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I have this nagging concern that God is either mad at me or else He is extremely disappointed in me. It is not nay one specific sin or rebellion, but seems like I am always doing something to let Him down in some way or another. I don't intentionally set out to do that, it just happens that way. For instance, the other day someone asked me what they considered an important question about the Bible. Instead of researching it, I just gave them an answer off the top of my head-- my answer was incomplete and not very well though out. I did not mean to mislead them, but now I am concerned that maybe I steered them wrong with my hasty reply.
The next day I had a scary encounter with God, where I felt what I think was His extreme displeasure on me. I get the impression that God is upset with me. What can I do to keep from making God mad at me?--Walking On Eggshells
Dear Walking On Eggshells
I have a short and a long answer for you. The short answer is that I don't think that God is mad at you. The Bible is very clear about what makes God mad at us. It is not the little day-to-day failures we all experience, and it is not our inability to be perfect. The thing that gets God mad at us is when we intentionally enter into willful disobedience (see Deuteronomy 9:7) and/or we overtly reject Him and His ways (see 2 Kings 22:13).
It doesn't sound like you are doing those things, and that is why I don't think that God is mad at you.
Now here is my "longer" answer. I think that what you are experiencing is not God's displeasure. I think it is condemnation and the lies of the devil in an attempt to separate you from God's great love for you.
There is a passage in the Bible that is very important for you. It is Romans 8:1-2, which says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death."
That means that God is not going to condemn you and He is not going to push you away.
The Bible puts it another way in Galatians 4:4-7: "4But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.' 7So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. And Romans 8:15 says, "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'"
The word Abba is roughly translated as "Daddy." It is a special term of endearment and relationship, a two-way friendship. That is the type of relationship that God the Father has offered us through the blood of Jesus. It is not a relationship that pushes us away, but one that draws us close to Him. God's heart and desire for you is to draw you even closer to Himself.
One time I watched this television show about two families, and it reminded me of our two approaches to God. The first son was born into a wealthy family and his father provided wonderfully for his physical needs, but was never there for him. It seemed that no matter how hard the son tried, he could never please his father and he could not get his father to spend time with him. The father would be of skiing in the Alps at Christmas, working on his son's birthday, etc. There were times when the father and son were physically together, but even though they were sitting at the same table, they may as well have been miles apart, for they had nothing in common, and they did not share anything together. Thus rich son called his father, "Father" instead of Dad or Pop or something like that.
The other family was very different. They were not wealthy. In fact, most of the time the father could barely make the ends meet. But he was always there for his kids. Anytime anything happened to make one of them sad, he was there to comfort his child, to encourage them, etc. Those kids grew up to be confident, secure and emotionally healthy. The kids in that second family called their father things like "Dad" and "Pop." The titles they used to refer to their father were much less formal than the rich family because the relationship was much less formal. But it was much more alive and loving.
Many of us picture God like the first father in the movie, a faithful provider but distant and hard to please. But that is not what God is like and that his not who God wants to be in your life. He wants His relationship with you to be like the dad of the second family--the one who is always there for his kids. God wants to have a relationship with you that is alive, friendly, viverant, loving, interactive. That is why Galatians 4:6 and Romans 8:15 talk about calling God the Father "Abba" or "Daddy." The very thing that your Abba Dad is inviting you into is the very thing that the devil is trying to scare you away from.
The devil tries to scare us away from that intimacy by making us think that our Heavenly Dad is mad at us. He wants to try and get us to avoid spending quality time with Dad. So the devil tries to make us feel too dirty and sinful and ugly to spend time with our God and father.
The Bible says that the devil is a liar and he is the accuser of the brethren. This means that he uses lies and false accusations to try and separate you from God. He wants to make you think that you fall too far short of the mark. He wants you to think that God is be disappointed in your or angry with you, because he wants to keep you from spending time with your Dad. The devil wants you to feel like it is hopeless; he wants you to give up and to stop trying. But God is still inviting you to draw closer to Him.
It is true that God is holy, and that if we draw close to Him we need to be holy as well. But our current state of sin/purity is not what keeps us away from God. In fact, God never expected us to make ourselves holy through our own efforts. He never intended for us to do that because He knows that it simply isn't possible. God doesn't require us to clean up our own acts and become prefect before we can approach Him! And He doesn't get mad at as for not measuring up.
What He does expect is to transform us, as per 2 Corinthians 3:18. That means that the closer we draw to Him, the more we dwell in His presence, the more He changes our nature to be like Him. Just like good sons and daughters, we grow up to be more and more like our Dad. God wants us to draw close to Him, so He can start working His image in our life as His indwelling Holy Spirit transforms us. He wants to make us more like Jesus.
He is not mad at us for not measuring up, He is pleased with us for yielding to Him and allowing Him to work His nature in our lives. He is looking forward to the day were we look more like Him and less like what we do now. And the more we become like Him, the prouder He becomes of us.
So please don't think of your Heavenly Father as unloving, angry or hard to please. That is not what He is like at all.
Instead think of Him as the "proud Papa," for that is the type of relationship He desires to have with each of us. Don't allow the devil to scare you into pulling away from Him. He is not mad at you. Draw close to Him and get to know your Abba Daddy better!