Having grown up in Church, I think I have always loved Jesus. What's not to love? He's our Savior! But as I have gotten older and as life has thrown its curve balls and poured its rainstorms, I've questioned my love for my God. Haven't we all? It's easy to praise Him when we have our way, but when the sky is dark and your heart or body is in pain, love and praise are seldom felt and rarely in our vocabulary.
When we don’t understand the deep, amazing love of Christ, we do not and cannot understand love at all. There is no possible way that we can know how to give and receive true love without, first, knowing the One who loves us most and paid the ultimate price for our soul. The very God who created love and implanted the desires of love inside each one of us, shows us over and over again in Scripture how deeply He cares for us. No one ever has or ever will love like Jesus. Each word in Scripture is a tender gift to us that spills out His passionate devotion and His faithful and enduring love. Over and over, He reminds us how much He pursues us, provides for us, comforts us, and cares for us. Here are just a few examples....
I will never leave you or forsake you… Hebrews 13:16 Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee… Song of Solomon 4:7 I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you… John 14:18 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever… Hosea 2:19 Peace I leave with you… John 14:27 Behold, thou art fair my love… Song of Solomon 1:15 And I will dwell in the midst of thee… Zechariah 2:10 O my dove... let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice… Song of Solomon 2:14
Love letters are welcomed with a soft blush, an excited smile and a desire to write and send one in return. So how much more does our Lord long for us to do the same with Him? He has written the grandest, sweetest, most beautiful love letter of all time. Why? Because He desires intimacy with us, His bride. Don’t you think He wishes to see an eager and excited smile when we open up His love letter? Do you think He looks over at us to see if we are in awe; humbled and moved and completely in love with Him in return? I think He does.
We often wrap ourselves so deep into earthly relationships that we become completely oblivious to our need for a heavenly romance. We work hard to make ourselves physically appealing and desirable, but rarely do we work to make ourselves a pure and desirable place for the Lord to dwell. If we would spend as much time, effort and energy every day beautifying ourselves spiritually and making the temple of God - us! – a more clean and holy place for Christ to inhabit, then we would surely feel our God rejoicing over us in a way that we cannot fathom. We would surely feel an overpowering and unexplainable love for our Savior, Jesus Christ. Matthew encourages us to seek Him first and make our relationship with Christ our first priority. An earthly marriage is very special and beautiful, but it in no way comes close to our Heavenly Marriage, which is the foundation for it all. Without the presence of Christ, the ground on which a marriage is built will always be sinking sand.
You see, even the best marriages will still include moments of loneliness and heartache. After all, marriage is a union made of two sinners with a natural tendency to be selfish and childish. The same basic struggles that single women have are found in marriage too. In fact, married women often admit to feeling alone and unfulfilled, even those that are financially secure with a thriving career. Why is that? Just as God created us to long for love and peace, He also created a void within us that only He can fill. He did it that way on purpose so that we will see that He alone can truly satisfy.
Anything we desire in an earthly relationship, we already have offered to us in Jesus Christ.
The psalmist, David, wrote: Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4
What does it mean to “delight” in the Lord? That’s pretty unusual terminology when the subject is spiritual. To delight in someone means you take great joy and pleasure in them. It means to be caught up with excitement and satisfaction with the one in whom you are delighting in.
1) Does our heart take joy and pleasure in Christ? 2) Are we content simply in His presence, without possessions, social media, or a significant other? 3) Do we protect and treasure the time spent pouring over His Word; His love letter to us?
Simply loving the Lord and enjoying spiritual, “Churchy” things will not give us joy, nor does it set the stage for a healthy marriage. If we are not ultimately content in the person of our Savior, we will never be content, even with an earthly relationship or with all the money in the world at our disposal. No amount of gifts, love letters, or tender expressions from an earthly romance can fully satisfy us because we were created for something more - something deeper, richer, and fully satisfying. The more we rejoice in Jesus and find our fulfillment in Him, the more our heart’s desires will merge with His. That's what David was talking about! That's what it means to delight in the Lord.
If we fall in love with Jesus, casting the eyes of our heart upon His face. the cravings of our flesh and the longings for other, earthly things will diminish because our satisfaction is firmly rooted in the person of Jesus.
There was a woman in the Bible who came to Jesus, days before his arrest and crucifixion, and anointed him with precious ointment. Carrying with her a box of alabaster, she knelt at his feet and began to pour out that costly perfume onto the feet of Jesus. As she wept, she let down her long hair and washed his feet with her tears and with her hair. Many rolled their eyes, many pursed their lips in disapproval, and many were shocked at the nerve she had to interrupt their gathering, yet she cried all the more. She poured out her precious alabaster, but what Jesus saw was the pouring out of her very life.
We are so quick to say we love Jesus deeply and ardently, but do we love Him enough to grovel at His feet, kissing Him with complete adoration? Do we love Him enough to fall on our faces and simply savor His goodness, expecting nothing in return? Do we love Him enough to pour out our life, sacrifice our ambitions, relinquish whatever rights we think we have, and peacefully place the entirety of who we are into His hands with complete and total trust?
That is delighting in Jesus!
Our Savior and Redeemer promised to never lead us astray, leave us comfortless, or abandon us when we need Him. He promises to love forever, be a never-changing place of refuge, forgive us when we ask, sustain us on this journey called life, and enable us with His power if we only empty ourselves of ourselves. Friends, He is worth falling in love with! I'm not talking about the mandatory Bible reading each Sunday, or a quick skim when you need a spiritual pick-me-up. I'm talking about desiring Him in such a way that everything else comes second; thirsting after His presence like a starving man in the desert; needing Him and depending on Him more than anything or anyone else. May our heart's cry be, "He is altogether lovely! This is my beloved and this is my friend...." (Song of Solomon 5:16)