There’s an old country song by Buck Owens titled “Act Naturally” about a guy who is going to be a big star and all he has to do is act naturally. In other words, all he has to do is be himself and when I think about God and our relationship with Him, that’s all He wants us to do. He doesn’t ask us to be fancy or out of place or anything that we are not: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
God knows His creation and do not think for a moment that He does not know our shortcomings and flaws. He knows our weaknesses and all the things that confuse our minds and He is always with us when we are in need. He tells us to call out to Him and when we draw close, He draws even closer: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded” (James 4:8). Although God instructs us to come as we are although not in those exact words, many Christians are still reluctant about doing so and claim that they are not yet ready because their lives are not right.
This is a sad statement because God never once tells us that He is going to turn away people who to come Him honestly. We see this time and time again within scripture. Think about David who was said to have been a man after God’s own heart and this is a great statement about any person but one clear aspect of David, just like anyone from the past or present, was his flaws. He came up short just like everyone else but it’s not about perfection but rather, your heart: “For [there is] not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). From this piece of scripture, we know it’s impossible to be perfect and we should acknowledge this fact.
David was a great man of God but his son was taken from him because of his desire for beautiful women and sex but when this occurred, he did not blame God but himself: “But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23). Just like David, we should not be quick to blame God but too many of us are and I have been in this same boat but I have learned that God’s ways are much more than ours: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
One of the most popular Bible verses in all the world is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Here, we are told that God loved His creation so much despite our flaws and shortcomings and despite anything that may be bogging us down, God wants us to come to Him and be with Him rather than thinking we must be perfect or fit a certain mold. Any time someone tells you that you’re not good enough for God’s kingdom, just remember the thieves on the cross with Christ. One mocked God while the other believed in Him and while he lived a life that was far from Christ’s, because of his belief in God, he was saved from eternal damnation: “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” Luke 23:43).
Despite not being perfect and falling short of God’s glory, we should receive everything with thanksgiving and have a grateful heart: “For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:” (2 Timothy 4:4). Because we are made by God, we are good but our ways and actions are not always good but through our faith, we are saved as faith is the only way to please God: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Most of all, we do not need to conspire to the ways of this world despite how others will reject us: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
In other words, all we have to do is Act Naturally.