The summer of 1974 is unforgettable for it was then that I first came to love Bev. That girl that first caught my eye became the woman who owned my heart for 41 years.  Ours was much more than a functioning partnership, as in – “I do these things, you do those, and we make a home.” Yes, we did complement each other, better together than we could be apart; but there was more than that. There was a desire to know, to be with, to touch, to talk. It went beyond who did what to make life work. Oh yes, the giddy infatuation which was that first Summer love gave way to a deep desire that endured.

Jesus says ”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37, NIV)  How do you read that?

For many I think might be written, “Strive for moral uprightness and say good prayers so God will give you the things you want.” Their relationship with God is functional. There is nothing wrong with seeking God’s blessings but it is not the same as desiring Him!  For others Jesus’ words might be rewritten to say “Care for your neighbors and be compassionate and God will feel your love.”  That is rather like a person in a marriage saying, “I faithfully care for your children, spouse. That is the way I love you.” Sharing the love of children is a rewarding experience, but it can never replace the primary relationship, though in many marriages it does and when the children grow and leave, the ‘marriage’ ends. God wants us to love His children, but He desires our love for Him to be primary!

Let’s be blunt – do we actually desire God?
Do we really long for time to be with Him?
When we come into His Presence does our heart settle with a quiet joy, as it would in the presence of our lover?

Before you dismiss my words as some kind of emotional gush, the overflow of sentimentalism, consider just a couple of passages from the Scripture.
Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You.” (Psalm 73:25, NIV)
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4, NIV)
I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God.” (Isaiah 61:10, NIV)

Repeatedly, the Scripture speaks of God’s people as His bride, beloved by Him, from whom He seeks love.
The entire book of Hosea is a powerful story of God’s love for His wife (Israel) who has turned to other lovers told through the horrible experience of the prophet’s own dysfunctional marriage.

Paul uses the language of betrothal with the church in Corinth “I promised you as a pure bride (virgin) to one husband, Christ.”(2 Corinthians 11:2).

Jesus laments the functional nature of the church in Laodicea, doing many good things but having lost ‘first love.’  Though we do not often read His words as the longing of a lover, that’s what they are. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20, NIV)  He says, “I want you to desire Me.”

Ask any married person about love and they will tell you just how difficult it can be to maintain desire, to keep love fresh and growing. Those that invest themselves in their relationship, who learn how to speak the love language of their spouse, who continue to delight in them, find the reward of intimacy. How precious to see a couple married 50 years, who are still ‘in love,’ not just used to each other, not just together, but who still desire the presence of the one that first captivated their heart.

 Is God your heart’s desire?  This is no easy question.  It is, apart from the Spirit, an impossible demand of us. The word from the Word reveals the way come to love Him. “He loves us first.” Oh that we would hear Him and go beyond religious performance for Him to genuine delight in Him.

“We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in him. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we are like Christ here in this world. Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us.” (1 John 4:16-18, NLT)


Reckless Love

(worship with this song about His love)

Before I spoke a word
You were singing over me
You have been so so good to me
Before I took a breath
You breathed Your life in me
You have been so so kind to me

O the overwhelming never-ending reckless
Love of God
O it chases me down fights ’til I’m found
Leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it I don’t deserve
Still You give Yourself away
O the overwhelming never-ending reckless
Love of God

When I was Your foe still Your love fought for me
You have been so so good to me
When I felt no worth You paid it all for me
You have been so so kind to me

There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

Caleb Culver | Cory Asbury | Ran Jackson © Watershed Publishing Group (Admin. by Watershed Music Group) Bethel Music Publishing Richmond Park Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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