Finding Fulfillment in Following God

Oh, My God, I love Thee! (the undeniable cry of my heart as long as I have charismatic gifts, my prayers are answered, and the music at Church was moving).

Oh yes, the feeling is incredible, the Jesus-high! Higher than any other earthly high.

Tears come easy over sins. You are blessed with holy laughter when you read the Bible. Awe and wonder are the default setting when you behold the beauty of creation. You see God’s presence in your children, your spouse, your home, and your life situation. You are grateful, happy, peaceful, and blessed.

Do you love God?

Of course you do! He’s amazing, wonderful, incredible, awesome, beautiful, worthy to be praised. You lift your hands and your voice to the heavens and you are shameless in your rapture.

How beautiful!

You’ve become the object of the envy of your peers. God has graced you with such gifts. The fire, the beauty, and the energy are palpable – Maybe you should start a church, a faith blog, or a new worship band!
When difficulties arise, the memory of the emotion that fueled you in the highs helps you to endure in the lows. Maybe you should write a new worship song about loving Him through the hard, or better yet, find ways to rejuvenate your high. That’s when you need another “hit”, a rousing sermon, a good bible study, that perfect song. 🥰

I just want to be in love with Jesus.

What’s wrong with that?
Nothing, my darling, nothing.
This is such a beautiful place to be, and you are not wrong to know that you are blessed, beloved, and called.

But that is the honeymoon phase.

You give your life to Jesus and say to Him, I desire You. I desire to be saved. You are mine. I surrender. Take me, use me, mold me, I am Thine.
We say these beautiful lines in the height of our passion but sometimes there’s a disconnect from everyday reality.

If I am His, then everything is his – everything about me – my talents, my weaknesses, my bodyshape, my sleep, food, and finances, everything about my life, my troubles, my worries, and my needs.

If I trust Him then I need to trust that He does not and will not abandon me, even when it feels like it. I trust that He is worthy of my trust. I trust that if He calls me to come to Him upon the water, that He will also enable me. I trust that He is the God of the highs and of the lows and that the lows are for my good and His glory.

I must have an objective love for my love to be unconditional.

Did Jesus stop loving His Father when He felt abandoned on the cross? What about when the Father “did not hear” His prayer in the garden – let this cup pass from me?
Intimacy with God is chiefly intimacy of wills – to desire as God desires and love as He loves. (not necessarily the intimacy of emotions – though you will get emotional about God’s will the more you surrender to it)
This is why our Lord followed his plea in the Garden with, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” – Matthew 26:39

His intimacy with you raises you to the desire to surrender your will to His.

This is why we feel the innate desire to do God’s will, to find “our calling”, and discover His plan. Because we are made for intimacy with Him. But intimacy with Him necessarily passes through the cross.
No servant is greater than His master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. – John 15:20
We too must necessarily pass through the cross.
Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. – Luke 9:23
We can’t only love because we feel extraordinarily showered with blessings in a particular moment. We must be able to love in the face of the cross. The cross is the test of our love, it is the proof that we love no matter what, the proof that we love more than we care about the cost to ourselves. It is the way we decide how serious we are. Will I follow even to the cross? Can I love even if all my emotions are stripped away?
If we have a purely emotional love for God, there is no way we will continue to follow Him when the going gets tough, when our emotions forsake us, and when the cross is at its peak.
Lord, this saying is hard – who can accept it? – John 6:60
to which Our Lord Responds:
Do you also wish to leave? – John 6:67

This is why we need to foster more than an emotional love for God.

We have to foster an objective desire for truth that compels us “in the way we should go” (Psalm 32:8) regardless of how we feel about it.
“I am the way the truth and the the life” – john 14:6
That is how we pass the inevitable test. That is how we give our lives for something more important to us than feelings. It is our crown and our glory and how we imitate His endurance to the end.

A Prayer For Greater Love

Oh, my God, thank you for the love I have for you.
Take these emotions and burn them into an even deeper level of my soul,
that I may love Thee and never quit Thee again,
that I may set my face like flint,
and follow You more closely all the days of my life.
Secundum Cor Tuum
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