Template for Life

This year has been one of relearning relationship with the Lord. Abba is a jealous God and won’t settle for slivers of our time or pieces of our adoration. This year has revealed that HE is the template for all things and that love for Him is what everything should stem from.

I haven’t been consistently intentional with my year off from dating (still have two months left and the Devil is fighting hard y’all). I haven’t been consistently intentional in a summer that was supposed to be about serving God. I don’t naturally look to God upon waking up and am quite selfish and prideful. I am far from perfect and am in the constant process of sanctification. BUT He has met me in these moments and is constantly tugging at my soul to chase Him and only Him.

This process of relearning relationship with Abba has been eye opening, heart wrecking, and frustrating. My expectations were not met and He reminded me that this year wasn’t a year of no dating, but a year of falling in love with Him. This is not easy!

I mean let’s just take a quick break to visualize something: when one is in a relationship, how does it generally look? You take time to get to know them, in fact you desire to spend time with them! You pursue them. You desire them to feel loved and you desire to feel loved too. You might get butterflies and see this world in new colors because WOW! you have found someone that brings the beauty out in everything! But it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. There are moments that it is difficult and you have to be intentional about pursuing them even when your emotions don’t line up. They might make you frustrated or leave you with patience running thin. And that is when the hard work comes in, when you either lay down your selfish desires and serve them or sit in your flesh and stubbornness, demanding they fix what went wrong. Either way, it’s not always easy! It can be beautiful and rewarding, but do not be fooled, it is hard work.

Now take this visual and apply it to Christ. He’s been pursuing us from the get go! What about our pursuit of Him though? We are His beloved, children, heirs, Bride, and lavished in His grace! He is constantly wooing us with all of creation! He never stops and never will! Yet we give him just snapshots of our day, halfhearted adoration, and the scraps of our energy. We expect him to give us the things in this life that keep us comfortable, whether that be a nice job or marriage or good health. Y’all, we don’t deserve anything except his wrath! Yet he constantly gives, constantly loves, corrects us and reveals his mercy in ways we can’t imagine! He doesn’t need us. He won’t have an identity crisis if we don’t recognize the truth in who He is. But He wants us; the King of Kings, the one who got his hands dirty to make you and I, desires us every moment of every day and then some!

Here’s the kicker though. Remember the visual I gave earlier? Think about that pursuit of a relationship and the desire to love and be loved. Okay, now ask yourself this: how do you expect to love others, whether that be with strangers or in dating or with friends or especially in marriage, if you don’t know how to love God? To truly know what pursuit of His presence looks like, to be changed from the inside out, to serve him selflessly every day even when you’re emotions don’t line up? Relationship with God is to lay oneself down, to allow him to wreck you and shine through in your imperfections, to see the world through the eyes of grace and the intricate details of His magnificence, to wake up and choose this pursuit of an all knowing God that does not need us, but who desires every part of who we are!

If we are inherently selfish and desire other people’s time and love and to know the intimate details of who they are and we are created in the image of God, how much more is he jealous for every piece of our hearts and adoration and intimate details of our minds?

Yet still we sit with halfhearted, time stressed devotionals, offering prayers that have become routine. We have become numb to the immensity of His love and have lulled ourselves into a state of comfort and entitlement. We talk of sin and separation from God almost to the point where it falls on deaf ears. SEPARATION FROM OUR LOVING GOD’S PRESENCE SHOULD NOT SIT WELL WITH US! I know I used to talk about this separation almost as if it could never happen to me, but y’all, Jesus didn’t just die from the weight of our sins but also from the separation from God. HE LITERALLY DIED BECAUSE SEPARATION FROM HIS FATHER’S PRESENCE WAS TOO MUCH TO BEAR!

We should pursue him with everything and separation from his presence should not sit well with us! I’m preaching to myself in this too! I’ve had plenty of moments where I bolt in the opposite direction of his presence and still have moments when I decide to ignore the constant tugging on my heart to sit in who He is and to simply love him.

This relationship with Him is supposed to change us, we aren’t meant to leave His presence indifferent. It’s hard work and has left me yelling at the sky at moments! But I challenge you to challenge what you think relationship with Christ looks like. I promise that if you ask, it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7). Without Him, everything is meaningless and the model of love is lost unless we learn to love, truly love, Him first and foremost! Relationship with Abba, not just praying the prayer of repentance, but true pursuit of everything He is simply to love and serve him, is the starting point for all things. Start chasing Him my friends and be ready to be amazed!

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