Many Believers have never truly experienced much of God for themselves, let alone God's love. I was raised in a Christian home and educated at a Christian college, yet I did not really come to God and find Jesus as a friend until the bottom had fallen out of my life. It had become plain to me that what I had related to was more the mechanics of Christianity than Christ Himself. My knowledge of God through Jesus increased as I came to experience Jesus as a person rather than as a religion. Christ is not Christianity, but the Kingdom of God and its new creation life is Christ.
In this season Jesus is not wanting is to enjoy Himself as a friend. He wants us to find nurture in His Father as our Father. In Father's love we flourish. In Father's heart we mature as daughters and sons. In the Spirit of Sonship we represent Him on earth. In the resurrection of His Son we co-labour with Him to build the new creation.
A God of performance is not really a God whose essence is love. A God of 'this hurts me more than it hurts you' is not all that convincing. Parents who do not spare the rod in the hope of building the child into an honorable human being run the risk of multiplying rage, violence and rebellion. A God who is said to love us but is pretty much pained by our behavior is not the God whose innate nature is love. Neither is the God of Try Harder Religion. But the God who says to the Believer, 'Nothing you can ever do can separate you from Me' is the Father who loves you. Father was in Christ drawing you into His arms.
While it is true that union with God transforms our lives, Father does not see us as a project but as sons and daughters to be loved. Fitting people into a mold, even a good one is not His priority. He does not operate from the dichotomies of good and evil. He is life and He is love. Loving you and drawing you into His Family to enjoy what is His is what He is about. His priority is to draw you into His House and make you part of the new creation that was birthed when His Son rose from the tomb on Sunday morning.
In the Kingdom of God actions don't have value because they are right or because they are beneficial. These things have no life in themselves. Any course of action is only life-giving when the one who does it lives in God, is one with God and distributes His life. The Kingdom of God is a life in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is your life because Jesus is your life. It is the outworking of your identity as a son in God. It is the unfolding of the purposes that are yours as a son of your Father. You complete Him as a son/daughter because you are part of Him and always will be. This is your victory over the Enemy and the world.
Jeff Turner writes,
'I had never truly experienced the love of God for myself, and therefore had no grid for understanding it. I lived in a constant state of condemnation and self-loathing. I was burdened by a perpetual fear that I wasn't doing enough or being enough, and always just knew that I was somehow falling short. When a preacher would stand up and whip me for an hour plus with a man-centered message on sin, I'd feel like I'd been to church and would come home licking my wounds and hatching plans on how to get more holy. When he would speak a message of encouragement or preach on the simplicity of God's love, however, I'd feel cheated. I wanted someone to stand up and confirm my suspicions about myself; that I was no good and dirty. I wanted someone who would agree with my own ungodly thoughts about myself. When I heard God's love preached and expounded upon I would sit numbly, watching the clock and longing for the talk to be over, because I simply had no grid for understanding such a thing.'
The thing is, that because Father really loves you, now you are a son/daughter of God. There's a one letter difference between son and sin. You can choose your own designation. You can choose Jesus as your life and the rights that are His. Then again you can continue to do that thing you do as yourself. But try as you might you will continue in sin and lawlessness. You have overcome the world because Jesus has overcome the world. Jesus is seated beside the Father and your are seated beside the Father because you are in Christ. But Jesus is also in God. He and the Father are one, which means that you are in Christ and as a result in the Father. You are home and you are loved.