I was thinking on the way to work this morning that there must be nothing more ridiculous and pathetic than human attempts to impress God. The most pathetic way, I think, is when we think we can put up a good front for Him. We pretend to have a stronger faith than we do. We pretend that we can hide our sins from Him. We pretend that we aren’t worried, or scared, or angry. We pretend that we can overcome our sins on our own, by just trying harder.
There are three mistakes we make in that. First, the ridiculous notion that we can hide _anything_ from God. He already knows! Second, the idea that it would be possible to impress God even if we were living up to the image we want to portray. Our righteousness is as filthy rags before Him.
But the most tragic mistake we make in this has to be with the idea that we _need_ to impress God. You want to talk about someone who is forgiving and accepting and non-judgmental, take a look at God’s attitude towards His elect children.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.
God knows the depths of our shame. He sees us as the weak and unworthy creatures we are. And He loves us despite it all. Or maybe, because of it. A heart that truly loves God has nothing to hide and nothing to fear. Our communion with God is the one occasion we have to be absolutely open, honest, and vulnerable. He will not despise us, shame us, reject us, or ridicule us. He knows us. He sent Christ to die for us. He loves us, with all our weaknesses and failures. Nothing good can come from anything less than full vulnerability and openness with Him.
If you went to bankruptcy court, could any good at all come from hiding some of your debts out of shame? Can there be any good reason _not_ to tell the doctor where it hurts? Would it be wise for a child to hide his emotional and physical hurts from his parents?
We must not ever forget the majesty and glory of God. He must always be our Lord and King. We should never treat Him flippantly. He’s more than “Daddy”. He is God.
But that truth must not eclipse the fact that He does love us, thoroughly and unconditionally. All the fear and majesty should not make us forget that. He is on the throne! But as His children, we can come boldly into the throneroom of grace. We don’t have to fear that He won’t extend the scepter to us. We don’t need to fear rejection by Him. He is God, but He is our Father.