Confession time: Lately, my attention has been captured by the shiny objects of this world.
It began subtly, as drifting always does.
The details are not important but the state of my heart is.
In the past, I would not have been aware of it so soon. But as I walked with Jesus through a difficult season that required 100% of my faith, He and I have become so much closer. I see the traces of His hand everywhere. I “hear” Him speaking to me through many different avenues: His Word, the beauty all around me, laughter, the precious friends and family that He chosen to place in my life, sermons, music, life with all its ups and downs.
Yet with all that, my gaze began to drift from the beauty of His face to the things of this world. At first it was just a glance; then two; then five…then I found myself gazing at the fleeting, the temporal, the things that promise much but never deliver because they are ultimately empty.
Yesterday in church, Jesus began to call to me in a powerful way. As the church service began, I had no idea that my God, whose name is Jealous would begin to woo my back to His arms and to His side.
His Voice is undeniable in its passion and authority.
Our pastor began to talk about how Jesus pursues us with single-minded fervor.
“Jesus pursues a continuing love with you…He wants us to experience Him and He wants to experience us…we are only seeking Him because He first sought us…He pursues us, He comes after us, even when we are corrupted and contentious.”
Still. Always. He loves us.
Then this Scripture, read with great animation from the pulpit: “Show me Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight.” (Exodus 33:12-13).
“Knowing Me is why you are here,” Jesus whispered from the pages of my Bible. “Don’t ever lose sight of that.”
The shiny objects of this world become like rusted tin in light of that glorious and wondrous Reality.
Heaven reached down to me sitting in that pew yesterday morning as the Voice of my Savior reached my heart that had inconceivably (to me, not to Him) begun to wander.
He remembers that we are dust. Our weaknesses surprise us but they never surprise Him. He knew exactly what we were when He chose to set His affections upon us and open our eyes to His matchless beauty and grace.
That same Voice spoke to me again at the gym this morning…just in case my stubborn heart didn’t get the message the first time.
While pushing through a tough workout on the treadmill, this song began to play from my iPod:
And He is jealous for me; loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
bending beneath the weight of His love and mercy
When all of a sudden I unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me.
Oh, how He loves us
Oh how He loves us, how He loves us all
And we are His portion and He is our Prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking
And Heaven meets Earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way
He loves us, oh how He loves us
How He loves us all —-(How He Loves by David Crowder)
I felt like I couldn’t breathe, right there in the middle of the gym on that treadmill. Heaven met Earth in an unforeseen kiss as Jesus spoke to my wandering heart, calling me back to Himself. This was no “Jesus meek and mild.” This was a Savior whose eyes burn with fire calling to His bride from whom He demands purity…
“NOTHING compares to Me, Susan. I AM the Living Water. I AM the Bread of Life. I AM EVERYTHING. I am worthy of Your fidelity. I am jealous FOR you. No one loves you like I do. Repent and turn back to Me!”
How grateful I am that He knows my name. That He desires for me to know Him intimately. That I have found grace in His sight. That He loves me enough to warn me of danger. That He is so powerful. That He is a Redeemer. That He does not turn me away when I come to Him full of guilt, but opens His arms wide and envelops me in His love. That there is always redemption and grace shining from His eyes when they look upon His own.
He always restores.
His lavish and unconditional love literally takes my breath away.
Our church is doing the wonderful study “Experiencing God” this summer. It started last week and I wasn’t there. This week, I will be, at Jesus’ personal invitation.
It is time for me to experience His boundless grace in a whole new way.
I share this with you to encourage you to examine your heart today. Is it fully faithful to the One who gave everything to set you free?
Nothing compares to Him. Nothing.
In the words of the apostle Paul, “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to One Husband, that I may present you as a pure virgin to Christ.”—2 Corinthians 11:3
As a believer, you are Jesus’ Bride. Live like it today.