Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Meaning of It All, being chiefly an article about Love and Commitment

I can't get Jars of Clay "Love Song for a Savior" out of my head.  The refrain is so simple, but so profound, when offered to Jesus.
I want to fall in love with You
I want to fall in love with You
I want to fall in love with You
I want to fall in love with You
Really, what else could I want?  Is there any other that I'd rather fall in love with?  No, there is no one but God.

This song has me thinking back to a few memory verses ago.  Deuteronomy 10:12,13 has Moses asking the Israelites what the LORD requires of them.  He lists five things.
  1. To fear the LORD
  2. To walk in all His ways
  3. To love Him
  4. To serve Him with all their hearts and all their souls
  5. To keep the commandments and statutes given to them
Do you see #3?  God requires that His people love Him.  And even though these verses are explicitly to the Israelites, they carry over to all of us that are now children of the Promise.  God still requires these five things of us if we are following Him. While there could be commentary on each of these points, I want to focus in particular on #3, especially with its relation to the Jars of Clay song.

The truth of the command--to love Him--is simple; the actuality of it is more involved.  How do we love Him?  How do we love anybody?  Can we be forced to love somebody or something?  No, our love is an intentional choice that we give away.  It is the greatest gift we have available to give.  We have the option to either love or not to love anything, from our spouses to our jobs to our children to the stranger on the corner.  We can choose to not show love, and our love is often conditional.

God's love for us, though, is unconditional, and this is a choice he intentionally made.  He could have loved us conditionally, punishing us for our sins or turning His back to us for our pride.  He would have been perfectly just in doing so, but that's not His character.  For some crazy reason, God has promised unconditional love on us, and this blows my mind.  I don't deserve His love, yet He gives to me at all times (Lamentations 3:22,23).  He renews His mercies every morning for us.  Despite the fact that we're all failures in life and we've all sinned, God still chooses to love us.

So the question is if God commands us to love Him, then why wouldn't we?  How could we not love someone who unconditionally loves us?  Why would we want to turn away from that love?  (I think it's because of ignorance or self-pride, but that's neither here nor there.)  Somehow, perhaps it's the confines of this flesh, our bodies do not want to love God but want to love the world.  This epic tragedy is the gaping problem of many Christians, as well as the lost.  There is no love in the heart for God.

If we are in love with God then we will show it.  We will proclaim our love to Him (through worship and praise and thanksgiving).  We will show off our love, like the young couple that walks hand in hand and dripping with undeniable chemistry.  We will talk about our love, to the point that it could very well sicken those around us.  But the amazing part is that we can enjoy this relationship with other people that are in love with the Creator of the Everything. 

The love of God and for God is not an exclusive love, but an open, free-for-all bottomless tank.  God loves us so much and wants a relationship with us.  He gave us His word.  He gave us the Spirit.  He gave us the blood of His Son.  He made us His children, giving us the right to speak to him (via prayer).  We have everything available to make a meaningful relationship with Him, but so many of us choose not to do it.

How is that even sane?  I don't know.  I know I have dropped the ball of the relationship innumerable times, turning from Him and pursuing my own selfish desires.  There have been people I have not shown love to, and that is painful looking back.  Still, when I look up, God's there for me, waiting with a cross-shaped hug to embrace me and dote on me.

With the starting of Lent (a liturgical season I have never practiced) I have committed myself to actively pursuing God for the next 46 days.  I will be fasting and praying and reading His word religiously (hahahaha! puns!), desperately seeking to draw nearer to the Savior who gave/gives everything to me.  I want to fall in love with Him every possible moment of my life.  There is no one else I would rather love.


Paula Titus said...


logankstewart said...

Thank you, Paula. I was rather proud of this piece myself.