I’m beginning to see just how important it is to pay very close attention when God repeats Himself. The Bible holds many such repetitions, but the one that I’m seeing in neon lights at the moment is His commitment to His own. Over and over again, He assures, reminds, promises that “He will not leave you nor forsake you.” These exact words – and myriad variations on them – cover Scripture from start to finish. And like air in my lungs, I really need it.
I’ve talked before about my pride manifesting in self-hatred, and I don’t intend to belabor the point. I mention it only to illustrate the door that the Accuser tends to use to get to me. The accusations are never creative because they’ve no need to be. “You’ll never really change, here you are again at square one, He’ll leave you for sure on this one, etc.” A bombardment of lies about God mixed with truth about me is incredibly compelling warfare.
It’s true that I will never change. That’s absolutely true! I have access to Jennifer 1.0 any time I want, and she will never change. But I also have access to my new creation, and THAT is the reality that Satan wishes to obscure. When I’m chastened, it’s for the purpose of showing me the places in my life where I remain in Jennifer 1.0—for whatever reason. And sometimes Jennifer 1.0 doesn’t go gently into the grave where she belongs, so the Spirit brings the Cross again and again and again. The Cross in my life is proof of God’s promise that He will not leave me, so of course Satan twists it to imply the exact opposite.
Here’s the lie:
“Again, Jennifer? Really?! Angels weep when they’re assigned to you because they know a lost cause when they see one. You are a perpetual disappointment to God. When He looks at you, He just shakes His head in disgust.”
Here’s the truth:
You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon Him, for you are His personal concern.
1 Peter 5:7 J.B. Phillips
I am the “personal concern” of God. You are the “personal concern” of God. God is not indifferent to us! It is a lie that God is disappointed in me – EVER. Disappointed means “feeling sad, unhappy, or displeased because something was not as good as expected.” God can and will be angry with me (and has been!), but disappointed? Let down? No. That would mean that God expected something innately good from me, and that would mean that He isn’t who He says He is: All-Knowing. God knows my every thought and desire. I do not surprise God. Not ever. And neither do you.
Here’s the endgame of the warfare:
Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].
Hebrews 4:16 AMP
This is exactly what Satan would thwart. The throne of grace is God’s gift to us, and we are exhorted to come to it “fearlessly and confidently and boldly!” Like little children come to their loving Father. Though chastening can bring extended bouts of repentance and even periods of separation, I am not called to self-flagellation and atonement. God is quite capable of chastising me; He doesn’t require my help in any way.
And as for atonement, Jesus took my sins upon Himself and died in my place on the Cross at Calvary. God may require reparations of me (and has), but there is no further atonement. Jesus said, “It is finished.” To “boldly draw near to the throne of grace” – whatever my situation may look like – is to say to my Lord, in word and deed, “I believe You!”