Ahhh, I finally finished this book. It was a fantastic, thought-provoking book by Rick Joyner (I doubt he has written any that aren't thought-provoking!). But its taken me months to read it.
At first I probably read about 50 pgs. Then I put it down and it was likely 6 weeks before I picked it up again and couldn't remember what I'd previously read. So I reread it, but only made it to about 30 pgs before I put it down again, for about another month or even more. Argh!
Well, about 2 weeks ago I picked it up yet again. This time I breezed through the first 50 pages and took notes, and managed to continue through to the end.
I always find it amazing (but not overly surprising) that God orchestrates things in time to fit together. This book, when I started months ago, probably wouldn't have struck me the same, moved my heart the same, if I finished it back then. Not as it has now, where I am in my circumstances. And it has blended SO well with another book I am presently reading by Wayne Jacobsen called "He Loves Me!"
Oh, I am tender for His love, wanting desperately to live and move within His love far more than I ever have before. But I see my view of Him is still tainted by the thoughts of judgment, anger, trying to be on the good side of His favor.
It was very much the way I was brought up (and that whole generation, most likely), hoping that my good actions kept my parents pleased enough, and motivated to obey out of fear of punishment rather than by love for them (although I did love my parents, and I do thank the Lord for them). I by no means are blaming my parents for my lack of complete understanding of how wide and deep and high and all-encompassing the love of the Father is towards me. I'm not sure that any parent can come close to accurately portraying that Father's love.
But here I am, 44 years young, trying to figure God out. The more I learn the more I don't understand. But that leads me right to the place of trust, and that is the only way to really understand the Father's love, I believe. For it was in the Garden where Adam and Eve were given freedom to choose. They were able to eat any fruit of the garden, even from the Tree of Life. There was only one exception. They weren't to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There wasn't an explanation, just a directive. It required trust in the love and goodness of the One who said, 'Though shalt not eat.....'
If Eve had known all the Why's to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge, and she decided not to eat of it, then it would have been because of her wanting to avoid the repercussions of that choice; for her self-preservation. She was told that 'in that day of eating of the fruit, then you will die'. She wouldn't have abstained because she loved and trusted her Creator. She would have abstained because she understood the situation and made a choice based on that knowledge.
But God asks us to walk in relationship with Him out of trust, not knowledge.
The action may look the same, but there is immense difference between actions motivated out of fear of repercussion or punishment, and actions motivated out of love and trust in a relationship.
God invites us to trust Him. Trust in His goodness and in His trustworthiness.