Are you a focused and driven person who excels with doing things with perfection? Have you ever felt like you can never measure up to someone else’s expectations? Do you have the tendency to expect perfection from others as well as from yourself? If so, you will probably struggle with feeling like you never quite measure up to God’s expectation and acceptance.
Although I have experienced some of these feelings, God continues to do a work in my life and has been showing me that I have only grasped a little of His great love for me. He longs for me to clearly comprehend the measure of His love, and then to rest securely in it. So often, I find myself STRIVING when He intends for me to just REST.
Why am I so afraid of not measuring up to God’s standards, or even admitting to myself that I have messed up? Do I really need to be afraid that God will give up on me, or that He will get tired and impatient because I just don’t seem to get it? Don’t you feel terrible, as a parent, when one of your children comes to you and expresses that they don’t feel like they can ever measure up to what you expect of them. I’m sure you don’t want your children to feel this way, but rather, you want them to be assured of your love and acceptance even after they’ve messed up. I wonder how God feels when we doubt His love, even after all the great measures He has taken to express His love to us.
God longs for you to know that He loves you for WHO you are and not for WHAT you do. He wants you to hear only His voice rather than running yourself ragged as you try to please everyone else. This will only make yourself tired and frustrated. In Romans 5:8 it says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” This doesn’t mean that He loves us AFTER we stop messing up or WHEN we do things His way. No! He loves us regardless! He loved us while we were still lost and in the grip of sin. This is so hard for us to understand since we can only compare His love to our selfish, human love. Each of us have often fallen short and made a mess of things in our mortal relationships, so it’s hard to accept unconditional love from our immortal Father.
Do you think it would make a difference in how you lived your life if you were totally and completely assured of God’s marvelous love for you? How would you do things differently? You wouldn’t find yourself questioning God’s love or goodness when you faced difficulties. You wouldn’t try to get away with sin, while claiming to be a child of God. Of course not! If you are convinced that someone deeply and unconditionally loves you, you will want to please and love Him in return. Your whole heart will desire nothing greater than to more intimately know the One who loves you so completely. This is the precise reason why the enemy of our souls wants to hinder us from being assured of God’s love.
As God’s beloved child, you can concentrate on keeping in step with God rather than always trying to anticipate His plan for you. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11) If you truly believe this verse, you can relax and enjoy the present moment. Your main focus should be on staying close to God and resting in Him.
Our human minds can’t comprehend the complete love of God because our emotions flicker and falter in the midst of our varying circumstances. When we look beyond our trying (or just plain terrible) circumstances, we can see Jesus lovingly gazing back into our faces. His cry is...”I love you with an everlasting love. Allow My love to flow out to you and bask in the luxury of being fully understood and loved unconditionally. I see you as the way I created you to be, when you will finally make Heaven your home. I desire for you to see yourself as I see you. You are radiant in My righteousness because you are cleansed by My blood. I have given you everything that you need to be changed into My likeness. Rejoice in this amazing miracle and the gift of My love!”