Friday, November 2, 2012

Loving God Above All Else

Is it odd to proclaim that I have a love affair with my God?  Am I weird to confess it?  Does this make me a "Jesus Freak"?  One of those crazy Christians who's a little off balance, a little out of touch?  Well it can't be because I'm single and long for a man.  I'm quite happily married.  And it isn't because my husband isn't living up to his end of the marriage, because I have no reservations in that regard.

There is nothing missing in my life that I'm conveniently filling with Yeshua.  In fact, He fulfills my life.  It's sad that a lot of folk today look upon a Christian who's all in for Christ as an "abnormality".  Even fellow Christians might think zealous people are overdoing it.  This is not to say that a quiet, comfortable love isn't acceptable in His sight either, however, what I am saying is that the overwhelming love of Christ...changes you.

Yeshua had Two Great Commandments.  We always remember the second one -- Love Thy Neighbor.  It comes up frequently when there's talk of intolerance, racism, sexism, or any other hot-button issue comes into play.  And it is quite poignant and to the point.  Love your neighbor as you love yourself.  What a novel concept!  We should all be so lucky to be recipients of that kind of love.

And yet, all too often, we forget the first commandment -- Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.  (Luke 10:27)

Before we're told to love our neighbor, we're told to love God, above and beyond anything else on earth.  Loving God above all things means abiding in Him.  Studying Him, reading His Word, and spending time with Him in prayer.  The more we learn about the love of God for us in His Son Yeshua, the more we fall head-over-heels in love with Him.  The more we wonder and marvel at His grace, the more we stand stunned at what our God has done on our behalf.  The more we see His beauty, the more we're blown away by His loveliness - the more we want to get to know Him.

That's when He sets your heart on fire.  It's no longer enough to wonder about Him or to think about Him, you've got to study Him and seek Him and talk to Him.  You've got to get to know Him, because if He's truly as wonderful and amazing as you are learning He is, then He has no equal in the whole of creation.  He is the consuming fire that burns up all the wood, hay, and stubble, leaving behind nothing but purity, compassion, faith, patience, goodness, kindness, and above all, LOVE.

And the more you learn of Him, the more you see His love for you.  It is reciprocal.  It is a relationship.  And it transcends the Bible itself to become real to you in your every day life.  When you know and abide in God, He leaps off the pages of Holy Writ and becomes absolutely glorious.  And you begin to see His beauty everywhere you look.  I liken it to someone you find attractive.  They are handsome or beautiful.  But the more you get to know them, the more you fall in love with them, and the more they become the most lovely person in the world.

Relationship with God is like THAT.

Those who don't have this kind of relationship think it's quite odd indeed.  But those who do have it, BASK in Him.  The more you know Him, the more you abide in Him and live your life by His commandments, the more you understand His sovereignty and His infinite Glory.  The more beautiful He becomes.  It's overwhelming to realize just how much He loves us.  


Most folks believe the Song of Songs is a book about lovers.  And it is.  But the wording is so strong, about a king coming to sweep his "ordinary" shulammite bride away, we can clearly see the allegory for Christ and His Church.

In Song of Songs 8:6-7, we see a powerful picture of Christ's longing for us. 

"Set me as a seal on your heart, like a seal on your arm..."  -- Keep Me forever in your heart, and declare Me publicly forever on your arm.  I love the beginning of this verse.  I love the aspect that the heart is secret and personal, but the arm is open and public.

"For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as unyielding as the grave..." -- Christ ultimately died to bring us into His Glory.  His Love was the only thing strong enough to conquer the grave.  His jealousy over us, that He was unwilling we should perish and be lost to Him forever, proved once and for all that it's as unyielding as the grave.

"It burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love, rivers cannot wash it away."  -- God's love burns for us, how amazing is that?  In fact, God's love is so powerful, so total, so unrelenting, and so completely overwhelming that not even water can quench it, not even roaring rivers.  God is an eternal flame.  Nothing can quench Him.

Oh, to be loved so completely!  So amazingly!  So eternally!  Why do I love Him so very much?  Why do I dedicate all my energy and strength to loving Him and spending time with Him and learning of Him?  Because I have come to know and understand His Love, His blazing fire, His mighty flame... for ME.

All my life, I've never once seen nor experienced a life that truly abided in Yeshua.  I've seen fanaticism, and that can often be mistaken for abiding.  But fanaticism is taking things to extremes, crossing uncrossable lines, and turning God into an idol of your own creation rather than worshipping and loving the One True God of Scripture.  Those who twist Scripture to fit their fanaticism know nothing about loving Christ.  If they truly knew the love of God, they would keep His commands.  And in a heart that truly loves, there is no room for hate and anger, mistrust and unforgiveness.

But a Christian that rejoices always?  A Christian who prays without ceasing?  A Christian who gives thanks in all circumstances?  Who does that?  Who can continue praising God just as fervently on the bad days as on the good days?  Who can truly say "My help comes from the Lord"?  Who's faith is so rock-solid they can look Satan in the eye and say, "Do your worst"?  How many people can pray with such power that their prayers are answered?  Or pray with such humility that their prayers are answered?  Who can stare down adversity and say, "Thy will be done, Lord, on earth as it is in Heaven"?

THIS is abiding in Yeshua!  And I've never seen it in ANY Christian my entire life.  That is why I wish to BECOME a Christian who abides in Him, as a branch abides in the Vine.  If I've never seen anyone live like this, I want to BECOME the one who does.  I want people to give Christ glory when they see my walk with Him, because there's just something "different" about me.  I LOVE God and PRAISE His holy name, unrelenting, without remorse, with complete abandon, and yet...I'm not a fanatic.  I want to be the spark that lights my brethren on fire.


Because I LOVE Yeshua, with all that is in me.  And if He put me here, it was for good reason.  He created me to live for Him.  Love is not cold.  Love is not lukewarm.  Love is HOT and it BURNS with a passion to ignite a burning love for God within every beating heart that is home to the Holy Spirit.  The very temple of God.

Do not neglect Christ's first commandment to love God above all else.  Loving God is abiding in Yeshua.  Spending time with Him.  Obeying His commands.  It's the abundant life!  It's every thing Christ promised us and more.  Those who love God with an unrepentant passion are not odd nor strange, but rather, examples of Christians who totally trust their God with all the faith inside their hearts.  Come what may, rain or shine.

Yeshua, teach us how to love You and know You so well that we become unshakeable in our faith, unwavering in our resolve, and solid rocks upon which Your Church can stand.  Lead us to the shelter of the Most High so that we may rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  (Psalm 91:1)  In Your holy Name, Amen.


No comments:

Post a Comment