Love beckons a lover to come and dwell.
To come and sit.
To come and rest.
To come and be.
Did you know that Jesus Himself beckons you?
The King of the world…
The Maker of the stars…
The Artist of the heavens…
He beckons you!
Jesus beckons you to come and dwell with Him. To sit quiet with Him. To talk to Him.
To love God.
Because you love Him.
Not just for what He can do.
Dwelling with God in love will strengthen you.
It will make you come alive again.
“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.”
But it’s hard sometimes to maintain this love for God. That’s why it must be cultivated.
It’s easy to love Jesus when we see His hand at work, isn’t it?
It’s easy to love Jesus when we’re hopeful for what He’s going to do.
It’s easy to love Jesus when we think about all He has done.
But is it easy to love Jesus when things go wrong?
Is it easy to love Jesus when He allows difficulties that hurt a lot?
Is it easy to love Jesus when what we expected is just not happening?
I’m finding that a lot of the unhealed hurt in my heart has remained unhealed because of my misunderstanding of just how much God loves me.
I keep waiting for God to do something, and all along He has been waiting for me to stop looking ahead and just look at Him.
To look at Jesus.
Stop worrying about all that I’m worrying about.
Stop wallowing in disappointment that I can’t control.
Dwell with Jesus in the secret place.
Our secret place.
Where I can be made whole again.
Where I can be made new again.
Where I am loved.
Where I am held.
And our love relationship strengthens me.
“I have asked one thing from the Lord, it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in His temple.”
A psalm of David
King David loved the Lord.
I can feel it so strongly in His psalms.
Yet He wrestled with so many difficulties in His life!
Psalm after psalm in the Bible unveils David’s struggles: fear, despair, discouragement, betrayal, depression, anxiety…
Can you relate?
No matter how old you are or young you are, you’re going to experience some difficult things in your life.
Maybe even some devastating and life-crushing things.
And it will be natural to ask, Why God? Where are you? Don’t you see my pain? Will you not move in my situation?
Confusion over why God is remaining silent in the midst of our most difficult seasons can lead to enormous despair. I have experienced this in many ways while being at seminary ironically. In a place I never expected to face so much spiritual attack. And it has been very hard to believe that God cares about me. Consequently, there have been days I’ve doubted His love altogether. And assumed that I would only get to experience it when I’m in heaven but not while I’m here. I haven’t felt taken care of by the Lord like I always have. And I’m starting to see that it’s because God has been trying to grow me and strengthen me. To wean me off of His constant protection and transition me into a place where I can stand strong and resilient in the face of trials. To mature me in areas I needed maturing. To teach me how to handle difficulties in the future.
In Psalm 27:3, David writes,
“Though an army encamps against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise against me, yet I will be confident.” (emphasis mine)
I’m so encouraged by this.
David learned the antidote to his difficulties. David always ran to God first about his struggles and let God saturate His mind with hope. David loved God for God. And his intimacy with the Lord strengthened Him because of this love.
We need to be strengthened if we’re going to make it through this life.
Did you know that?
You need to be strengthened.
I need to be strengthened.
There are powers at war in the spiritual realm fighting for the destiny of God’s chosen. And we cannot let the enemy snatch away our calling.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against all of the schemes of the devil.”
Loving Jesus for Jesus is the way.
The only way.
Jesus is the only One who can strengthen us and we can only be strengthened if we are in a love relationship with Him.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
One of the biggest barriers to loving Jesus for Jesus and loving God for God is when you put conditions on your relationship with Him.
Expecting God to do what you want Him to do is called a condition.
Withdrawing love from God because you feel hurt is called a condition.
Spending time with Him when He does something for you is called a condition.
I’m learning that if I love Jesus, I can’t place conditions on my relationship with Him. Love doesn’t place conditions on a relationship.
But why, God, won’t You come through on your promise? Why, God, won’t You do something about all I’m facing? Why won’t You help me?
→All those questions are conditional.
Conditions, that if God were to answer if my favor, I would love Him more. And that’s a problem. I’m so glad God has revealed this to me. If Jesus doesn’t answer any of those questions, I still love Him because He is my God and my love. And He is more to me than what He can do for me.
Is God more to you than what He can do for you?
I encourage you to spend some time with the Lord talking to Him about this. I want this for you because it has drastically transformed the way that I look at the difficulties in my life. It has helped me to find peace and joy again in the love of God. A love that is much richer and much stronger than any trial standing against us.
He goes on in Psalm 27 verses 13-14 to conclude,
“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
Dwelling with the Lord in love strengthens us.
This kind of strength sees…
…courage in the midst of fear.
…belief in the midst of doubt.
…hope in the midst of disappointment.
…loving God as the antidote to life’s difficulties.
I want the Lord to know everything about me and me know everything about Him. I want that intimacy. I’ve experienced that this kind of relationship with God is far richer than even the most exciting adventure of seeing God’s hand at work. Knowing Him is far better.
Seeing God’s hand at work is great. But knowing Him is far better. It’s more intimate.
If our conversations with God are centered on requests and expectations more than they are centered on getting to know Him and loving Him, we are missing out on intimacy with the Lord.
We must talk to God for God.
Talk to God because we love Him.
Not just for what prayers we want answered.
This kind of interaction with the Lord is more fulfilling than any other relationship we can have. And it it’s not healthy, it will negatively affect other areas of life.
We must seek Jesus for Jesus.
Seek Jesus because we love Him.
Not just for what we want to see Him do.
Love Jesus for Jesus.
He wants to be loved for who He is.
And He wants to dwell with you one on one.
Dwelling with the Lord in love will strengthen you.
I pray for you that would run to Jesus even though a million other things are beckoning you. Run to Jesus first. Without Him you won’t be able to withstand the pressures of life. I’ve learned this the hard way. And I’m finding that my love with God is the only thing that can make me whole.
The greatest love in the world is beckoning you. His name is Jesus. Whose desire is to dwell with you in return. Seek Him today. And may you find strength dwelling with the Lord in love.
“How lovely is your dwelling place,
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.”
Questions for Today:
- How does dwelling with the Lord strengthen me?
- How does placing conditions on my love relationship with the Lord put a barrier between me and Him?
- How can I redirect my focus on Jesus and away from my negative circumstances?
- Do I love Jesus for who He is or just for what He can do?
- What next step is Jesus telling me take in my relationship with Him today?
“What A Beautiful Name” by Hillsong Worship