Monday, June 8, 2009

In Love with Him

"O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1

Do you love God? I mean really love God?

This was the thought in my head as I was falling asleep the other night. I know that I want to love Him --- but do I?

I recently read a quote by John Piper, and while I don't have the quote in front of me I will paraphrase. It was a question asking - that if we could go to a heaven where there is no sin, pain or suffering, no tears or confusion, but God was not there.... would we want to go there? The question really took me back because I actually had to think about the answer. Of course I know what the correct answer is so I know what I would say, but would I mean it?

I don't love God as much as I should, or a deeply as I could.

But I want to.

I want more than what I have. I want it so badly that I spend a large part of my energy trying to get it. I work hard to serve Jesus and His kingdom, and I love spending time with Him getting to know Him and His word. I work hard at serving other people, and to avoid sinful pitfalls. I feel bad when I do sin, and I repent. I try not to judge, and I want to serve the church with my gifts. I really am trying to be the best Christian I can be.

The problem is.... sometimes I think I'm trying to hard.

Now don't get me wrong, some of the things I listed above come naturally to me, no problem, but some of the others take more effort. And that's especially sad, because I think I'm (we're) missing it. It's not about making myself serve Him or read my Bible. It's not His desire for me to force myself to spend quality time with Him. Putting up with one another, faking love, isn't what the second greatest commandment is all about. Yeah, sometimes we are called to make sacrifices and take a hard step without much feeling and emotion behind it, that's called obedience in faith, but generally speaking, we make this thing much more difficult than it need to be, and as a result our lives are consumed in guilt and shame rather than peace and freedom.

1 John 4:18-19 says "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us." Are you experiencing that kind of love?

When we really love Jesus, and I mean really love Him, the "rest" of it will come. When we are forcing ourselves to do all the right things, it is an obligation and brings only guilt with it; but when we love the King "all the right things" are simply manifestations of that love. It's no longer work, it's a natural side-effect.

So how do we fall more in love with Him? I certainly can't make myself love Him, and even if I could I don't believe that's how it should be.... I didn't have to make myself love Tim, or my children, or my family.... it came naturally. So what must we do?

To be honest, I don't have a inclusive answer for you here, but I think that it starts with honesty. Surrendering who you are, how you feel, and what you want to Jesus. Fall on your knees and tell Him all that you are thinking and feeling - be honest and tell Him that you don't love Him like you should but that you want too, ask Him to fill you with that love.

From there, I would be sure to surround yourself with books, media and christian friends and influences who know Jesus and want to know Him more. The more you learn about God's character the more you will fall in love with Him - I guarantee it!! There is nothing to NOT love about Him.

I don't know where you are today - maybe you already have a passionate love-filled relationship with God, and if you do, please leave a comment of encouragement to help the rest of us along - but maybe you're more like me and you don't love God like you should, but you want to, if that's you today, I pray that you will join me on your knees and cry out to Him for more - more thirst, more love, more of Him.

1 comment:

Catherine ~ The Purple Pear ~ said...

Hi Amber,
It's great to see you thirsting and desiring more of God! He is so worthy of this and may we never feel quenched. I think it helps to feel more in love with Him when we meditate on God's promises and linger at the foot of the cross.

It's also good to remember that our hope rests in the truth of God's Word and not in our constantly shifting emotional state. :) That love feeling comes and goes with all relationships, doesn't it?

We won't always experience a mushy swooshy top of the mountain kind of love, you know? It sometimes is like that and those times are sweet, but we could *never* love God the way He deserves to be loved this side of heaven. He's just WAY too awesome for that.