The other day I asked myself the question: What do I love about God? Then I wrote down different aspects of God that moved my heart to joy and love. It was a passion stimulating and life bringing exercise.
C.S Lewis wrote,
“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with. . . . The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.” (The Weight of Glory)
I think he’s so right. So I’m going to share some of what I wrote down the other day in the hope that it will fuel you into joy and love in the same way it did for me.
- I love the ache of love and hunger Jesus gives to my heart. IHOP worship leader Jon Thurlow sings, “I will embrace the ache of a lovesick heart.” Oh it is a precious ache indeed. Part of the reward of seeking after, loving and serving God is truly the tender heart that comes as part of it. It is an aching longing that hurts and feels so good and right all at the same time.
- I love who Jesus is as the redemptive God, as the one who gives beauty in exchange for our ashes (Isaiah 61:3). We waste our lives on worthless things and bad choices which turn parts of our lives to ashes and Jesus knows so well how to redeem. He is the master of turning an impossible situation into a beautiful outcome where the situation in the natural is fixed but my heart also grows in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. Then life abundant springs forth from my heart – a new found ability to enjoy all the good things of life and God as well. He is such a master storyteller and He does it over and over again in increasingly creative ways.
- I love the provision of the Father. He really is the good provider. The whole of life on this planet is held in His hand and He sustains it by the word of His power (see Hebrews 1:3). Life works because God is on His throne. So many times I’ve felt that I was on the brink of running out of money and falling into bankruptcy. One more bill would have broken the camel’s back but instead there was an envelope under my door, or an unexplained amount in my account, or a bill that came in much less than expected, or an error on my tax that meant the government randomly gave me money back, or a friend asked me to drive His new car from Sydney to Adelaide for $1000. The Father is so creative in how He provides. He can give you the cash or He can give you a job or He can make your bills less. It’s a day to day thing which aligns with His word. “Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Do you have enough for today? Yes. Then why are you worrying about tomorrow? I’ve got tomorrow He keeps telling me.
- I love the Spirit’s presence (Psalm 16:11). How He comes and invades a room. His presence is so thick, it’s like a cloud or like water to swim through. You come to the doorway of that room and stop dead in your tracks and breathe softly, “He’s here.” You never quite know when He’s going to show up. But when He does it’s like there’s a giant hug of everyone in the room with gentleness and love and peace and joy. All the problems of the world melt away in His embrace. It’s like they become so so so small in comparison to who He is.
- I love the passion of Jesus’ heart for His people. We are the treasure hidden in a field, the pearl of great price that Jesus gave everything for (see Matthew 13:44-46). His is the passion of a bridegroom. He lives to intercede at the right hand of the Father and His intercession goes something like this, “Father, I desire.” Like a young man who waits for the day of His wedding but does not know when it shall be so Jesus waits with a longing, burning heart of passionate desire for you.
- I love that our lives are hidden in God (Colossians 3:3). What people see on the outside is only a fraction of who I truly am. Like the treasure hidden in the field, the true value of my life is hidden and requires spiritual insight to see. The world defines people by what can be seen with the physical eye but God defines us by what’s on the inside (1 Samuel 16:7). The world defines success by what a person obtains in possessions and status. God defines success by our faithfulness and obedience in every situation He places us. By the world’s standards I can be the most awkward, poor, idiot failure of a person and yet be stunningly successful in the eyes of God and have a giant spirit on the inside that very few ever notice until that last day when all is revealed and the truly great people are not who we thought (1 Corinthians 4:1-5). That’s actually quite a scary proposition because it should change the way I treat people. Yet it’s also a glorious reality because all of my relationships becomes an adventure in trying to see people how God sees them. You are not who the world says we are.