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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thoughts on loving God

What has troubled me regarding the 'heart' (be that mind + emotions or a co-mingling, undistinguishable unit that is the core of one's conscious personhood), is that I feel that I love God. Also, there are times of solitude when this passion - this awakening at the core of myself - rejoices in the love I feel towards God. Sometimes these feelings are accompanied by music that flows from either a radio, singing around a campfire, a hymn or otherwise. Music certainly can lift the soul. And I see and know that others experience a deep love for God (that's how it's described; they feel love for God), especially during times of 'worship' (=music and singing corporately).

Why is it troubling that I 'feel' love for God? I guess because I wonder how my feelings reflect reality. I mean, if I truly do love God, my whole life would be centred on Him. Is it? I can't say that I know the answer to this. What troubles me is that I see that many of us sense a love for God through what we call 'worship' (whether or not it really is worship is a whole other discussion entirely). And if all these people who experience such a rush of emotion and truly do love God really lived as if they did, I really believe we would see a lot of radically committed followers of Jesus. But that isn't quite what we see, is it? Well, I suppose I am just being too critical, but the troubling thing is that I sense in my own heart a love for God, and my prayer for myself is that God would sense my love for Him in how I live my life, not merely in my actions, but in my words and attitudes as well. For a while I was so wrapped up in the experience of loving God and then one day I was reading Isaiah 58 and it dawned on me that maybe God appreciated the sentiment but wanted to see evidence of my love for Him, not just my poetic ramblings (which some probably wouldn't deem very poetic). So, since that time whenever I have had these 'love-God-experiences' I have prayed that there would be outward fruit of the inward sentiment, ultimately, that God would feel that I love Him - on His terms, not mine.

Regarding this subject, during the time I was thinking through this stuff I came across a book called 'The love languages of God.' I was sorely disappointed. I had been seeking an answer to 'how does God want me to love Him?' This book was showing the ways God communicates His love to us...so I misunderstood the title and I didn't get very far reading it - because I know God loves me, and didn't feel the need to read a book like this. Isaiah 58 was a much shorter and more direct answer to the question I was asking. I like how God isn't so wordy, unlike me.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Sarah! It's so nice to be inside your little world. These are great thoughts, and I hope you continue to explore them in the blog. I have finally subscribed to your RSS feed (which means I'll get updates when you post, I think). You can also send me an email, if you don't hear from me in a while!

    About the whole emotional response to God and loving him. I'd like to think of the emotional response as just one part of us that responds to his love. The part of us that obeys in response to his will is just the other side of the coin. We need both, don't you think?

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  2. Yes, I think you are right. I guess some of my point is that if our sentiments were in line with our commitment to obedience, I think the world would be a radically different place. I think stirring up emotional longing towards God is not entirely a bad thing, but I see such a disconnect between what we sing about in our gatherings and what we spend our time and money on the rest of our lives. This isn't even a 'type of music' debate! Think of the old hymn 'I surrender all.' Oh, really? If I were honest perhaps I might sing it, "I surrender some."

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