Today I was thinking about when I first became aware of God's truth in His word. I was only dating my now husband about 7-8 months I think and I was 21 or almost 21..:) Its a shame our memories fade so quickly. Any how, I remember back then how much I loved Ben. Ben is my husband for some of you who may not know that already. :) He's such a fun loving goofy guy. I was immediately attracted to him back when we met at 13 years old. I'll never forget he was sitting on a picnic table at the fair grounds imitating the parking directors outside the grounds into his walkie talkie...lol :) He has such a sweet side though, not many people see the very tender side often, I think its a manly type macho thing.lol :) Its very hard not to fall in love with Ben and boy did I. I, like many other young girls, caught the love bug majorly. After a bit of craziness(I'll save that for another story..lol) I was hooked. We were so in love. We would stay up late taking for hours on the phone. I bet if you think hard you can remember young love and when you first were dating your other half too. Its a very happy time.
But as we are naturally inclined to be, we get selfish even when it comes to love. I loved my Ben more than anything. I use to tell him that I'd walk through fire for him. I'd do anything in my power for him. I became a bit obsessed. Which many young girls do. When I was first learning and seeing God's truth though I learned many things I never realized before. And at the time I ,even knowing the truth, didn't want to face it. I didn't want to face that I was obsessed a bit with Ben. I didn't see a problem with it at the time either. I remember the couple that counseled us talking about making God the center of our relationship and I was all for that. Most people who claim to be Christians would agree with this too. But I didn't ,and I don't think many others do too, understand what that really means. Most people as well as myself back then would have told you it meant both partners being christian,going to church every Sunday/possibly Wednesday, and doing activities within the church. But thats not what keeping Christ center means.
We're naturally in our sin, very selfish beings. We want all the glory and are full of pride. So when I tell you this next bit keep an open mind, because this was very difficult for me to understand and with prayer I eventually got it. Its not about us. Four little words that can be taken literally or not but they are true and very important for everyone to understand.
Think about all that God has done for you and me as believers. He sent His son to take the punishment for every sin you'll ever commit your entire life. His son, perfect and sinless. He didn't deserve the suffering He endured but He did it for me. He came to serve me. God through His son made it possible for me to really be a believer and one day reunite with God. Thats a very powerful thing to understand and it takes God working in your heart to get it. Through this amazing work of God through His son we are also taught a invaluable lesson. That as He has served us we are to serve also. Pretty intense right? But if thats what we are called to do then it also rubs us the wrong way. Like I said before we are very selfish due to our sin. To serve someone it requires you to deny yourself. Thats something as a sinner you don't want to do. It takes away from yourself, and every decision I made in my life up until the point God called me was for myself. Everything we do is in benefit to ourselves in one way or another. But once God softens you , you see your purpose.
Then comes what I'm really trying to say: If God wants His own glory and has called us to serve what does that require for you to do that? Love. Many people would say,sure I love God. I believe in Him. But ask yourself again, "Do I really love God'? And Why? I did and at the time as I had said in a few blogs back, all I had were empty words. How can I really love God if He hasn't unveiled my eyes to see why? Because thats what it really takes. You have to pray for that desire sometimes before He can give it to you.
So back to my beginning of this blog. I was telling you all how much I loved Ben and how I was obsessed. If I can say I truely love God then what does that mean? Does that mean you love Him a little bit, or occasionally or only when you feel you get what you want? Let me ask you this, how much do you love your parents? Your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend? Your family? Do you love God more than them or them more than God? The answer to this question can change the whole course of your life and every decision you make. I know back then my answer was I love Ben more. Ben was my world, he was everything to me. Then I realized that I'm here to serve, not Ben not my family not my friends, only God. God loved me so much He put me above His son. Had I ever shown in my life that kind of dedication and love for God? I hadn't. I realized that Ben though I love him, he's a sinner too. I can say now that I do love God above Ben. God comes first before me or anyone else in my life. I still love Ben and He knows I do, but to really serve God you have to love Him above anything and everyone. This was a hard lesson for me to learn and I can imagine its hard for anyone. Many Christians or self professed ones will have great trouble with it I'm sure.
There is a sweet poem that John Piper wrote for his son's wedding: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Poems/ByDate/1208_Love_Her_More_and_Love_Her_Less/
I recommend reading it, its very sweet and romantic. If you look in the bible there are tons of stories about believers showing their love and dedication to God. Just look at Abraham. He was ready to sacrifice his son,Issac, for God. Think about that. Do you love God enough that if he asked of you to sacrifice your child, would you do it? Abraham would and he almost did but God intervened. That takes a lot of love and passion to do what he almost did. What I thought was even more remarkable about that story was that Issac loved God enough to let himself be sacrificed. He knew what was going to happen and he layed there in wait for what his father was going to do. Abraham was called to kill his only son whom he loved very much. I don't know many people who would willingly give up their life for God. And yet that is what God has called us to do. Everyday of our lives we are to be walking up Mount Moriah, in a sense, and laying down on that rock. Denying ourselves and our sin as in our sin we naturally love ourselves. We're called to die to ourselves and live for God. I think that is such a powerful command. One that shouldn't be ignored or taken lightly. I wanted to share this lesson I learned because it changed my life and the decisions I make today are reflected by it. I pray for God to soften each of you to soak this lesson in if He so wills because its amazing loving God. Having a deep rooted unfaltering passion for God is amazing feeling. I pray God gives me more and more lessons to bring me closer to Him.