The history of Israel’s kings is depressing to read. Reading through 2 Kings 13-15, the deeds of these kings repeats, “they did evil in the sight of the Lord.” Yes, there are a few highlights who didn’t follow their fathers before them, but it doesn’t take long to get right back to following other gods.
This morning, while reading these accounts, it reminds me of how often I stray from the Lord. The gods that I establish to replace the only true God are not made of wood or stone, but instead, its me. I want to reign. I want control. I want recognition. I want glory that belongs to God. It is hard to be honest, but my heart is nothing like the image that I like to portray. I think I know best. I think I am needed. I think that all existence revolves around me.
Reading the history of Israel’s kings is depressing. Reflecting on my own heart is as well.
Then I read Galatians.
I am thankful that God did not leave me in my state of sin, separation, and slavery.
Galatians 4:9 even takes away the concept that I get credit for knowing God. Paul corrects that thinking, I have “not come to know God, rather (I) have come to be known by God.” But its the words just before this verse that strike me today…and this has been an area that over the last few months the Lord has been impressing on me (since the pain and suffering entered this pilgrim’s path in such an intrusive way).
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:4-7
God’s timing was (and still is) perfect.
My heart, like the hearts of the kings of Israel, did not just need to be redirected—it needed to be made new. Jesus accomplished that in a drastic and radical way. Not radical in the sense that I am perfected now in this life with my new heart, but radical in the way that he did it. He came to suffer and die for me. That was his step of love. A step of radical love that I can hardly understand.
Over these months of confusion, sorrow, and grief through the events that threw everything we know spinning out of (our) control….God is reminding me of a truth. Well, many truths, but there is one that rises to the top of the list.
Along with his sovereign reign, comes his radical love. He loved an orphan like me (in my sin) and made me, redeemed me, an adopted son. A full heir. No longer a slave, but a son.
I seem to be repeating this a lot lately, if he allowed this suffering so that I would know his love deeper, than he has accomplished his will already.
I feel like I am falling in love with him again. His grace is amazing me in such a way that I am not sure I have ever really known before. Yes, I have been amazed by grace, but the new angle of a sovereign God walking beside the bruised, picking up the fallen, caring for the broken, and loving the adopted….is bringing me to a new level of knowing the depths of my own sin and unworthiness and his radical love that surrounds me.
His love is extravagant. He will go to extreme measures to show his love. Like allowing evil plans to throw my life into a spin. Like healing (present tense) a broken heart full of sorrow and grief. Like sending his Son from glory to come to save the lost. Like watching his only begotten suffer for the sins of the world. Like dying in my place.
Extreme measures are the only measures that will capture my heart.
Righteous One, your love is a holy love. Set apart, infinite, eternal, and radical. It goes beyond what your creation can even imagine. Thank you for breaking me so that you could captivate me.