By Paige Hunt
As my glorious husband Josh has articulated, to experience Daddy God’s love, it is important we view life through the lavish unmerited favour and unconditional tenderness of our Daddy.
“See yourself from God’s perspective. Like in the making of a movie, where scenes can be shot using different cameras or lenses from various view points, see yourself from God’s viewpoint, through God’s lens. Go through the day conscious of how your heavenly Daddy sees you!”
To conclude our series, I want to share with you two more practical points to encourage you to engage with and experience Daddy’s intimate, fuzzy love towards you daily.
1. Christ is your life (Colossians 3:3-4)
I am repeating my previous two points from Part four of this series, to encourage you to define your life by Christ rather than the world’s systems, even though the world’s methods sometimes seem to offer a promising path to success.
“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” – James 5:13
Throughout the book of James, he is speaking to people who are rich in the things of the world and therefore don’t see any need to enjoy and engage with the reality of Christ as their life (see also Revelation 3:17). They are happy with the world: to them, the world is their life, their circumstances and experiences are their life, and their social status is their life. Little by little, this can happen to anyone. It has happened to me before, and I bet it happens to you, maybe even daily. We begin to add in a pinch of salty legalism and a bit of spicy performance, and before we know it, the subtle deceptiveness of that inferior way of living has ensnared us; and our emotions, following worldly performance mentalities and self-efforts, portray God as a caricature of how well we think we are doing. If we are performing well, we feel God’s love, but if we are performing poorly, we feel that God is angry and distant. We begin to live in the world’s mindset, where our performance qualifies or dis-qualifies us from the blessings of perfection and heaven to whatever degree, and we water down our theology and our Christ accordingly.
Paul speaks strongly against this in Galatians:
“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?… So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?” – Galatians 3:1-2, 5
In the Mirror Bible, Francois du Toit translates articulates this well:
“Galatians! Galatians! Have you completely lost your common sense? Can’t you see how the law bewitched you and blurred your vision to distort the revelation of what the cross of Christ accomplished in you? This was so clearly predicted in Scripture. How could you not be persuaded by the truth?
Please would you reason with me on this one issue; on what basis did you receive the Holy Spirit? Are we talking gift or reward here? What kind of message ignites faith? What a condemned sinner and failure you are as revealed in the law, or what God believes to be true about you, as revealed in the Gospel? Let’s not confuse law with Grace…
Would you accredit what you have received from God to something you did, or to something you have heard? Did God reward you for your high moral standards when He worked extravagant miracles in you and lavished his Spirit upon you; or did it perhaps have anything to do with the content of the revelation of the message of grace that you have heard?…” – Galatians 1:1-2, 5a-b (Mirror Word)
The people described in the book of James were depending on the world and its performance mentalities, rather than on Christ’s love and grace, to live successful lives full of abundance, and they were bewitched into thinking that was God’s rhythm of life. Although it seemed to be sort-of working for them, the problem with this lifestyle is that it is shakable and insecure. The systems of this world, based on self-efforts, puny deceptions, and performance mentalities, do not point you to the greatest news – the truth of who you are and what you have in Jesus Christ: the truth of Daddy’s love for his children!
In the world, you have wages which you earn, not a vast inheritance which Daddy has freely given to you because you are loved, highly favored and unconditionally worthy to the core. The world’s way is ‘do, do, do’, but God’s way through Jesus Christ is ‘done, done, done’. As we enjoy Daddy’s love and grace, we live in a world of freedom and abundant provision. Deuteronomy 6:10-11 pictures the kingdom of God this way:
“The Lord your God brings you….a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied”
Under God’s grace, our lives flow with abundant provision. All the people written about in the book of James had to do was give up the world’s legalistic mentality, and enjoy the authentic life of their design. That is the only way to live a sustainable life of blessing and favour. The world promises much but provides not even a trickle of what we have been freely given through Christ Jesus.
The world’s style of living is defined by Bill Gillham as ‘the flesh’.
