Is God good? 

All the other significant moments of redemption, recovery, training, and initiating a man in becoming a Beloved Son depend on the answer to this foundational question. The answer is always yes—but the enemy of our heart will always attempt to tell us no. 

It makes sense: how can a man be the Beloved if he doesn’t trust the One from whom the love is coming and the form and fashion in which it comes?

If the source of love is believed to be imperfect, then the message of love from the Father of love will fall on deaf ears and a hard heart. A distrustful man will believe God isn’t there or that God doesn’t really care, or worse, that his life is a great disappointment to God.

Most men deal with at least one, if not all, of these haunting messages daily and their responses vary. One man will try to hide so the messages he is a disappointment won’t come true. Another man will attempt some form of effort or control in order to dispel the messages he needs help. Neither man is living from a settled heart. The opinions and criticisms of others rule both of their lives.

Neither man is ready to love; each is living afraid.

The fourth chapter of 1 John, verse 18 tells us that “perfect love casts out fear.” If you could experience perfect love—complete, lavish, unconditional, sacrificial, intimate, deep, consistent, and continuing—would you allow it? Would you accept it? Would you enjoy it and its effects on your heart?

Such love settles the issue of hiding and controlling. In the face of it, there is no need to hide, strive, or manipulate. You and I are loved in just that way. We have nothing to prove, hide, or fear. Tragically, the enemy of our hearts planted the first seeds of doubt in Eden with the message: “You cannot trust the heart of God; he is holding out on you. Surely you won’t die.”

That lie continues to this day, perpetuating Satan’s scheme to make our hearts distrust God’s heart. Today, as on that day, the image-bearers take the bait and suffer the consequences. We have been unsettled and unsure of the heart of the Father. And today the Father asks the same question that he asked of Adam in the garden, Son, where are you? Do you know where you are?

In your time alone with God:

What is a particular thing or way God says or shows your heart, “I see you and I love you, here is something I got just for you.”

Which is your false self’s preferred method to get along without God… hide or strive?