Exploring His Love

Well, the semester is almost over – students are busy with exams and preparing to return home. Definitely influenced our attendance this weekend – a lot of our students have the same exams. We’re going to change our service format for the break, so it doesn’t feel like such a downer to have such a lower attendance than we’re used to. Going to teach a course/series on being a disciple. More on that later, though.

 

This weekend’s message was about pursuing intimacy with God. I personally enjoyed studying for this message – just what I’ve needed. This really was the other half of last week’s message about victory over sin in our lives. As Paul says in Galatians 5, walking in the Spirit will keep you from fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. There’s a reason the evidence of living in the power of the Spirit is called ‘fruit’ – it naturally springs forth when we are being led by Him. I find myself too often struggling to have more love, peace, joy, etc. in my life; the problem however is lack of intimacy with Christ – abiding in Him will cause fruit to appear.

 

How do we pursue intimacy? I spent a long time searching for an answer to that question. I think Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians (ch. 3) helps a lot. His desire is first that the Spirit’s power would rule in their hearts, but then he throws in a fairly strange, seemingly unrelated request – that they would comprehend the dimensions of the love of Christ, that they would know the unknowable – the greatness of Jesus’ love for us. But searching the expanse of the love of Christ must be the key to intimacy with Him.

 

When two people are pursuing a romantic relationship, they’re constantly following each other’s lead. Usually (and advisably) a guy doesn’t ask a pretty girl to marry him the first time he sees her. Instead, they respond to cues from each other, slowly taking steps forward until their relationship is extremely close. Asking a girl to go eat a pizza with you and asking her to spend the rest of her life with you are very different requests, but in both cases, the guy relies heavily on what the girl has said and done to give him confidence to take the next step – his action is a response. 

 

Our relationship with Jesus is a little different. Because before we ever took a step forward towards Him, He walked the whole path. While we were yet sinners, He died for us. He loved before us. While we were still rejecting Him, He bought the ring, the house, and the life, and paid for it with His own blood. So how do we take steps towards intimacy with Him? We observe the steps that He has already taken. We investigate what He has done for His great love wherewith He loved us. We explore the vast sweep of His love. And the more we understand what He has done, the more ready we will be to respond – step forward and commit ourselves to Him.

 

Intimacy is really a statement of satisfaction. It says, ‘Having you is enough. Having you is worth suffering great loss.’ That’s how Isaiah can say that Jesus looked upon His travail in satisfaction. He was bringing us to Himself. Satisfaction is the simplest test of intimacy – if our hearts still long for other pleasures and other pursuits, then we have not yet found complete intimacy with Christ. Time to explore His love…

2 Comments on “Exploring His Love”

  1. Kenneth January 7, 2009 at 8:27 am #

    That’s good stuff. My prayer is that this will be the month that I realize “being with Him is enough”.

  2. Peggy February 14, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    I agree with Kenneth! Great prayer issue. Because when He becomes ENOUGH we are freed from searching for that one thing that only HE can be! Another great post!

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