What do you love about the love of God?
As a young Christian I remember being told I should love God. I struggled with the idea of loving Someone so big. Why, I couldn't even put my arms around Him! How could I love Him when I couldn't see His face with eyes by which I could gauge His feelings for me? Besides, human love seemed it would dwarf in the presence of a huge, majestic, all-knowing God. Reverencing God seemed easier to do. He was my Creator and therefore the Boss of me. I had received Him as Savior and Lord; therefore, it was understood I owed all my allegiance to Him. That I could do. The obedience thing was a struggle at times but understanding that I should do it was not. But love Him? There seemed to be some ingredients missing for love to be what I thought He wanted of me. Then someone told me that loving God is different from the love we have for people.
I wrestled with this loving God thing for a long time. I didn't understand it so I stuck with what I did know: obedience and worship of Him. I wanted to please Him. I wasn't afraid of going to Hell. I knew that was settled. I just didn't want to make Him angry. I'd heard about sin making God sad. That idea was odd to me too. Anyway, I didn't want to do that to Him either. For years and years I went on obeying and worshipping. Then something happened. I can't recall what the catalyst was, but something began to awaken in me. Was something missing? Yes. It was passion for Him. I was afraid of having those experiences that made people jump pews and say stuff nobody could understand. I didn't crave that. I did want the kind of ... of... love, yes, that was it... I wanted the kind of love I'd seen in other people. They'd hold their arms crisscross over their chest and talk about loving Him. I recall journaling that whatever that was I didn't have, but I wanted it. I wrote God that I obeyed Him because I didn't want the consequences of not doing it, but I didn't know how to love Him.
Oh! It's coming back to me now. The catalyst was a devastation that occurred. I became disillusioned with heroes falling off pedestals. My heart ran to God for a place I couldn't name. My insecurities were floating in the air like dust too thick to breathe in. So much of what I'd depended on was no longer there, and I was lost. God seemed the logical place to go. I am so thankful for the volcanic blast of trouble that blew me into His arms. The blast also uncovered sin I'd buried but never gave a proper funeral. I was driven to dig into His word for answers to questions I never had before. The God I knew mainly as Judge, and Ruler, and Master slowly became the Wooer and Lover of my soul. Had I not witnessed it in a few key people, I would have been afraid of it. It was like a burning. A deep yearning to reach up to the sky and cup His holy face in my hand. It didn't matter anymore that it was too big, my passion would not let that detail matter. Why? Because I'd caught glimpses of Jesus in man-size loving me and in God sized proportions. I was ruined for reverence only. He was so much more than a God to be respected- He was One Who touched parts of my soul nobody else could. Those parts were reserved for Him alone and the intimacy was a holy and yet all-consuming one. This love birthed a courage I never had before. Fear had been my title, first, and last name, but His love called me out. I recall feeling like the ugly girl being picked by the captain of the football team.
Just when I think I love Him all I can, He knocks out another wall and expands it again. It makes me want others to see what they're missing. It makes me want to trust Him to do more through me. Is that what the Apostle John meant when he said in 1John 4:18, "perfect love casts out fear"? If you are going around fearing that God is mad at you, then you can't fully absorb His love. You are uncertain of it and you can't let your hair down with Him. You won't worship Him with passion and abandon because all you see is your Judge. Your salvation will feel like a legal contract, but God offers so much more! His love makes the obedience something you embrace instead of the unfortunate price you pay in exchange for accepting that thing He did on the cross for you.
So let me ask again. What do you love about the love of God? Where do you believe He's calling you to experience something deeper? Did you once love Him more than you do now? Is there an elephant in the room it's time to talk to Him about? This is the perfect time for a love that's always in the air. Take hold of it, My Friend, and let it take you to places you never thought possible!