None of us has escaped the hideous birth defect of being brought into this world of conditional love, therefore learning from birth that our right performance will win/earn us some positive results as far as our flesh is concerned, yet leaving an empty hole in our heart.
How does one not misinterpret those God nudges within a mind set that has been trained to interpret everything we do out of a performance based action on our part?If the reality of the Father’s love does not break through and penetrate our inner most being, we will with sincere intentions try to buy, earn the Father’s affections when He simply wants to freely and lovingly give them to us.
In the story of the generous father in Luke 15, I see this clearly depicted when the wayward younger son comes to his senses and journeys back home (was this one of those God nudges). After speaking out his rehearsed confession of sinning against heaven (God) and his father stating he will now work as one of the hired servants to earn his father’s trust and affections, his father stops him in the middle of it only to lavishly pour out his heart of deep love and gratitude for this lost, dead son who has come home.This extravagant display of unearned and needless waste of affection according to the elder brothers warped understanding of what love is all about does not go unnoticed. He lost no time in quickly comparing his outstanding behaviour to this low life brother that tries to worm his way back into the family picture.
In the joyous celebration freely initiated by the Father for his returned son, the other son is disgusted with these inappropriate displays of affectionate and refuses to enter into the festivities. His father sees he has to address this and in so doing skips right over this son’s scripted rehearsed need to have his father recognize his impeccable track record of serving him by saying; And he said to him, 'Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’
Without unpacking and discovering that the Father not only loves us but likes us, we will continue to try and earn, work for that which can only be received as an unearned Gift!