Testing The Love of God
It is a curious thing, that humans beings are so hungry for love and acceptance yet the scars of rejection run so deep that this craving in their heart becomes something that they fear. In my own experience I have had various heart postures towards the love of God. I have gazed upon it from a distance in shock and awe, to frightened to step in because it seemed too good to be true. I have leapt wildly into it, getting lost in His affection. I have even run and hid from it, believing that upon further reflection the good Lord would reconsider His goodness towards me.
These experiences are not isolated to a few screwy believers like myself, we all have experienced moments like the ones I have just listed. We express these same attitudes even in our human interpersonal relationships, especially in relationships that we believe really matter.
Our entire relationship with God centers around Him demonstrating His faithfulness, kindness, and unfailing love to us, over and over again, while we test that love, learning to trust Him. We test His love when we stare at it from a distance considering if it can truly be that good. We test His love when we leap into it, seeking to know it for ourselves. We test His love when we flee from it, afraid that we could screw this whole thing up. Our entire Christian life is marked by these stages of testing. It is natural, it is common, it is the way the Lord is able to demonstrate to us the boundless nature of His affection. It is through these stages that God cultivates a deep and thriving relationship with us.
God is not some nebulous unflinching moral standard off in the distance pressing down upon us. He is love. He is personal. He understands that your heart has been severely damaged by life with other severely damaged hearts and He desires to meet you where you are in order to heal that heart and show you what true healthy love is supposed to look like.
We are called to "know" Him. Jesus called this knowing eternal life (Jn 17:3). Paul and Peter both encourage us to continually grow in our knowledge of God (Eph 1:17; Eph 3:14-19; 2 Pet 1:2). This "knowing" God, speaks of direct personal experience with Him. We must experience Him to truly know Him, and in our experience we will oscillate between these different stages testing to see if the love of God is safe, or if this love will be like the imperfect human love we have experienced. God desires for you to know Him and will meet you here, in all tenderness and mercy, seeking to restore that tattered heart.
Wherever you are right now I guarantee that you are experiencing one of these three stages. I encourage you today to acknowledge the stage that you are in, confess it to God, tell Him where you are at in trusting His love. Invite Him to come and minister to your heart in that place, to reveal to you who He truly is. Then as you see Him, engage with Him. Notice how your heart is responding to Him. Tell Him! Press in, taste and see that He is goodness!