God’s Love Language

Hand of an elderly holding hand of younger

God’s  love language is quality time. Or, at least that seemed to be Jesus’ love language when He was on the earth.

When He visited the house of some dear friends of his — two sisters and a brother named Martha, Mary and Lazarus — he refused to allow Mary to be moved from her position of sitting at his feet and spending time with Him. (Luke 10:38-42)

It looked like Mary wasn’t accomplishing anything in the busy household; (there were at least 15 hungry mouths to feed and a rabbi with celebrity status was staying with them).  But Mary was accomplishing the most important thing there was to do right then: sit at His feet. Jesus said that Mary had chosen what was better, and it would not be taken away from her.

The best thing for our lives is not always the most “important” thing we think we have to do. To maintain our position of being at Jesus’ feet,  we will often have to fight for it. If we don’t make it the highest priority, it will easily get eclipsed by the urgent.

Martha was looking at things from  a purely natural standpoint. How much food was needed and how quickly she could get it on the table. All hands were needed on deck. Why was her sister lounging in the other room?

Perhaps Martha would have liked to hang out with Jesus, too, but she knew her responsibilities. Sitting at Jesus’ feet would have to come later, if at all. She felt the weight of being a good hostess. What she was doing was good, but  it wasn’t the best. There was another course of action that was better, and that was what Mary had chosen.

Whenever we choose the better, we will not be disappointed, but there may be a price to pay. For Martha, that price would have been being considered a poor hostess in a culture where hospitality was everything. For Mary, it was being misunderstood and criticized by her sister and probably the disciples as well.

Only Jesus sided with her.  Isn’t He the only one that counts?

Sometimes we think that we don’t have time to be at Jesus’ feet, but that usually isn’t true. What is true is that we haven’t made the hard choice to say no to something else highly legitimate and important to us. To know God and talk His love language will mean foregoing something else that is important in exchange for what is the best.

 

Mighty Hero

pexels-photo-289831

The Lord will be our Mighty One. He will be like a wide river of protection that no enemy ship can sail upon. (Isaiah 33:21)

Every person needs a mighty one — a hero. God will be that for us, if we let Him. The picture the prophet gives us is God as a wide river of protection, prohibiting any enemy ship from entering the waterway.

How do we access this protection? We trust our Might One more than we fear our enemy.

The passage goes on to say: For the Lord is our judge, our lawgiver and our king. He will care for us and save us. (v. 22) He has all power, but he is not corrupted by it. He uses His power to help those who are weak and helpless.

We can expect our powerful God to use His power on our behalf, especially when we are powerless. We can trust Him to be a protection against the enemy.

When fear tries to engulf us, we can imagine our God as a an impassable stretch of water that cannot be forded or traversed by anything harmful or dangerous. We can stand on the distant shore and be unmoved by what rages at us across the sea.

What a good, powerful and benevolent Father we have to take care of us!

 

Trust Tests

pexels-photo-236164

How much do I trust God?

Here are a couple of ways to measure it:

How much am I waiting on Him for the answers I need and for direction in my life?

How much am I pouring out my heart to Him?

If I am trying to keep it all together and doing the best I can with what I know (in my own limited understanding), I am basically trusting in myself and hoping for the best.

If I believe God is my source of hope and help, I will get in His presence and wait for His wisdom.

If I trust Him, I will hold nothing back that’s in my heart. I will pour out my worries, fears, anguish, doubts and complaints to Him, and I won’t be concerned about Him rejecting or reproving me. I will know He is a safe place to go with everything that I’m  struggling with.

Here is how the psalmist David put it:

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone.

He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.

O my people, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:5-8)

Healing Love

pexels-photo

The reason God came to earth was to save us, heal us, deliver us.

Most of us aren’t even sure what we need to be saved from, healed of or delivered out of! We might have a good beat on our physical problems, but we have become so accustomed to our dysfunctions that our soul sickness seems normal.

We all have holes in our souls. Here is one way to find out what we need to be healed from: whatever it is that I do that makes me want to hide from God (shames me), those are the areas I need to be healed in.

Those things that we want to hide actually hold the keys to our healing. If we will let those instances turn us toward God and allow the Physician to take up our case, He will prescribe abundant amounts of His love and truth to heal us.

We need His love to drive out fear and let us know we are not alone, no matter how shameful we feel. We need His truth to correct our misbeliefs — the thoughts that are keeping us trapped in a cycle of hurting ourselves and others — so we can think about ourselves the way He does.

The good news is: We don’t have to hide any more! We can come out into His light and love and be healed. God can and will heal us from our sicknesses and sins, no matter how chronic and debilitating they are.

God has come to save me. I will trust in Him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song; He  has given me victory. (Isaiah 12:2)

To Be Understood and Known

sunset-hands-love-woman

Everyone wants to be known intimately. Not by the whole world, but by a few people who matter to us. In the same way, we want to be understood. To be misunderstood and misjudged is one of the most painful experiences we have as humans.

We get these desires from God. He wants to be understood and known. Probably no human has been as misjudged as God has been. Because He is God, He wants the whole world to know and understand who He really is.

“But let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth,  for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:24)

The Lord Most High wants us to know and understand Him as one delighting in love, kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth. Which one of us does not delight in the same? Isn’t that what our hearts really long for — love rather than hatred, kindness rather than cruelty, justice rather than injustice, and uprightness rather than lawlessness?

If we experienced these things, it would be like heaven on earth! Right now, we see these things in scarce quantity, but that is not a reflection of God’s will or character.

He wants, even longs, to be understood and known as a God of lovingkindness, a God of justice, a God of righteousness who wants good for the people of the earth. Let’s get on His side and work for these things in the areas we have influence. Not only will it bring heaven to earth, but it will help us to understand and know Him in truth.