LOVE – such a loaded word. As our previous posts reveal, it can mean a variety of things depending on the lens you select to look through. One thing I find interesting though, is even in the few perspectives we’ve looked at, proximity is a continuing theme. Closeness, spending time with someone, observing their behaviour, asking questions, finding out why they do what they do . . . that’s an important part of falling in love. If, to truly know God and not just know about Him, we need to spend time with Him. . . how does one do that with God? It’s an important question, and one we cannot answer 100% to everyone’s satisfaction, but we will try to address at least several options in this post, and provide opportunities during the course of the study.
And, since it’s a Bible study . . . . we’ll need to look at love – and ask that you at least be willing to consider looking at love, through God’s lens. The word Love is in the NIV version of the Bible 551 times in 505 verses . That’s a lot. There are over 100 verses that have God and love together, and there are over 50 that specifically reference God’s love. The shortest definition, but by no means the most clear is “God is love”. This is found in 1 John 4:16 – just a portion of that verse.
So, trying to break this up into small pieces, I considered this question – How does someone handle a long-distance relationship? These are tough for sure. You and your loved one, separated. . maybe you’ve met and spent time together but now you are apart. . .perhaps you haven’t met in person. (I hear the internet is a growing source for dating relationships) How do you get to know one another, how do you keep the interest . . especially with someone you can’t see or feel or touch?
Technology being what it is, we can do so many things – we can communicate by email or writing, we can Skype if we have a webcam and hi-speed internet access, we can get to know their friends and family, we can speak by phone, and we can take trips or plan to meet halfway. Now, apply these methods to God.
While we cannot Skype with Heaven we have many letters and writings that God has provided. (Yes, I mean the Bible). We can attend a church service, and hang out with God’s friends and family – with those who are called by His name and profess to be His children. We can read additional writings, books about Him, written by respected leaders in His community. We can pray, which is like speaking on the phone . . . so long as we allow for long pauses where God gets to speak to us. . . . hard when those pauses can sometimes feel so awkward.
We can make room for God in our lives by scheduling time to spend with Him – this can be a few stolen moments early in the morning before those in the house start to stir or later in the evening as everyone settles in for the night. It can be time in the car during all those commutes or while providing taxi service (come on Mom’s, you know what I mean). We can attend retreats, silent or focused, to set aside an evening or a weekend, to help us be still and know Him.
Not always a satisfactory answer. It’s not as real to us, when we can’t feel His arms around us, or carry on a conversation. . . and yet, there have been times in my relationship with God, when He has seemed that real. When it’s almost as if I can feel his breath on my cheek.
That’s the kind of intimacy that I long for. To feel that closeness, to know with absolute certainty that He is with me. Intellectually I know this. I can quote verse after verse that promises this. I can say with confidence that I believe it. I can say with that same confidence. . . that I don’t always feel this way. And I want to. And I believe that this is what it means to fall in Love with Jesus.
As we approach the beginning of our study . . . Consider the God who is love. The God who sent His son out of love. The Son of God, who’s described as the Bridegroom of the Bride – His church. Consider your place in it. . . .and contemplate the end of Isiah 62:5 – “As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”
- God’s Love Never Fails (wecandoallthings.wordpress.com)