Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies… Psalm 103:4
Have you ever noticed yourself constantly addressing the same misbehaviors of your children? I mean it’s really frustrating correcting the same behavior over and over with no change in results! One morning in the midst of fussing at my eldest child I heard a familiar refrain in my spirit “as he thinks in his heart so is he”. In other words, there was something behind the behavior I was seeing and I knew it wouldn’t change until I pressed beyond symptoms to the cause.
As I said in the last post, behavior is the result of what we believe. Notice I said believe, not think, because it’s not random thoughts in your mind but thoughts we take to heart that give rise to behavior. It’s those thoughts we rehearse over and over until they become the conviction we live our lives by. What do you believe? Whatever it is, it’s charting the course of your life. Jesus says He is the way, the truth and the life so when we believe the truth embodied in Christ we will live the abundant life He came to give us. I want my family to receive everything Jesus came to give us. Only thing standing in our way is what we believe about the Lord’s heart toward us.
As passionate as Christ is about His precious people enjoying abundant life, there is one whose sole purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy our lives. He counters the grace and truth that Jesus brought with deception. In fact, the devil is the father of lies and due to lack of creativity has told a variation of the same lie ever since the garden: God is keeping something good from you and me. He told Eve there was nothing really wrong with the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil; God simply didn’t want her to know as much as He does. The belief that God is keeping something good from us is often at the heart of rebellion. Why did Eve fall for it? She forgot what Jesus later came to reveal: God is love and a giver by nature. The truth is that it wasn’t until they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that they knew what sin was. Sin brought death, the very opposite of the tree of life they were free to eat from! When we know and believe the truth about the Father and Jesus, the enemy has nothing to work with.
God gave us His Son and through faith in Him, real life now and forever, grace and mercy that surrounds us, the gift of righteousness and the blessing of Abraham. God is good and His thoughts toward us are good. Not only that, He has promised He won’t keep anything good from those who walk uprightly (under the new covenant—those made right in Christ Jesus). So that means God will only keep things from us that aren’t good for us. Now we may already know it in our heads; but do we believe it in our hearts? Do our children believe it?
As parents we’re called to aim them towards faith in God through Christ. They need to know that because of Christ’s finished work at the cross, God is not only no longer mad at them but eager to lavish them with grace. The more they hear it, the more they’ll believe it. When they see Christ for who He is, they’ll reflect Him accordingly. If the enemy trips them up with a lie that leads them to sin, correct them with redirection to the cross of Christ. He is the One who is able to keep them from stumbling!
SOUL FOOD (Scripture References)
Genesis 3:4, 5
Genesis 2:16, 17
1 John 4:8; John 3:16
Psalm 100:5; Jeremiah 29:11
Ephesians 1:7, 8, NIV
2 Corinthians 3:18
© Vanessa A. Harris and The Legacy of Faith, 2012.