I have a friend who is constantly reading Bible commentaries, books, and websites, desperately trying to figure out exactly what she should believe about everything and why. Her quest for the perfect doctrine is all consuming and she worries all the time that she might have something wrong that will harm her relationship with the Lord.
Another friend of mine looks at her life and sees nothing to live for. Depression rules her thoughts and actions. She believes she could never be good enough to earn anyone's approval, especially God's. The people she loves would be better off without her around. She feels nothing but loathing for herself, and although she believes the work of Jesus on the cross is enough to get her into heaven, she's certain that her life here on earth will keep her from God's loving arms.
Nearly EVERY woman I know looks into the mirror and thinks, what a fat, ugly lady I am. I need to lose at least 20 pounds. Who could ever love a blob like me? I don't even have the self discipline to stay on a diet or to exercise every day. I enjoy sweets so they must be a form of idolatry to me. How can God ever forgive me when I can't even make myself stop doing this?
What does God want from you? Beyond believing in Jesus and His work of salvation, what does He want? I can tell you what He doesn't want. He doesn't want your super-intelligence that can explain and understand every bit of doctine. He doesn't want your perfection in every area of life. He doesn't want your iron-willed self discipline that can decide to never ever eat anything bad for the rest of your life and actually stick to that decision! What does God want?
He wants your HEART! He wants YOU!
It's not that giving of your heart to Him that you did when you first believed (although it can happen at the same time). It's something deeper. It's utterly falling in LOVE with Him!
Do you remember when you first fell in love with your spouse? Wow! Life was incredible! The whole world seemed brighter, food tasted better, every beautiful flower was noticed and enjoyed, music touched you more deeply, the name of your love was constantly on your lips and in your thoughts, and you couldn't WAIT to see him again. And everyone could see the bloom of Love in you. That's what God wants to be to us. And, get this! That's how He feels about YOU! Isn't that incredible?
Just stop for a minute and let yourself FEEL that amazement. Yes, it's true. He says in Isaiah 49, "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
I have engraved you on the palms of my hands"
That's how much He loves you. He literally engraved YOU on the palms of His hands when He was nailed to the cross. He is excited when He hears from you and He looks forward to the opportunity to talk with you through His Word. He sees you as beautiful and precious and HIS. We hear these things often enough to take them for granted, to not really think about what they MEAN. But when we do stop and think about it - really think about it - WOW! What an incredible thing to be loved by God! How can we not love Him with an all-consuming love - the kind of love we had for our spouse when we first fell in love. How can we not see that flower growing by the wayside or hear the words of a song and know without a doubt that it is a special delivery just for us? How can we not find His name on our lips and in our thoughts constantly?
And do you know what happens when we fall utterly in Love with our wonderful God?
We find that we desire so much to be in His presence that we spend more time in His Word and find the wisdom and understanding that He promises there.
We find that new thoughts of praise and joy push out those of hopelessness and self hatred.
We find that people around us think we are "just about the most beautiful person they know".
We don't have to strive for any of those things. They just happen! Isn't that amazing??
I have been each of those women at the beginning of this article and now I am the new person described just above. In my flesh, I still can look at myself as "fat, ugly, stupid, can't do anything right, Heidi" but that only makes it more amazing that God loves even ME! And He tells me to take that thought captive and remind myself that those things are not true, because He has changed me, and in His sight I am beautiful. Beautiful! WOW!
Do you know that? Do you really understand that? Can you feel His love for you?
Jesus loves YOU
This I know
For the Bible tells me so!
Get excited and fall in LOVE and watch your life change utterly!