...at that time you were without Christ, being aliens ... and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. [Yet] before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you... (Ephesians 2:12, Jeremiah 1:5)
I'm still hanging on to and asking God to impress upon me even more deeply the very real truth that when I chose to follow the Lord thirteen years ago, the very act of the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit came to be within me. A difficult thing to comprehend but Jesus and His disciples preached on it...so it's true!
He loved me that much...that He called me and chose to give me His Spirit. He loved me so much that despite my sin and flaws and insecurities and impetuousness, He wanted to call me His child. He sought me even though I wanted no part of Him. He wanted me even though I, in great error, said I believed in God and knew who Jesus was and that was good enough for me. What more did I need? He loved me that much that He wouldn't give up. He was relentless.
When was the last time you knew someone was relentless for your affection? Someone who wouldn't take no for an answer? Wouldn't that be the greatest compliment? But this is the Creator of the universe we're talking about here. The One who wanted my attention and my love, who wants to lavish me with blessings, (real) hope and change, and comfort. To turn that down is inconceivable. This is the Almighty Father we're talking about. The One who holds our eternal security in His hand and offers His free gift of salvation to anyone who is willing to be serious about a relationship with Him.
When He sets His eyes on someone it's a compliment. No, it's greater than that. It's the most incredible honor and privilege. It's from God, our Father. Yet His love must be balanced with His judgment. He WILL discipline if He sees His child straying, losing touch, sinning. He cannot just let it slide. Our lives become lives of God’s workmanship and a little discipline, sometimes a lot, needs to take place for this to continue.
However, He sees what I can be, what He created me to be, even with all my flaws, because He sees me through Jesus and what He did for me by dying on the cross. He loves me that much. He doesn’t look at us as we look at ourselves. Jeremiah told us that before He formed me in my mother’s womb He knew me and sanctified me. He knew that thirteen years ago I would make a change in my life for Him, that He would fill me with His Spirit and begin a work of purification, sanctification, to make me holy. Arrogance? No. It’s God’s promise to me. What matters is not what anyone else thinks of me, but what God thinks of me. And if He sees me as holy, well, who am I to argue? I know I’m not perfect. I know people think I have my flaws, but God does not see me, or anyone who desires relationship with the Lord, in that imperfect state. It’s all too great to comprehend.
When Jesus died on the cross, His blood covered me, and it will for all those who choose to follow hard after Him. That’s why He doesn’t see my imperfection. He sees it through Jesus, our Mediator. How can I explain this? It’s one of those things you just know in your spirit because you have His Spirit within you. We are covered in His love, His blood, if we have faith in Jesus.
He loves me so much that He chose to live in me, His Spirit in me. That's part of His provision. That's why He sticks closer than a brother, why He will never leave me nor forsake me...as long as I continue to trust, believe, obey and love Him. As long as...
It's not a game. You cannot assume that giving your life to Him at one moment in time will forever secure your eternal salvation without some sort of effort on your part to know Him more or seek Him more. You cannot go to church on Sunday and then forget Him the rest of the week. He has chosen us. Remember, it's a privilege. If you have experienced this meeting with the Lord, don't let it slip through your fingers. Also, don't do it just to get someone off your case! Do it with the right heart attitude because God knows who is sincere and who is not.
If you have not had encounter with this God who loves you and longs to put His Spirit within in you for additional wisdom and guidance, ask Him to reveal Himself. If you are serious, He will. He chooses to live in us, to empower us with His Holy Spirit that we might understand scripture in a way we did not before so that we WILL know Him even deeper than we think we do. He desires to live in us, to be near us and to comfort.
That nearness is the Holy Spirit, our Helper, the Spirit of truth: ...He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. ... I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit...will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:16, 17, 20, 26)
He loved me that much. He longs to abide in us. This is God/Jesus, the One whose name is greater than all others. Jesus who loves you. Jesus, whose Spirit can live in you and allow you to grow in greater understanding if you only ask, receive, trust, believe in Him and allow His Spirit to indwell you. That indwelling is a promise and the proof that you are His child. And as His child, we are no longer separated from Him in any way, shape or form. That’s the ultimate promise He gives. He loves you that much that He desires you, too.
Romans 8:38 - For I know that nothing can keep us from the love of God. Death cannot! Life cannot! Angels cannot! Leaders cannot! Any other power cannot! Hard things now or in the future cannot!