Wanting What God Wants. Day two...
A few months ago, while Sherrel went into Walgreen's to buy a card, I sat in the car listening to the radio. The commercial I heard for a dating site made enough of an impression that I noted it when we got home.
The couple being interviewed was gushing about the match the company made. He was going on about how he didn't know such a woman could exist. She was talking soul‐mate kind of stuff.
But what really stuck with me was a comment she made about his love of football. I'm not quoting her exactly, but this is essentially what she said: “I knew nothing about football when we met. But if it was that important to him, then I thought it should become important to me as well. I thought I should find out as much about the game as I possibly could. So I dug through a bunch of books and other resources to understand the game.”
Were we ever like that with Jesus?
Did we ever say, “If it is that important to Him, then I think it should become as important to me”? Did we ever say that we wanted to find out as much about our relationship with Him as we possibly could? Did we ever dig through a bunch of Bibles and other resources to understand what living life in Christ looked like?
Something's gone haywire on us somewhere. We don't seem to be much interested in wanting what He wants. We seem to be more interested in getting Him to want what we want. And this attitude ought to just break our heart.
A quick glance at our culture here in America will provide plenty of evidence to back up my point. But I'm purposefully not going to give examples because I want each of us to take this personally rather than think that it refers to the other guy. Rather than say to ourselves, “I sure wish so and so would pay attention to this,” I want us to think, “Oh my gosh! Lord, I'm sorry. Please help me with this.”
Summer before last, I spoke at a youth camp in western Oklahoma.
God put it on my heart to talk to the kids about the different ways they can relate to Him:
- As our father (see Matthew 7:9–11)
- As our friend (see John 15:14–16, John 15:14–16)
- As our inner self—our imagination, our conscience (see Romans 8:26–27, 1 John 2:27)
- As our future wife or husband—romantic interest (see Song of Songs 2:10–13)
It is Christ as our lover that I'm asking you to consider today:
My lover said to me, “Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one! Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone. The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. The fig trees are forming young fruit, and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming. Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!” (Song of Songs 2:10–13 NLT)
In human relationships there's nothing greater than to be loved “and” to be chosen.
It's wonderful to be loved, but it's even greater to be chosen.
I have heard it said that adopted children sometimes feel more secure in their families than natural children because adopted children realize they were chosen.
It was being “chosen” that compelled the young lady I heard on the radio to say (and I'll repeat it): “I knew nothing about football when we met. But if it was that important to him, then I thought it should become important to me as well. I thought I should find out as much about the game as I possibly could. So I dug through a bunch of books and other resources to understand the game.”
It is being “chosen” by Jesus that should compel us to make what is important to Him, important to us. It is being “chosen” by Jesus that should compel us to want what He wants, and to prefer what He wants to what we want.
What if this is not happening?
I encourage you to remember. Remember what life was like without Him. And remember how your life changed with Him. Remember the contrast.
When the Israelites experienced a great blessing from God they would frequently erect an altar of thanksgiving that would remind them of significant things God had done for them.
Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea when he dried it up until we had all crossed over. He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the LORD's hand is powerful, and so you might fear the LORD your God forever.” (Joshua 4:21–24 NLT)
We have a similar altar of thanksgiving that is not a specific place on the earth, but rather a place in our heart. And that is what we refer to as “taking communion.”
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:19–20 ESV)
I'm not suggesting that just taking communion can help you remember what Jesus has done for you. People all over the world take communion on a regular basis without remembering a single thing Jesus ever did for them. (I know. I used to be one of them.)
I am suggesting that Jesus purposefully told us to remember. The remembrance is the main thing—not the cup and the bread. Putting the ceremony first and foremost doesn't mean remembrance will necessarily follow. But a deliberate remembrance of all that is Jesus will always bring life to any ceremony.
If we aren't intentional about remembering what Jesus did for us on the Cross, we will have no compelling reason to want what He wants. But if we will keep it raw… keep it fresh in our mind… if we will remember that He chose us, and paid for us with His own life… if we will remember, we will want what He wants more than what we want.
Have a good weekend,