It’s Valentine’s day…the day of love and romance. If you walk into Target or Wal-Mart right now you will get hit in the face by stuffed animals, chocolates, and flowers. You will quickly be reminded of your desire to be pursued, loved, and fought for.
Let’s be honest though. We don’t need Valentine’s Day to remind us of those things. We are reminded of our desire for a deep consuming love by romantic comedies, dating websites, romance novels, or even the cute elderly couple holding hands in the grocery store. Mostly though it is a desire we were built with. That is why we are so drawn to this idea of an all-consuming love. We spend our lives looking for a man that will love us passionately. The kind of love that will defend us, fight for us, and even die for us. We want to experience a love that makes us better, that builds our confidence, and that consumes us. Even when we’re married we still pursue this kind of relationship with our spouse. We are always striving for this kind of romance.
What if I told you this love was real? That it is waiting for you in a Christian Living book, on a dating website, or in a person? You would work for that kind of love. You would spend for it. I know I would.
Guess what? You Guys. It is real.
It’s all found in Jesus. It’s found in the Immanuel. The God that dwells with us.
I know. I. Know. What a cliché. Almost as cliché as Jesus is my boyfriend. I get it. No normal down-to-earth girl wants to be the girl who buys into the cliché but I promise you it’s true. Let me show you.
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.”
-Song of Songs 8:6-7-
Now Song of Songs is a love story found in the Bible written about King Solomon and his bride. It even gets so heated in some places that young Jewish boys were not allowed to read it until they were of age because the Rabbi’s were afraid it would awaken some inappropriate feelings. It gets real you guys. Don’t worry. When you read Song of Solomon, it will mostly sound weird because all of the analogies are related to farming and nature. In college, I once had a fake wedding where the groom was reading from Song of Songs just to point out how weird it sounds in places. That is, however, a different story for a different day.
The pretty awesome thing about this book is that it is also meant to be a reflection of how Christ feels about us. This love that we read about in Song of Songs is so fierce that it would not even be stopped by death. This love is so passionate that there is nothing outside of relationship with us that can satisfy it. This love that we long for is real and waiting for us. We long for it so that we will be wooed into deep and intimate relationship with Jesus.
But there is a catch. There is always a catch. Right?
Here is the deal. We only get this love in exchange for everything we have and everything we are. He wants every sin you carry, every disappointment you ache with, every desire you possess, and everything that holds your attention. He wants all you got. This love is said to be so jealous that not even death will take your heart from the one that loves you. You can only satisfy this kind of jealous love by giving Jesus everything you’ve got including your attention.
There is a lot going in our individual worlds. Some of us have husbands, babies, and people who depend on us. Some of us have ministries, businesses, and careers. Some of us have the most adorable and awesome nieces and nephew known to man who we want to give our whole heart to. That’s me. I fall in that camp. Some of us have dreams, desires, and hopes that distract us from the God who walks so intimately with us. There is so much to take our attention away from God. So much to fill our time with. It’s hard to slow down and spend the time looking into the eyes of our lover. It’s hard to sit and wait on Him to whisper words that will woo us back to Him. It’s hard to rest in the embrace of His sweet presence. It is hard.
But He is a jealous lover. This means when it’s hard for us He will fight for our attention. He will start stripping away the things we love, value, or hold dear to get our attention. He will remove the temporary things of this life that distract us from hearing the words our souls have been longing to hear. He will bring us to a place of emptiness where all we can do is fall into His presence and wait on His healing.
Then we get mad. We get mad at Him for removing the things that get our attention. See we are so fickle. We want someone to love us so fiercely that they would do whatever it took to win our hearts but when it unfolds in a way we don’t enjoy then we will settle for a lukewarm love that allows us to be comfortable.
Girls. We can no longer settle for lukewarm love. We can no longer settle for cheap romance, easy happy endings, and shallow relationships. We cannot keep living like this while our maker is waiting to love us with a passion that cannot be quenched by many waters. We cannot waste the sweet affection of a close and intimate lover.
Today I’m making a choice to give God my attention. To lay my focus on the altar for Him to consume with His love that burns like a blazing fire. I’m choosing to lay down the things He is asking for so that I can walk in the fullness of the intimacy He longs to experience with me.
What about you? Will you join me? What are you going to lay down so that more of your attention will be on the only one who can love your soul in the way it was designed to be loved?