I think the world often has the wrong idea about who God is and what exactly He wants from us. And for many years, I guess I did too. I thought He was this demanding, grumpy Father who just didn't want me to have any fun. I thought He was someone to fear, not in the reverential sense but in the go hide in the closet when I've done something wrong sense. Even after I developed a relationship with Him, I still trembled every time I made a mistake and did my best to keep all His rules. But recently, I've been reading through Genesis and an odd theme has jumped out at me. None of the "great" men of God, the "great heros" in God's eyes did everything right. In fact, most of them did lots of things wrong. But, I did notice certain traits in each that set them apart from others.
1. Abraham - Known for his extraordinary faith, lied twice to kings, telling them that his wife was his sister because he feared for his life. Why wasn't he trusting God? Then he went outside of God's will, lost patience for God's timing and plan and birthed a child with his wife's serving maid.
But you know what 2 qualities stood out to me about him. Humility and Obedience
2. Jacob - A swindler and a liar, he tricked his brother out of both his birthright and his blessing. But Jacob's redeeming qualities: Perserverence and a high regard for God. Remember Jacob was the one who wrestled with an angel of the Lord all night long and wouldn't let go until the angel blessed him.
3. What about Joseph? Talk about a spoiled rotten prideful kid. He taunted and bragged and flaunted his father's favoritism so much before his brothers that they wanted him dead. But if you look at his life, through all the temptations, the heartache and the long years in prison, he never compromised and he gave all the glory to God.
4. And don't even get me started on David. He was called by God "a man after My own heart" Yet, he murdered and committed adultery. Why did God say that about David? If you study his life, you'll see he loved God with all his heart, regardless of the sin in his life.
What is God looking for? A bunch of perfectionists and rule-following robots?
What I see in these great giants of faith is: Humility, Perseverance, and a Love for God that outweighed everything else.
"And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" Micah 6:8
"For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." 2 Chron 16:9