“Flesh refers to the old ways or patterns by which you have attempted to get all your needs supplied’ – Bill Gillham ‘Lifetime Guarantee’
The flesh is completely self-motivated, and rather than being empowered and motivated by Daddy God’s love and grace, it is all about ‘do good, get good’ and ‘do bad, get bad’. So, thus, you end up with two types of flesh. ‘Bad flesh’ is the way that you feel when you don’t measure up: doomed, condemned, rubbish and inferior. You begin to live like you are poor, though you are rich (Revelation 2:9). ‘Good flesh’, on the other hand, is when in your own eyes you feel you are doing pretty well being self-dependent and self-conscious. This leads to pride in a distorted, unsustainable identity. It also leads to arrogance and a host of other negative thought patterns.
Both good flesh and bad flesh subtly keep you on the tiresome performance and comparison treadmill to gain favor in the world, and Christ becomes of no effect in your life. You don’t access your glorious inheritance, or the free gifts of Daddy’s love which he bestows upon you daily! (Psalm 68:19).
“You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” -Galatians 5:4
Why would you want to live in a way that has you shaken up and tossed around by circumstances, experiences, and memories, when you can live in the freedom of experiencing every blessing through Christ, and know and depend on the love that God has for us (1 John 4:16)?
This is why James exhorts those types of people to:
“…purify your hearts, you double-minded” – James 4:8
The Greek word for heart here is ‘kardia’, and one definition for it is ‘mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts’, and ‘the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence’. Therefore, God is telling them to renew their minds to who they are and what they have in Christ, because they have an incorruptible richness and fullness of life because of Daddy God’s love.
Living in the free gift of grace, and engaging with Daddy’s unconditional love, is the lifestyle that suits you perfectly. It truly is the abundant life (John 10:10), in which you can access your inheritance all of the time, by God’s unmerited favour. You can live knowing Daddy loves you perfectly at all times, and not just when circumstances seem sunny.
2) Surround yourself with wonder
To encourage yourself in your co-resurrection in Christ and all of its implications and wonders daily, it can be beneficial to surround yourself with things that remind you of Daddy’s love for you. In my room, I have many little items that remind me of God’s cuteness and sweetness; they remind me that Daddy loves me and finds me adorable. Daddy God adores each and every one of us. He finds us cute and funny! Doting on us is His highest priority.
As I mentioned in my last post, it is so easy for our minds to run on auto-pilot, conforming to the pattern of this world, rather than engaging in Daddy’s unconditional unmerited favour and His lavish love (Romans 12:2). Sometimes, just placing specific faith-infusing things around our homes, or carrying with us little items to remind us of God’s love, can help us to become more aware of the wonderful pleasures and delights of His strong affects towards us daily. They can inspire us and encourage us to see ourselves through the lens of the finished work of Jesus – what happened to us in His cross and resurrection, which we were fully included in!
To conclude this point, I would love to share with you a practical exercise that I wrote for our Married to Majesty facebook page. Be blessed!
“Today, why don’t you spend five minutes just resting with Daddy God. Find a comfortable place to sit, and engage your imagination in your Trinity-family, and how much they dote on you and love you (if you are around people all day then go to the bathroom and rest with Jesus there!). During this time, see yourself as the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21),and imagine Holy Spirit hugging you and cherishing you. Learn to encourage yourself with the superior reality of Daddy’s love for you. Learn to associate yourself in Christ’s resurrection, knowing that He IS your life (Colossians 3:3). Then, quietly share what’s on your mind with Daddy God. He loves it when people are simple and honest before him. He’s a perfect, non-judgmental Father, who always accepts and understands. If you are bothered about something, no matter how small and insignificant it may appear to be to the world, then talk about it with Him. No problem is too small for God, and everything about your life is wrapped up in His loving care. If you don’t know what to say, you could thank him for your rich inheritance which is yours to access and enjoy forevermore – once again, this is all about encouraging yourself in Daddy’s love, and getting comfortable being his adorable child. You belong in His household!”
We have a vast and wonderful inheritance. It is beautiful that God wants to share life with us, to carry all of our burdens, and to cause all of our dreams to come true.