I want to discuss today a WOW thought that I’m having. I’ve often tried to extract love from God. Being loved was my focus. In moments of depression, stress, or fear, I wanted Him to express His love for me rather than my loving God. Is this a rare thought among Christians? I don’t know, it seems like sacrilege to mention it. It’s like a betrayal of the One who proves His love over and over again, especially with the ultimate Gifts of His Son’s Life and His indwelling Spirit. But in these dark moments, I look for a tangible touch—a specific, personal confirmation of His love.
So here is the wow thought: Why don’t I seek to focus my attention on loving God rather than a narcissistic seeking to BE loved by Him? I know this is not novel but it is foreign. I think somewhere in my thoughts I figured, “He is God, He has everything and knows everything – I’m the needy one here!” But this is not at all right.
Firstly, I have something He’s unable to receive anywhere else in all of creation—my love. I’m the only one who can give it. It’s my gift and it’s solely mine to bestow. He can’t acquire it anywhere else. So if I withhold it from Him, He will never receive it. Secondly, and more importantly, satisfaction in love is to give, not receive. I know this stomps on many wounds, but it’s just true. It’s the very nature of love. One of the reasons divorce runs rampant is because we have tons of broken people all looking to “be loved.”
Love is not for the purpose of acquisition – love yearns to give. There is no growth in simply receiving love. Character and dignity comes from loving not in being loved. Being loved can heal us, but it’s when the love flow pours out of us that we see growth and maturing. The old cliché is true: “It is better to give than receive.” And this is certainly true with love!
Yes, all the countless days of my seeking to be loved by God simply increased my frustration. It’s one thing to be a young believer, looking for proof of His love, but it is quite another to be a mature Christian and stay in that position!
Look at it this way, let’s seek to love Christ and let Him deal with His side of the relationship. Or just for chuckles and grins, why don’t I even try to out-love God? Impossible I know, but how utterly fascinating to see how that would play out.
Quite frankly, if God had let me have my way, I would’ve been ruined. If I were the focus of our relationship, I would be the GOD. Oops! It would be my undoing and a complete disservice to me. If God had bowed to my demands to be the centrality, it would have destroyed me because I was created to love and worship Him.
Seeking to Be Loved
I believe there are countless souls looking for Christ to enter a soulish relationship with them. Yet intimacy with Christ is different than simple human fantasies of romance, and certainly not me-centered. So let’s examine how Christ had intimacy with His Father. Clearly, He had the most intimate relationship with God of any person ever to walk this earth. What made them intimate was free access to live His life and will through Christ, not a spooning snuggle before bed. They had unhindered communion in the mind of God, not mere mental assent through human reasoning and study.
And you might say, “But Christ was God!” Yes, and we have been given the indwelling Spirit to be in the same union. You see, Christ came to be the Solution for our separation and then left the Spirit to make us one. We can have intimacy with the Third Member of the Trinity living in our body, counseling our actions and revealing our hearts. Intimacy is holiness, surrender, yielding, and commonality. Not that the Father doesn’t touch our physical bodies, but if it’s our idol and focus, I believe He withholds it from us. The Spirit has touched me many times. It’s comforting at times and frightening at others, but it’s all been initiated by Him. He’s the lead in our dance and must always be, especially in being loved.
Being Loved and Loving God
Every man who really loves Me will himself be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and make Myself known to him.
John 14:21b Phillips