I can’t tell you all how many times I have heard someone say that they don’t feel deserving of God’s love or how many times I, myself, have thought that. Most of the time, we feel that way because we have done bad things in our lives. For me, it can even be something as small as not leaning on God throughout the day: If I don’t go to Him in prayer first thing; if I don’t get my Bible reading done; when I try to handle problems on my own. It becomes such a slippery slope and, eventually, I feel so separated from Him.
You want to know what happens next? I feel completely undeserving of God’s grace.
It’s such a vicious cycle that can be so easy to fall in to. But, if we’re being honest, those thoughts, they are 100% a lie from the enemy. Satan’s goal is to drag you down, away from God. Not that God leaves, but you feel so bad that you turn away- too full of guilt and shame to enter the throne room of your Father.
Sister, let me tell you, there is nothing that you have done that could separate you and God. If you don’t believe me, read Romans 8:38-39. If you’re still having a hard time believing that, pay attention. We’re going to talk about God’s chosen people: the Israelites.
I’ll quickly give some background.
The Israelites were slaves in Egypt for over 400 years. God heard the prayers of the Israelites and wanted to free them. He appeared to Moses with a simple command, “…bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10). In order to convince Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave, God did many miraculous things- all within the sight of the Israelites. Eventually, Pharaoh frees the Israelites and Moses leads them into the wilderness en route to the Promised Land.
That’s only the beginning of this story.
In the wilderness, God leads the Israelites. Literally. Exodus 13:21 says, “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night” (NIV). He stayed with them. Even when trouble arose and Pharaoh sent his army after them, God miraculously rescued his people by using Moses to part the sea.
In spite of all the wonders the Israelites had seen, they complained and they doubted. When they saw Pharaoh’s army coming, they said to Moses, “…For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness” (Exodus 14:12). And when they were hungry they cried to Moses, “…Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in Egypt… for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger” (Exodus 16:3).
God kept showing up and providing. He made food rain down from the sky just for the Israelites. They, however, kept doubting.
They were thirsty. God made water come from a rock. That still wasn’t enough.
Moses went up Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments from God. The Israelites panicked and made other gods.
My point is, the Israelites saw God’s glory more than any of us. They saw signs and wonder that most of us, today, will never see. Despite it all, they turned their backs on God continually.
And, despite the Israelites turning on God at every inconvenience, He neither left nor forsook them. He saw them right on through to the Promised Land.
Could you imagine the level of grace that required? I know I can’t fathom it. I would’ve left them behind before they got to the wilderness. However, that’s not who our God is. He already had so much grace then… don’t forget, the Israelites didn’t have Jesus— we do.
Basically, all of the grace God already had for His people is now magnified. Jesus Christ died on a cross to atone for your sins- all of them. So, that guilt and shame you feel is a lie to drag you down. If you’ve asked God to forgive you and turned from your sin, He is faithful and will forgive.
Just like with the Israelites, God will not leave you and He isn’t going to forsake you. He has made His own promises to you and He will see you through, as well.