There’s an aspect of the Fatherhood of God that we often miss. Probably because it’s so foreign to us, so unnatural – but I think it’s something He is eager for us to know about Him. God is not selfish. He’s not self-seeking or looking to pull one over on you. 1 Corinthians 13 says that He is patient, kind, does not envy, or boast, and is not proud. He does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs. He rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Your translation will have the word love instead of God in this passage, but it has a different application when you plug God’s Name in there. He is love, and He is all these things. Memorize this passage with His Name in there and write it on your heart.

There’s a lot of instruction in your Bible – a lot of suggestions for things you can do to experience God’s Kingdom and live in freedom. There’s no law in the New Testament, praise God. But there are still lots of instructions for holy living. The thing we need to remember is that these instructions are not for God’s benefit – He’s not requiring this of us for His gain. He only offers them out of an immense desire to see us benefit. It’s for us, not for Him. I think we often see an instruction from God like a parent saying “clean your room!” or maybe “clean your room and I’ll give you some ice cream!”. The truth is, this good, good Father is saying “here’s some ice cream!”. His instruction is the reward for us. It sounds crazy, but stick with me. God never asks us to do something that doesn’t bring us closer to freedom and intimacy with Him. If He asks you to write a generous check to – I don’t know, let’s say your favourite blogger 😉, when you obey that prompting you’re rewarded in your spirit. If He asks you to turn away from a destructive habit, and you obey, your reward is that you are no longer being destroyed by that habit. You’ll find new freedom and opportunities that weren’t there before. Your obedience is the reward. God’s ask of you is never for His benefit, it’s for your freedom. There are numerous places in scripture where God warns us to guard our thoughts, to keep a positive mindset. He wants us to have positive thoughts, for our benefit. He sees how vital it is to our health, how dangerous it is to spiral into a sea of negative thoughts. Author and teacher Graham Cooke says that if it doesn’t set you free it’s not truth. That’s a brilliant measuring stick when you’re weighing a thought. Does it bring freedom? If not then it doesn’t get to stay.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve worked really hard to get rid of a negative mindset about a circumstance you can’t change. Like shovelling during an endless snowfall, you keep faithfully rejecting the nagging voice inside that has nothing good to say, and turn to your bible or music or positive affirmations scribbled on a worn index card. How’s that working for you? Exhausted yet? Beloved, that snow you’re shovelling has turned into solid ice. Shovel all you want but it’s not budging. What you need is a big strong pickaxe to come and smash that thing to bits. Then, and only then, will it be small and light enough to throw over your shoulder and out of sight.

That pickaxe is only going to come from one place, and God hands them out freely. You need to go from good thoughts to God thoughts. God thoughts carry power and authority that can’t be ignored. His Word never returns void. If you’re desperate for a change, present it to God. Ask Him what He thinks about it. Ask Him what He sees when He looks at you, or at the person that wounded you, or at this circumstance that’s holding you back. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you through this situation. Ask, and then wait. Wait expectantly. Wait confidently. He is faithful to answer – and when He does, what was standing in the way will be obliterated.

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