Friday, March 6, 2015
Passion for Jesus
“Love for God needs to be kindled, tended, watched over, breathed on, treasured, enflamed, celebrated and exalted above all else... It is not a procedure, recipe or military discipline, and not an impersonal idea. It is a gift never to be taken for granted or treated passively. It is passion for the most desirable person
in the universe: Jesus!” Rolland Baker
That quote speaks deeply to me! It reminds me that my highest priority must be maintaining my relationship with Jesus. Not because it’s a devotional chore I must complete to be on God’s good side, but because my friendship with God is a living thing. Because it’s alive, it needs tending, like any living thing. I must feed it, protect it and weed out unbeneficial intrusions in order to keep it growing and healthy.
To let my love and need for Jesus cool, or retreat to the back of my priorities is to risk a very great danger. Because I am a creature of two worlds, neglecting the supernatural tends to point me squarely at the natural. I can begin to live as if I must rely on my own wits, my own strength and my own resources. Focusing more on myself, I lose focus on God and my connection to Him. Faith bleeds away. My problems seem larger and more insurmountable. My world flattens and depresses into a very small, very dark, very silent place. Much too small for hope or joy or faith. So small I no longer see the big picture, where God has my back.
In the fight to reinvigorate my relationship, my part is to stand, to encourage my flagging faith, to strengthen my feeble hands and weak knees…to keep moving in rhythm with God. Sounds heroic, doesn’t it? But let’s make that picture more realistic. Usually by the time I even realize I’m in the fight, I’m pinned down in a foxhole under heavy fire, wounded, demoralized and scared witless. But calling for help is a step of faith, whether or not I have a courageous attitude...or cool armor. Knowing that I’m helpless without Him and calling for rescue is half the battle—and He does the rest.
I fall into error (and feel stupid) when I begin to run my spiritual life by habit, taking my relationship with Jesus for granted. Salvation isn’t something I have, like a merit badge I pull out of my pocket when I need it. It’s the start of a whole new existence. The beginning of a collaboration that will carry me through this life, and on into eternity. I really bring nothing to the table; He has done, and will do it all. But that’s why neglecting my most vital relationship is deadly. My life is all in Him. To access it, I must stay connected to Him. To live in response to Him. To stick close. To keep the lines of communication open; talking to Him, but also listening. Mostly listening. He has my weather report, my survival kit, my agenda. He’s my supply line, my stockpile, my health care system and my psychiatrist. He's my fortress and refuge from disaster. My closest friend, my deepest need. His love for me is fierce and relentless and never-ending. How could I not seek Him as the most desirable person in the universe?
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