Most of the time I truly enjoy SERVING God and the things of His Kingdom and much of the time I believe I do a good job OBEYING His precepts and keeping in line with His will. (Brief pause, deep sigh and gulp of uncertainty) – Are you SURE this will stay just between us??
Often I question just how much I truly LOVE my Heavenly Father.
Take a moment – read that line again – and yes it said what you thought it said. You see sometimes I really wonder what it means to truly & deeply be in LOVE with God. I like to believe that when I serve Him and am obedient to Him that it equates to LOVING Him. But if I am being honest, I am not so sure that is always the case. Here is some of my reasoning on this…
I’m the kind of person that profoundly enjoys when a day of doing laundry is done, you know, all finished & folded and the clothes neatly tucked away back in the proper drawers and on the correct hangers all facing the same way in the closet. I love that feeling when I’ve paid the last bill or finished my taxes and it’s all sent in EARLY. I love order & structure and for everything to be in its place. Due to the craziness of my life and the time I spend traveling I can look at my desk or the floor around my favorite chair and tell how chaotic it has been – simply because there will be stacks of papers and things that have not been filed away properly. When my life gets like that, I feel a bit of stress and a lack of contentment, that is until the day which I stop and clean it all up and get it put away and then finally everything is at peace again.
It is then that my step is a little lighter, my day seems a tad bit brighter, my rest at night comes more easily and that burden no longer rests on my shoulders. I simply enjoy that feeling, that moment of knowing life is back in a good place.
What does this all have to do with serving, obeying and loving the Lord? Well here is my conundrum, do I merely serve & obey to simply keep the bad feelings at bay? Do I simply serve & obey in order to make it through my day?
Is there some part of me that serves & obeys – simply for the JOY it affords my maker and not me?
And that is the answer I am not always sure I am able to boldly boast forth a confident YES!
It’s part of my personality and makeup to not always be so “lovey-dovey” or sentimental & sweet, and thus I wonder if that affects the affections I should offer up to my Abba Father. Am I simply “To-Do List” keeping and rule-following because that is how I best enjoy life?
Now some may argue – “what does it matter”. But there is the rub – if I only serve & obey when it’s best for me, instead of out of a love relationship with my Lord – then when it isn’t so convenient, I won’t. Also when it’s an area of struggle and failing to follow due to falling into temptation and sin I won’t be able to legislate my way out and will continue to fall to the same patterns of pitiful human attempts. It is only through the realization and the ability to live forward in the idea that I LOVE God enough to be free – free from the things to which I fall and free from the need to serve & obey out of desires to be in control of my life.
It’s not that I don’t KNOW in my head. I know all about His Love & Grace & Mercy – I understand (to the best of my human finite mind’s grasp) all of these truths. Now it is simply learning, or better yet feeling (ooooo yuck not so good at that) those truths into my heart and allowing them to overflow back out into all areas of my life. As the writer of Proverbs 4:23 says, “above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”.
I love how God works – as I’ve been battling this out in my head & heart, He imparted a lesson through a book I’ve been reading lately. In “Sacred Pathways” by Gary Thomas it shared these thoughts and ideas in chapter 9 about how contemplatives connect with God. Page 176 reads:
“While some seek to serve the Lord, others seek to celebrate him, and still others seek to explain him, the contemplative seeks to gaze lovingly into God’s face and be caught up in the rapture of a lover’s experience.”
These words albeit uncomfortable and off-putting at times for me to consider – are a cup of cold water in the face of reality, for that aspect of a relationship with my Father that I don’t often experience. It gives me a gentle rebuke, as well, not to simply seek to serve & obey, but to strive always to find a love relationship with Him.
So now you know – I certainly hope you can keep a secret – cause I’d certainly like for this to stay between us, and speaking of “just between us” – what are your thoughts?
Do you struggle as well or could I learn a few lessons from you? I am not asking you to fix me or fake me but simply to fellowship on this journey with me.
And don’t worry, I can keep a secret as well!