I asked the question to the Pastor who sat in the driver’s seat on the way to Young Adult retreat a couple of years ago. I remember being so lost. I knew what I believed in, but I was yearning for a feeling that I wasn’t feeling. I wanted to feel heart palpitations and an uneasy stomach in order to believe that I was in love with Christ. I asked “How do you know if you love the Lord?” to various people in hopes of being able to share the same answer, and in hopes of finding that answer for myself, but it wasn’t something that google could help me with at that point. I left realizing that loving Christ is not a feeling that we wait to feel, rather it is a choice every day to “deny myself and to take up my cross daily to follow Him. (Luke 9:23)”
I have been thinking of that turning point quite frequently lately as I reflect on how different my relationship with Christ is now. I contrast my devotional life now with how it was then. Devotionals then were selfish and the questions I asked were: How can I apply this to my life? What am I going to get out of this passage today? So often devotionals simply felt like a chore or a routine, as I often left with a feeling of emptiness. Where as more recently the question that is being answered is “What is God going to reveal to me about His character today?” and NOW, when I ask myself “Sandra, How do you know if you love the Lord?” I can confidently say that “I choose to love the Lord with my heart, my mind, and my soul, and I want to know Him.” Living in obedience to Christ is the hardest choice that I have to make daily, and there are days where I am sure that my love for Christ is not reflected in my actions and in my service. But then God reveals more His character to me and through His word encourages me to continue to choose Christ and love Him. The more I know, the more I love. The more I love Him, the more I want to know about Him and so the cycle continues.
These excerpts from my bible reading plan today completely floored and overwhelmed me – leaving me in a state of awe of God’s character and how he chooses to reveal himself to us.
2 Kings 10:18 – 28
God used Jehu the King of Israel to wipe out Baal (a false God) and his worshippers from Israel and turns their place of worship into a LATRINE! Someone please tell me they laughed – because I know I did. Not only is Our God a jealous one, but he also has a sense of humour.
Acts 17: 24 – 31
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “in him we live and move and have our being” as even some of your own poets have said, “for we are indeed his offspring”. Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all his people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
I read the above passage multiple times, and there was not one thing that I was able to focus on. God as the creator, who is timeless, Holy, sovereign and yet we are able to approach Him because we are His children and are identified by his presence in us. Our God cannot be confined to a statue, an element of the periodic table, a church building or even a figment of our imagination. In addition, He will come to judge. There was so much here and yet as I turned to my daily Psalms passage – the following excerpt put things into perfect perspective:
Psalm 144: 3-4
O LORD, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.
The best way to describe the way that I am feeling is that I feel so privileged to be able to know and love this God. I feel blessed and grateful that God has chosen to save me and reveal Himself to me, and even more overwhelmed and privileged that he continues to reveal Himself to me as I fall deeper in Love with Him.
How do you know if you love the Lord? Do you WANT to love Him?