts behind the shafts of Jesus’ light, exploiting its authority and the pain of its exposure. This ‘other’ turns the command of the Father’s heart from astonished and joyous freedom into fearful condemnation. … Having no power of his own, the evil one uses the power of Jesus’ penetrating revelation to preach his own dastardly sermon, weaving a spell of ontological condemnation out of the truth’s exposure of our darkness.

In his passionate love Jesus has slipped through the smoke screens and found you in your own fallen mind. The presence in your darkness of the Son who knows his Father is a recipe both for liberation and for serious pain – and not one without the other. The Son intends your pain to convince you that there is a very real problem, thereby engaging you in personal deliverance. But there is one who exploits Jesus’ good will and his inescapable presence. The evil one takes your pain, the redemptive pain that cuts you to the quick when Jesus shares his Father’s love with you, and he uses that pain to whisper condemnation.  Whispering… You are not acceptable. You are not loved, not included, not special.  He turns family embarrassment into shame. He confirms the mythological deity out of the hurt caused by Jesus’ knowledge of the Father’s heart.

Do you see what is happening? Jesus’ unearthly assurance touches our profound insecurity. It is the whiteness of his Father’s forgiveness itself that makes us feel the darkness of our guilt. The incongruence is intended to send us running to the Father’s arms for our healing. If we knew the Father’s heart, if we believed in His lavish forgiveness, then the exposure of our darkness would function as a command, freeing us to stand and bring our guilt and fear and insecurity to be bathed in the Father’s love. But the accuser is waiting for such a moment. He takes our insecurity and guilt and fear and twists them into a false god. As the Father’s face is tarred with our guilt, as His eyes are painted with our fear, the watching, eager judge is born in the corners of our soul. … p 55-56

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