What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. — Micah 6:8
I think I have discovered what makes life work. Test me on this and see if it is true.
Deuteronomy 7:7-8 says,
The LORD did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you.
A truth about our God is that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The New Testament tells us that God loves believers in Christ the same way He loved His people in the Old Testament. We also know that we have been chosen in Christ for God. We need to claim these things personally. Don’t think of His love in a corporate manner — a sanctuary packed with people or a throne surrounded by thousands and thou- sands of believers. For now, consider how God feels about you. The Word of God says that He is holy, most righteous, most perfect, full of splendor —
He is a God who has set His affections on you.
Keep in mind that Deuteronomy tells us that God did not set His affections on us because we were many in number or talented or had anything to offer Him, but because He loved us. Colossians 3:1-4 says,
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Deuteronomy and Colossians tell us that God created us and set His affections upon us; we were chosen in Him. In return, He asks us to set our affections upon Him.
Therefore, life works most perfectly when a reciprocal love relationship is in place between man and God. This does not guarantee an easy life or one without suffering; but when we seek to glorify God in all that we do, His love will carry us through any hardship. It is then that you can say, “I may not understand what God is doing in my life right now, but I know He loves me.” Our relationship with Him will eclipse everything else in our lives.
If it’s true that His love must become to us better than life, consider how King David, a man after God’s own heart, viewed God. If you looked for the very heart of God’s Word, you needn’t look any further than David’s words expressed in Psalm 63. This psalm is the heart of an intimate relationship that God initiated in Genesis 1 and finalized at the wedding supper of the Lamb in Revelation 19.
O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You;
my soul thirsts for You,
my body longs for You,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
I have seen You in the sanctuary
and beheld Your power and Your glory.
Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.
I will praise You as long as I live,
and in Your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise You.
On my bed I remember You;
I think of You through the watches of the night.
Because You are my help,
I sing in the shadow of Your wings.
My soul clings to You;
Your right hand upholds me.
They who seek my life will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.
But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God’s name will praise Him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced. — Psalm 63
I pray that as you read those words, you saw not only with your eyes, but also with your heart. This description is the sacred romance that each one of us is meant to encounter with God. It describes the purpose of our existence. Consider again the first few words: “O God, you are my God.” Is that something that you can say? Have you encountered Him in such a way that He has become your refuge and strength? “O God of all the universe, who called the worlds into being, You are mine.”
This is a psalm about intimacy and the relationship that we were born to enjoy with God. It is a psalm of prayer and devotion, prompted by the heart. Many people are motivated by discipline. Discipline is getting up and having a time of prayer and devotion with God when we are weary from exhaustion. On a daily basis, however, our heart should yearn to be with Him, as well as our soul. Our longing and thirsting comes as a gift from the Holy Spirit, and we desire it more than life. The heart of this psalm says, “Give me a thirst and a hunger for You, God. Not just a discipline. Give me an ache and a longing to know You, to be with You, to abide in You always.”
Psalm 63:3 says,
Your love is better than life.
Can you say today, by faith and conviction, that His love is better to you than life? I wonder what circumstances helped you see that there is nothing in life that can truly satisfy outside of Him. There are wonderful things that affect us, but nothing can touch us at the depth that God can touch us.
Psalm 63 also refers to the transcendence of God, which means that absolutely nothing compares to Him. The most wonderful things on earth fade in the distance in comparison with Him. He wants us to come to a point in our relationship with Him where we can say, “You are so far above and beyond every other thing in my life, every other love in my life, every other experience in my life, every other purpose or goal in my life. You are my life. Not just the most important thing in my life —You are my life. And Your love, God, is better than life. In fact, Lord, I lay down my life today to see You face to face because You are better than life.” We were meant to utterly devote ourselves to Him.
Look again at Psalm 63:5:
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods.
Spiritually speaking, a relationship with God is like feeding our souls with rich, luscious foods. We were never meant to go on a spiritual diet. We don’t have to be lean with God. This is one area of our life where we can be lavish. Our souls were created to feast on Him.
Do you feast on the Lord? Do you have a soul that is satisfied? I know the difference between a spiritual feast and a spiritual famine, and I want you to savor the bounty of God’s riches. That’s what King David refers to. We were created to crave this relationship. God made our souls to long for Him, and we are not fully satisfied without His presence in our lives.
However, we can believe in Christ and know Him for years but still not possess a satisfied soul. Salvation does not equal satisfaction. We receive salvation, but we seek satisfaction. The Word says to be filled with Him. We may actively pursue this and want it more than anything else in our lives, but satisfaction is a different matter.
Often believers will live for years ignoring their secret ache. They don’t want to admit to anybody that their souls are empty and something inside aches to be satisfied. Oftentimes we mistakenly assume that our need can be met out in the world, but it can’t. We make the mistake of never letting Him fill our lives on a daily basis and become our soul’s richest food. This is the essence of the sacred romance.
Christ wants to romance our soul.
~ Beth Moore
Excerpted with permission from A Woman and Her God by Beth Moore, Jill Briscoe, Sandra D. Wilson, Kathleen Hart, David Hager, Thelma Wells and Beverly LaHaye, copyright American Association of Christian Counselors.
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Maybe right now life feels like an uncharted mess. Maybe it feels like it went off the rails with the current problems. Today, let’s say out loud and deep in our souls “I may not understand what God is doing in my life right now, but I know He loves me.” Let’s set our affections on Him! Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily