Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Do I Love God?

One of my favorite blogs to read is Jack’s over at Forgotten Prophets. Now Jack is not one who’ll make you leave feeling happy, but you will leave with another wrinkle in your gray matter. He makes you think. He forces you to think. He demands it. Thought provocation is his thing.

He wrote something recently that came at a time just after I had had a recent discussion with my husband about loving God.

I was struggling with a dry spell in my spiritual walk. I felt that God was distant and I felt as though I were walking alone. Having had many times in my life when God’s presence was so real that it was overwhelming, I was lamenting that it had been a while since that had happened. I felt like I was on auto-pilot in my spiritual walk. I felt like a hypocrite. I felt like I wasn’t growing spiritually.

Key word here: “felt”.

I was discussing my feelings with my husband, who has been a Christian for many more years than I have, and he asked me, “do you love God?” I paused and stared at him for probably thirty seconds before I heard myself say, “No, I don’t think I do.” His mouth dropped often. He looked distraught. Disappointed. Hurt. I asked him if he loved God, and he said emphatically YES!!! So maybe it's just me.

Love is a strong emotion. But it is an emotion. And one thing man cannot depend on or rely on is his emotions. We all know what it’s like to get really mad at someone and then find out that we were totally wrong in the reason that led up to getting angry…and then being unable to turn the anger off quickly. It lingers… it subsides…but it doesn’t leave quickly.

We can’t always trust our “feelings”.

I’m consumed by God. I think about Him every waking minute of my day. I talk to Him, I cry out to Him, I question Him. I praise Him. I thank Him. I complain to Him. But I'm not sure I love Him.

I've been a Christian for nine years. I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know God through His Word and through His people. His Word has become very intimate to me, but I don't know that I really love Him. I'm intimate with Him, but I don't think that I really love Him. Does that make sense? I want to, but I don't know if I'm capable of loving God. It seems like such a huge mismatch.

I’ve had feelings of awe over God. I’ve had great emotional experiences in His presence. I’ve been excited about seeing Him work in my life and in the lives of those around me. I’ve been humbled by His power and His greatness. I’ve been at times shaken by His obvious preeminence in every aspect of my life. But I don’t know that I’ve ever felt love in its truest sense of the word.

Maybe I'm not capable of loving God.

If love is caring that someone is pleased with you, and if all your thoughts are captivated by them, is that love? If I feel confident that if forced to deny Him or die, I would choose death, is that love?

My husband says love is a decision, not an emotion. He says that he has not only decided to love me, he feels a very deep love toward me. Which is the greater expression of love? The decision or the feeling?

I’ve made the decision to love God. I’m praying the feelings will come.

The great part about this whole issue is that He loves me anyway, whether I reciprocate or not. He loved me when I was spitting in His face and denying His existence. He loves me in spite of my sin, my pride, my selfishness, my weaknesses and my failures.

God Himself IS love. Maybe that's the part that causes my questioning. How can I as a mere human being possibly think that I can love God, when the very essense of God IS love. He loves me so much that He suffered and died for me, and took my guilt and sins on Himself.

Come to think of it...that's enough to make me want to love Him even if I can't.

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1 Comments:

At 8:45 PM, Anonymous ExPreacherMan said...

Ms. Green.

Too often we worry about whether we love the Lord "enough."

The very essence of Biblical love is expressed in:
1 John 4:10 "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

My love for the Lord grows greater as I study His Word.. especially and even more as I share the Gospel with the lost. I once was lost and I know... what a thrill to see God's love bring another soul into an eternity with Him. I love Him because He loves them... ALL of them... including this old sinner!

Thanks for your post... interesting.

ExP(Jack)

 

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