God’s love for you
Do you know how MUCH God loves you? God is just wild over you! The Bible says that God actually sings and dances over you!
From the website http://wordafire.net/godsings.htm, we learn, “In Jeremiah 32:41, the word rejoice speaks of joy. The Spirit-Filled Life Bible says that: “It contains the suggestion of ‘dancing for joy’ or ‘leaping for joy’, since the verb originally meant ‘to spin around with intense motion…God dances for joy…because of His people. The righteous Messiah shall rejoice…with an intensity that the psalmist cannot find words to describe.”
I love to dance, and so it is easy for me to imagine God dancing too – even at times jumping and leaping in the air, spinning around with great energy and joy. I can also see Him taking my hand in a slow dance, holding me close to Him, so close that I can even hear His strong heartbeat. That is how close God wants us to be to Him, like John who laid his head on Jesus’ breast. (John 13:25). God wants you and me to hear His heart beating with love for us.
But I don’t feel Him
Sometimes because of where we’re at in life, we don’t sense God’s presence. He feels distant, detached, far away. This can be for various reasons: we’re under a great deal of stress and the noise in our head and heart makes it hard for us to slow down and hear His still, quiet voice; spiritual burnout; or sin. Sometimes the Lord allows us to be in a spiritual valley, a desert, dry, barren place where we will feel thirsty and discover our need for Him, the living waters.
Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:13 (NKJV), ““Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
When we are in this desert place where we don’t feel God, there is only one thing to do: press into God. Seek Him and find Him. It’s not God who has moved away. It’s us. We have to search diligently for Him. We have to be like Mary Magdalene waiting for Jesus at that empty place of the tomb, and when she found Him, she clung to Him and would not let Him go. (John 20:17)
Song of Solomon 5:5-8 (The Message) says, “I got up to open the door to my lover, sweetly ready to receive him, desiring and expectant as I turned the door handle. But when I opened the door he was gone. My loved one had tired of waiting and left. And I died inside-oh, I felt so bad! I ran out looking for him, but he was nowhere to be found. I called into the darkness-but no answer. The night watchmen found me as they patrolled the streets of the city. They slapped me and beat and bruised me, ripping off my clothes. These watchmen who were supposed to be guarding the city. I beg you sisters in Jerusalem-if you find my lover, please tell him I want him, that I’m heartsick with love for him.”
His presence in prayer
As we pray, we will sense His presence.. At first it may seem dry and as if nothing is happening especially if we haven’t established the discipline of prayer in our lives. Prayer is more than a dull, boring, routine chore. It’s a chance to be with our Best Friend, our Lover, the God who made us and saved us!
Don’t stop praying even when it feels dry. Keep praying, Keep reading His word. God will reveal Himself to you and me in the prayer closet.
Get quiet and still before Him. Listen, really listen. Let your mind and heart quiet with all its busyness and stress – that long, to-do list. Be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)
In the secret place of prayer, God will reveal His love for you. He is leaping and dancing over you with great joy. You delight Him, just as our precious children delight us. Have you ever just sat and watched your children playing when they were little? Remember how much it made you smile? Or when your child was a newborn baby, how your heart felt so much love it felt as if you could not even contain it all? That is how God feels about you. As you pray, He will tell you how much He loves you, how He loves watching you, how He loves the sound of your voice.
“Oh get up, dear friend, my fair and beautiful lover – come to me! Come, my shy and modest dove-leave your seclusion, come out in the open. Let me see your face, let me hear your voice. For your voice is soothing, and your face is ravishing.” (Song of Solomon 2:14, The Message)
God loves the sight of our beautiful face and our sweet voice. He created us, and He just wants to be with us.
Come away with Him today, and spend time with Him. Let Him reveal the depths of His love for you. If you’re hurting, stressed, worn out, preoccupied and worried, angry, confused, just whatever is going on in your life, God wants to take you in His arms and give you rest. He wants to just hold you and let you know how much He loves you.
Encouraging prayer pointers:
- You don’t have to pray long. 5 minutes of heartfelt prayer is better than 30 minutes or an hour of religious, I-have-to-pray religious duty.
- You don’t have say much. Sometimes we feel like we need to talk a lot when we pray. Jesus warned His disciples to not have long, vain, repetitious prayers. I.e. we don’t have to babble! Silence is golden, and sometimes we just need to quiet our minds and mouths. A simple “Here I am, God. Please help me,” or “God, I just give this to you” will suffice.
- You don’t have to get cleaned up to pray, and feel guilty or ashamed to come to Him. God already knows what you and I have done. It doesn’t take Him by surprise when we sin. We don’t’ have to feel guilty or condemned. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Just give it to Him. He’ll take it from you and help you to overcome it by His power, His blood, His grace.
- You don’t have to feel like it. Let’s face it, in marriage or with our kids, we don’t’ always feel like being with them, do we? Sometimes we just want to be left alone. But yet we do it anyway, to minister to our family’s needs. We can do this with God, too. As we come to Him in prayer, we may not always have those feelings of wanting to pray. But as we set aside a little time to pray each day, those feelings will come later. Just tell Him you don’t want to pray and you’re bored. He knows anyway. And He will honor and bless you for pressing into Him even when you had other things on your mind, and wanted to watch that movie instead of reading the Bible or praying! Have popcorn with Jesus!
- You don’t have to do anything but be you. God loves you just the way you are. And He views you through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus – the righteousness of Christ. When God looks at you, He sees you through Jesus’ atoning work, and declares you not guilty. And the great thing about God is that we don’t have to pretend with Him. I can just be me with Him. He knows us because He made us. And He loves us. We can be real with God. We can tell Him what we really think or feel! How freeing! God isn’t going to be shocked or judge us (like family, friends and others around us sometimes do). He already knows what you and I are thinking. Personally, I think we amuse God a lot of times, the way my kids amuse me. They make me smile, even when they’re simply just being themselves. God has infinite patience with us and He already knows what the final product of our lives is going to look like. He is transforming us from “glory to glory.”
Sometimes you’re really hungry and you just crave a certain thing. Mine would be Mexican food. I love going to the Mexican restaurant in town, eating salty chips and salsa, drinking a big coke, and enjoying chicken tacos with rice and beans. It just satisfies!
As you spend time with God in prayer and read His word, your hunger for Him will grow. You will begin to crave His presence more and more. Nothing else will satisfy or fill you up!
Jeremiah 15:16 says, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.”
God’s words and His presence will fill the emptiness in your soul, and replenish you when you need strength and rest. It will renew you, rejuvenate you, and empower you for each day’s tasks. This is why Jesus told His disciples to take the bread and eat, and take the wine and drink. He is exactly what we need and desire. Nothing else will do!
Whatever your need is today, just ask Jesus. His love for you never runs out. His mercy is new each morning. His grace is an ever-ready supply.
“He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to hear as the learned.” (Isaiah 50:4)
“He brought me forth also into a large place; He was delivering me because He was pleased with me and delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19)