Imagine this situation. A desperately hungry man goes into a restaurant. He has no money and is only hoping to beg for some scraps of leftover food from the kitchen. To his amazement, the owner of the restaurant himself welcomes him and tells him that there will be no charge for him to eat at the restaurant – everything is free, even the finest dishes.
A respectful waiter leads the man to a table and presents him with the menu. The man, still in shock, looks in wonder at the mouth-watering dishes on the menu. There are even photos of them to entice him. After looking through the whole menu the man stands up and, overflowing with gratitude, thanks the waiter who is standing patiently nearby and then leaves the restaurant.
Once outside, the man meets a friend in the street and begins to relate what has just happened to him. He was so impacted by what he’d read on the menu that he described in detail the amazing dishes he saw on the menu and speaks highly of the restaurant and its generous owner. There’s something wrong though! He never tasted a thing, and he’s still hungry.
I recently read a devotional by the Christian writer Max Lucado. He listed some of the benefits and blessings that those who know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour can now experience. They included knowing freedom from sin and guilt, acceptance by God and healing from insecurity.
Just imagine if a Christian memorised all the Bible verses that described those wonderful benefits but never truly experienced them in their life. It would be just like that man who saw all those wonderful dishes on that menu but never actually tasted them.
When God tells us that we are adopted as His children so that we can cry out ‘Abba Father!’ from the depths of our human spirit and no longer be a slave to fear, He doesn’t just want us to be able to quote the verses in Romans Chapter 8 that tell us that. He wants us to taste and experience the reality of the promise it contains – to truly know Him as our Heavenly Daddy.
As Christians we can sing wonderful songs about the love and mercy of God on Sunday in church, but then struggle through the rest of the week, because the truths we’ve been singing aren’t real to us in our hearts and lives. It’s painful to live with a gap like that between what we know in our head and what we struggle to believe and experience in our heart.
The Lord knows where we’re struggling and why. We don’t have to wear a mask with Him, and He invites each one of us to come honestly to Him and just tell Him how things really are in our lives and that we want to truly taste and know the reality of who He is and who He says we are.
Prayer: Father, here I am, just as I am. Please help me to let down my mask and let You speak Your truth deep into the areas of my life where I struggle. Amen.
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