Monday, April 13, 2009

A Moment With Ashley

MORE THAN A FEELING

Well I just couldn't wait until Saturday to send this one out. The Lord really was pushing this topic on my heart in the prayer room this morning, and then we talked about it in class, and now I'm emailing ya'll about it. 

The big thing we hear about, and I've emailed about is God's love. Last night my roommate and I went over to a friend's house to worship. When we got back my roommate was really upset and she said, "I don't get it I never feel ANYTHING." We've all had this moment where we just break down, and try to figure out why we don't feel God's love. Is it because of something we did in the past? The answer is no. The problem is we picture God sitting up in heaven with a bucket of water (love), and we sit down during our quiet time and say, "Pour it on me God! I want to feel your love!" If God is in a good mood that day, or if we've been praying that for a consecutive year then maybe He'll pour some out on us. That isn't how it works at all. We expect this emotional explosion of God's love, and assume that we can just skip the relationship part. If I were to ask you who your closest friends are, you would list the people, and you would realize they all really know you. They know what you like what you don't like, and you know everything about them. The same is true with God. We will be able to experience His love out of the overflow of knowledge. He's not just a good feeling, but a real God who has real love to give if you're willing to have a relationship. 

Imagine you start dating someone you're in love and engaged to be married, unfortunately they leave to go off to war. Everyday they write you a letter telling you about how much they love you, reminding you of all the times you've spent together, and how they can't wait to come back. You receive one everyday, but never even open them. You just look at them and make a pile on your desk. When they come back they find out that you're engaged to someone else. They ask you why, and you simply respond, "I did feel like you loved me."  They ask if you received the letters, and you say, "Yes I have a nice pile on my desk." They reply, "You didn't read them! I poured out my heart in each letter...desperately trying to tell you how much I love you. I never once received a letter from you, but I still loved you and wrote you each day." 

This is exactly how it is with us and God. He has given us the Bible telling us how much He loves us, the measures that He has gone to just to be with us, and how He can't wait to be with us again. The problem is that we never read it, and then we complain that we don't feel anything. Meanwhile He's saying, "I poured out my love into that book...please read it take it off your bedside table and open it!" We don't even take the time to sit down and talk with Him. We fall into compromise and give ourselves to other lovers because we didn't feel like He loved us.  We can't just expect to sit down with our hands open and BAM you feel His love. The way we feel is through knowledge.

Here are three aspects to having an intimate relationship with God. 1) Invitation- This is when you're born again. You have certain expectations of what God's love is going to be like. You say I love you, but you're not really sure what it means....this is where number 2 comes in. 2) Substance- This is where you get into the word and look at what God has done for us because of love. Look through the Gospel and see what Jesus did. Jesus is fully God, and the compassion He shows the people He comes in contact with in the Bible (disciples, Mary Magdalen, blind man, lepers, ect.) is the same compassion He shows you. This triggers revelation and that leads to number 3. 3) Now this is the one we like....overflow. This comes from having a relationship, reading the word, talking to God. Not just saying nice polished prayers, but talking to God like you talk to a friend. If you're mad let Him know your mad, if your sad...let Him know, if you're happy. God wants to be involved in our lives!  He doesn't want us to put on a happy face when we're around Him and act like everything is ok. When we get real with God, and we understand who He is....that's when we feel His love. This is a real relationship with a real God with real emotions, and He really gets hurt when we choose things of this world over Him, because He really loves us. He's real....

God Bless 
Ashley

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