We tend to think that our world reflects the world in general (at least I do). I have learned that this simply is not the case. This year, we headed out early for Orlando Florida for my daughter’s soccer tournament. We did this when I called and realized that the wonderful World of Disney actually had operating hours on the day of Christmas.
The park was packed! I mean really packed. In my small world, I would have never believed that so many people would spend Christmas day waking up in a hotel, then going to a theme park; I was wrong. Perhaps it was somewhat due to the number of international visitors there, but nonetheless I was surprised.
The world is full of people with various traditions. I live in the Western world, with Western traditions that do not necessarily reflect the majority. I was there, I just didn’t expect the number of people to be joining me though.
Speaking of Disney, we visited our favorite park, Hollywood Studios. Just love that park – had to throw in an appreciation there.
This morning, in Sarah Young’s devotional, she hit on the difference between understanding God’s grace, and performing needless works for God. Here is her wording:
When you are dissatisfied with your behavior, you tend to feel unworthy of My Love. You may unconsciously punish yourself by withdrawing from Me and attributing the distance between us to My displeasure. Instead of returning to Me and receiving My Love, you attempt to earn My approval by trying harder. All the while, I am aching to hold you in My everlasting arms, to enfold you in My Love. When you are feeling unworthy or unloved, come to Me. Then ask for receptivity to My unfailing Love.
This (IMO) is the basis of performing works to gain the acceptance of God (legalism). It is a nasty road to travel, and is reflected by never truly connecting with God because we can NEVER perform enough to be approved by God through out own actions.
In my own life, this is a reminder that I need to do exactly what I do not desire to do after sinning; turn directly to God and connect (reconnect) with Him. His acceptance of me is unchanged, as is His love. My heart determines my connection with Him, not my actions. He ALWAYS looks at the heart.
I wish I could pour this truth directly into my heart. I believe and live this most of the time, but there are times when I still feel unworthy of His intimacy and ignore Him. As Sarah says, “Absolutely nothing in heaven or on earth can cause Me to stop loving you”. Or better said:
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.