Saturday, August 24, 2013

God Wants Your Heart First

Marriage can be a wonderful picture of our relationship with Christ. If the marriage, the courtship, the relationship is full of the gifts of the Spirit, it’s easy to return that love.

When Danny asked me out he didn’t call me up and put demands on me. He didn’t order me out with him. He asked and I might say he asked very nicely. Danny’s kindness was a huge draw. He always treated me with tenderness from the beginning.  He was a hunter, a fisherman, a biker and all man. But because he knew how to be nice to me I liked him all the more.

If he’d been harsh or indifferent or demanding I would not have responded so well to him. I don’t like harsh, indifferent and demanding one bit. None of those “virtues” ever makes a person want to obey, toe the mark or submit. None of those qualities draws people, encourages folks or increases trust and fellowship. Rather they cause avoidance.

God is the Lord of Heaven and Earth. He is to be worshiped and revered. He calls us to repentance as we give our lives and hearts to Him. But He does not beat us over the head. He does not tell us we’re useless, worthless or unredeemable. We are all that without Him, but He does not bring up our worthlessness and push us to obey with an iron fist.

Instead His love woos us to complete surrender. The sweetest devotion is between two who love one another without reservation.  God loves us without reservation. And He wants us to love Him the same. When the Lord and a sinner like you and me meet with the grace and faith of the Cross we are overcome.  We are undone.  We realize our own state of affairs and we cry out to Him. And greater than the greatest earthly husband, He sweeps down to our level and scoops us into His arms, the very ones that were spread on the Cross to show His love for us.

Maybe you’ve been rebuffed by someone who should have been kind to you. You may have been in a relationship where there is no freedom to fail or to shine. You may have heard that God is watching you and will get you if you don’t straighten up and fly right. You could be afraid to truly come near to God for you have been afraid He will know the real you and discard you, disown you or worse. Maybe the enemy of your soul has called you out, beat you up and left you without hope. But he is a liar and the father of all lies.

Oh beloved, God does indeed have a plan and He does want your obedience, for His Word says to obey is better than sacrifice. But first He wants your heart. He is wooing you this very moment, speaking His love Words into your heart. His voice is gentle and calm and beckoning. He says to you this morning, I AM your greatest love. I AM your staunchest ally. I AM everything you are not and yet I AM willing to share all of my nature with you. Everything I do I AM doing for love.  When I speak your name into your heart you will never have to fear for I AM always calling you in love.

Won’t you trust Him today? Won’t you give Him your heart and mind? Won’t you stop a moment and quit running from the very One Who loves you beyond all belief? Let Him show you through His Word that He loves you and He’s for you and that beloved is why you can follow Him, obey Him as you live in the light of His Word.

Psalm 89:15 Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, LORD.

Psalm 44:3 They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory. It was Your right hand and strong arm and the blinding light from Your face that helped them, for You loved them.

Psalm 80:3 Turn us again to Yourself, O God. Make Your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.

Isaiah 43:1 But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.

Psalm 139:1-6 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.  You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!

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