She was working hard at her table. It did not bother her today that her brother’s were watching a video. A look from behind her told me she is focused on something. I knew she was working on her writing paper. As I was about to leave the room, she exclaimed, “There! I am done!” She threw her head behind and reached the paper out to me. “Wow! You have come a long way. This paper is perfect. Look at all these letters!” There was a smile on her face and then her expressions changed.
“Mom, this was a paper about Jesus. So I decided to work diligently. Is God going to love me more because I did it perfectly?” My first response was to brush it off saying, “Sweet heart you know God loves you more than you can imagine.”
“Yeah…but is he going to love me more…?” She persisted. Something struck a chord within me. My 6 year old’s senses has graduated from cause and effect to work and earn. As an infant, I put toys before her, that would help her learn cause and effect. She cried, I fed; I sang, she cooed; she squeezed, the duck squeaked. Fast forward a few years…she is learning, work more, earn God’s love.
I know the pain of working my way to earn God’s love that was already on me. I know the wasted years, the heart ache of not feeling worthy ever, I know the invalid labor; the years I incarcerated myself in a prison, with an open door that beckoned me daily to a world of perfect love.
I wanted to spare my daughter from futility of ignorance.
I sat down at her level. This little soul needs to know the grace that saves by faith. “Baby, God loves you more because you believed that Jesus is His son and you needed the blood of Jesus to wash away all your sins that was turning God’s face away from you. Nothing will make Him love you more. Nothing will make Him love you less. His love for you cannot be changed. But…”
She listened closely, looked to me for hope that her work is not in vain. I can tell she is desperate.
“But, He is pleased and glorified when you work diligently for Him.”
The smile is back on her face. Grace does not click with her altogether. She moves on…
Earned love satisfies our depraved souls that renounces the invitation of grace. Grace is cheap to a soul that wants to prove. Eve wanted to prove that she can be like God. She forgot He had already created her in His image.
When we fast, we are not trying to earn God’s love. Love is settled.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
When we fast, we are hungering for His fullness and presence. We are putting to death our carnal appetites not by self denial and discipline alone, but by grace enabled choosing of finding contentment and satisfaction in Christ alone.
” It is the passionate resolve to resist anything that lures the heart away from an all-controlling satisfaction in God. I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. In fasting, as well as in all other privations, every loss is for the sake of “gaining Christ.” ” John Piper
Did you ever fast to make God love you more or to prove you are worthy because you fasted?