I recently read a quote that says, “What a different relationship begins to develop when you realize that God is head-over-heels in love with you. God is simply giddy about you. He just can’t help loving you. And He loves you deeply, recklessly and extravagantly – just as you are.”
Life is a journey, not a destination. Any relationship would require a sense of discipline and effort to maintain, be it with your spouse or friend or other family members. When you become a Christian, you don’t automatically turn into a holy person, it takes time for Jesus to mould you and help your new nature in Him take over. It’s not about going to a big conference and getting a life-changing experience, though I am sure that is good, but honestly what is more important is how long our passion lasts. We need to constantly go about seeking God in our daily lives in order to always get closer to Him.
A prayer I like to pray is Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV),
“23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
I am not sure if you have experienced this, but often when people first become Christians, it is exciting and they just can’t get enough of Jesus. They attend all the church services, small group meetings and such. Every Christian book they read is like a revelation. But then what happens after like six months or so? They start realizing that maybe they don’t know the Bible as much as they think they do or they get disheartened when they hear others use ‘special’ words in prayers that they don’t. It can be easy to lose our enthusiasm and start thinking of prayer, quiet time and fasting as a chore, or something that only other more holy people do. Just because others may be more spiritually mature than us, does not mean we are inferior or less loved by God. God sees devotion in a very different way.
Let us look at a story recorded in Matthew 26:6-10 (NIV),
6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper,
7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked.
9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.”
The price of the alabaster jar is said to be worth a full year’s wages. Wow, this woman’s devotion towards Jesus is utterly selfless. It must have been an amazing scene to witness. Jesus acknowledged her lavish expression of love, but by contrast, His disciples commented about how the perfume could have been sold and the money be used for other purposes. Perhaps some of us do this, making comments similar to that, when we are actually simply uncomfortable, finding what is happening challenging or provoking. The thing is, this woman was not concerned with what others were thinking, she cared more about her devotion and worship to Jesus. God is not concerned with who is the best, but rather who gives their best.
For those of us who find that we are losing the zeal and passion for God, we need to realize just how much Jesus loves to receive our love and worship, and then we will want to spend more time with Him in prayer, and learn how to live in an intimate relationship with Him. You can’t be devoted to something or someone easily. Devotion implies a profound level of dedication, loyalty and investment of time. Yet when you start to really seek Him, you slowly find yourself desiring more and more of Him that it no longer becomes something you should do, but something you want to do. I hope that you would daily encounter Jesus and realize the extent of His love for you.
“Dear Lord Jesus, help me to realize that whenever I don’t feel like spending time with You, all the more You want to be with me. You don’t need my love, but yet You desire it, how amazing is that truth. Let my heart be open to receive Your presence, Your overwhelming peace and Your unfailing love. I want to know You on a whole new level, not just know about You, but to really have a relationship with You. I thank You that I am not alone, but I have You by my side always. Thank You, Jesus. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.”