This New Year’s Eve resolve to ditch the boring resolutions. Instead, make your new year goal one that matters — Learn to Love.
In an article called Something Greater Than Loving God, John Crowder writes, “One of the biggest misconceptions in the church today is ‘love is a verb.'” Many in the church wrongly believe that by performing good works they are proving their love for God. We are told to pursue the Lord and build up a healthy appetite for him. Straining and stretching our faith to get hungry for the Lord is often taught as one of the higher, loftier goals Christians should pursue.
However, this could not be more wrong…and devastating. Crowder continues by quoting Song of Solomon 2:7 – I adjure you you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the wild does: do not stir up or awaken love until it is ready! (NRSV). “Rather than an action, love should be defined as a desire or enjoyment of someone,” writes Crowder. “Action divorced from desire is religion.”
This New Year I want to encourage lovers of God — Song People — to choose love. Let us learn to be like Mary, who always chooses the best place to sit in the house — at the feet of the Lover. Rather than being works oriented, striving to earn our keep and spinning our wheels to please God (who is already pleased as punch with us), let us focus on resting in him.
There’s not a thing wrong with doing good works. We know from scripture that faith without works is dead, but we equally see in the sacred text that spending our time gazing upon the beauty and majesty of Jesus (Psalm 27:4) is valuable as well. Mary chose to sit at the Lord’s feet and glean from him while Martha worked her fingers to the bone to impress him. Both women were loved by Jesus, but Mary had chosen better.
I had a vision the other day of a mime singing. The Lord told me that the mime was the church and that she was going to find her voice this year. I believe that in order for the church to find her voice and truly be a loudspeaker for the Kingdom, she is going to have to choose the better seat in the house — right at the feet of Jesus. It’s my hope that we find ourselves lost in the wonder and ecstasy of our Savior, Jesus the Lover. I hope that we have churches filled up with wild-eyed lovers of God who are so intoxicated by the weighty glory of God that they can’t help but stagger about like drunk men who’ve had too much wine. God the Father has opened up the House of Wine and left the door WIDE OPEN for all to come drink their fill!
It’s my prayer that we’ll take on the voice of the Shulamite and repeat her sacred words “Suddenly, he transported me into his house of wine — He looked upon me with his unrelenting love divine. Revive me with your goblet of wine. Refresh me again with your sweet promises. Help me and hold me, for I am lovesick! I am longing for more–yet how could I take more? (SoS 2:4 Passion Translation).”
Mother church has been focused on so many important, yet hazy things for so long. It’s time to look past differing opinions on certain pet doctrines, political angles, and differing views and it’s time to be star-crossed, lovesick lovers who are so busy feasting on the lamb they don’t notice a thing more! This is what the world is looking for: lovers obsessed with their lover rather than religionists dead set on being right and looking moral. Jesus didn’t have a group of moralists as followers; he had a ragtag group of passionate lovers as followers. Morals are good, living right matters, but being lost in the eyes of our lover, Jesus the Christ, is far more beneficial and speaks far louder than any list of rules and ceremonial washings ever will.
This year let’s commit to be being lovers of God. And let’s allow ourselves to be loved by God. We can’t do a thing to make him love us more. Let’s be satisfied in him and he’ll be fully satisfied in us! This will be the church the world so desperately wants!