God is a gentleman. Someone said that to me a few months back and it took my breath away. I had never thought of God like that. I’ve had some other less glorifying thoughts. I’ve believed those pervasive worldly lies like, “god is a misogynist etc. etc.”, I’ve believed that he was narcissistic. I’ve believed that he was pushy. I’ve believed that he was abusive, but gentleman? Never.
As this Me Too movement picks up steam, as the topic of consent becomes a talking point among all dinner tables and work places I am drawn to what consent looks like for Jesus. What does a gentleman like God think about all of this? Where does consent come into play in the Kingdom? I’ll start by saying this, it looks a lot like what we’re fighting for right now.
I was reading a book about God’s will last night and there was a whole chapter about consent (“Desiring God’s Will” by David Benner – 10/10 would recommend). Maybe it was the fact that right before I had read an article by a man admitting that even he isn’t sure what consent really looks and sounds like and had accidentally almost raped a girl he was dating, but dang you guys, I feel like the Lord gave me such a revelation about consent and the Kingdom. And if “what’s true in the supernatural has to be true in the natural” (Bill Johnson), then what’s true about Jesus’ heart for consent isn’t just about His relationship with us, but it’s also true about His heart for our relationships with each other.
I want to stop right here and just say that I’m not going to begin to address purity or premarital anything in this post. So don’t get your panties in a bunch that I’m not addressing the fact that maybe if we kept sex for the marriage bed that we wouldn’t be in this mess. Because I honestly don’t know if I fully agree. You guys, this abuse, this lack of consent, this confusion, it’s happening in marriages too. I know men who engage in premarital sex but still are very conscious of consent, and then I know men who are married who seem like they’ve never heard the word consent in their life. Well, there ya go, I guess I just addressed it. But let’s be clear – consent matters in EVERY relationship.
Anyway, I’ll speak about what consent in the Kingdom looks like, and you can just apply this however you need right now. Maybe you need to apply it to your earthly relationships, or maybe you need to apply it to your relationship with Jesus. But either way, I am certain that this is something we all need to consider in one way or another.
Many Christians believe that Consent with Jesus happens once. It happens when you decide to give your life to Him. And yes, you give your life to Jesus and you are saved. But ya’ll, I’m not just looking for a way into Heaven. I’m looking for a way to experience Heaven right now. I’m looking to walk with Jesus daily. I’m looking for a constant outpouring of His presence and love. I want Him to use me every single moment of every single day. I want to be in crazy close relationship with Him. I want constant intimacy. And if you only want a way into heaven…dang, you’re missing the whole point. But that’s another post…
Would a gentleman ever think, “well, I got consent that one time YEARS ago, so this chick is mine, and I’m just going to use her as I please for my Kingdom”? Uh. No. Not only is that abusive, it’s kinda creepy. Let me remind you, God is a gentleman. He wants constant consent. He wants a constant, “God, use me. God, give me the fullness of your Spirit. God, I surrender my heart to you…” That’s what consent looks like for Jesus. It’s a step-by-step, day-by-day, moment-by-moment agreement that “yes Jesus, I’m still in this, use me.”
It took me a long time to understand this. I gave my heart to Jesus when I was 9, and until I was about 25 I was like “well, I gave my heart to God when I was 9, if He wanted to use me, He would…guess He doesn’t want to use me.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. He just wasn’t going to force Himself on me. He wasn’t going to bully his way into a relationship with me…some relationship that would be. He was waiting for further consent. He was waiting for me to engage in the relationship, to show that I was willing and wanted His presence.
At the end of the article I mentioned earlier the author said, “One thing is for sure, there should always be a ‘F*** YES!’ affirmative consent.” And I think God is waiting for the same from us (minus the F-bomb, but whatever, you get it). He’s looking for a willing heart. He’s searching for the people that every single day are like “YES God, here’s my heart, here’s my life, use me.” He’s not just looking for a one time consent, He’s looking for consent along the way, with every step. Just as we would expect earthly consent to stop when the person stops consenting, Jesus is even more of a gentleman than that. He’s more of a gentleman than the most conscious, aware, kind, and loving man on earth.
For those of you wondering what consent looks like on earth, take some tips from the best gentleman there is. And for those of you who are wondering where God is, or why He isn’t using you, or why you can’t feel His presence, or why you can’t hear from Him, maybe He’s just waiting on your consent? Maybe he’s just waiting on your “JESUS, YES!”.