Have you ever found it hard to receive God's love or to believe that God truly loves you? You know the gospel and all the right verses, but God's love is like a piece of slippery soap that you can not quite hold on to? Do you think that God observes you from a distance with a 'thumbs up or a thumbs down' based on His opinion of YOU? Do you hope that your righteous behavior is going to change God's heart towards you? And here is the BIG question, "As a believer, is God still watching OVER you or is He really alive in YOU? " Do you FEEL still detached from God, when in reality you are one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17)? All these questions are ones that I have asked myself over the years and the one thing that I have found that was the greatest hindrance to receiving and experiencing God's love was, SELF-REJECTION!
I know this may be surprising to you, but I would like to share my experience and how the Lord set me free. When I was four years old, I overheard a conversation between my mother and my grandmother They were having tea and I was playing around the corner in the den. As a child I didn't understand all that they were talking about, but what I did HEAR has effected me for many years. I heard my mother say,"I wish I never got pregnant ". My little mind thought 'they are talking about ME'. I suppressed it for years. No matter what my mother did to show her love and affection, I rejected it. I didn't believe her. I thought for years that there was something wrong with me. As a result I created a self image that I could accept. I won't go into THAT IMAGE now, but it got me through all my schooling and married until 1970, when Jesus found me.
I was now confronted with the gospel and the knowledge that I was a sinner. The REAL ME was the sinner, but I had buried her years ago and the image that I had created found it difficult to confess that 'it' was a sinner. The image I created tried for years to win my mother's acceptance. I was a "goody-goody two shoes". How could I be that bad a sinner? I was trying my best to please my mother. God must understand how hard I tried, doesn't He?
What I didn't understand was the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It was explained to me that I was a sinner because I was CONCEIVED IN SIN IN MY MOTHER'S WOMB, (Psalms 51:7). When I was born into this world, all I could do was to sin. No matter what I thought about myself didn't change the truth. Whether I was a good sinner or a bad sinner didn't matter before God. I had eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, like the whole human race, and that was enough to punish me. And that he did. My punishment and God's judgement fell upon His own Son, Jesus. He experienced God's wrath in my place.
By a miracle of faith I believed that Jesus had died, was buried and resurrected and now I had two options. Either I could hold on to self-rejection and continue to justify myself, OR I could believe that God had accepted the REAL ME in the blood of His Son and REPENT. By faith I believed the latter and soon the darkness of my past became light and I was able to understand the LIE of self-rejection and how Satan had used that conversation between my mother and grandmother to keep me in bondage. But, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God was more powerful and delivered me from self-rejection. The REAL me was able to confess that I was a sinner in need of a Savior. My idol was crushed and I was 'set free to love God.
If you have ever rejected yourself, it is REALLY important to ask the Lord where that rejection came in and let Him set you free. SELF-ACCEPTANCE is the KEY to being able to truly appreciate your salvation. Jesus died for the REAL you, not some figment of your imagination or some idol. This was my experience. It didn't matter to me any more whether my mother or my father rejected me, the only ACCEPTANCE I needed was my LORD'S.
There is only one place where there is NO rejection and that is in the LORD JESUS CHRIST. Only in Him will you find the love and acceptance that we are all longing for. His arms are open for us to EMBRACE HIS LOVE BEYOND OUR COMPREHENSION.