In the last several months, God has been reminding me and showing me through people, books, His word, circumstances, etc. that he is a relational God. He has been showing me what that really means and looks like. I started reading No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green about a week and a half ago, and it’s blowing my mind right now. The idea of a relational God is mentioned in a powerful way in an excerpt. Keith was headlining a Christian music festival called Jesus Northwest, and was brought to tears while he was in his trailer over the lack of truth spoken at this particular festival. It was all about the music and not so much about Jesus. When he got on stage, this top-selling Christian artist decided to speak for most of his set rather than play his popular music. A bold move by a bold Christ follower. This is some of what he said:
“In the Old Testament it says, ‘These people draw near with their words and honor me with their lips, but they remove their hearts far from me.’ I was listening to everybody singing worship songs before, and nobody deserves praise and worship but Jesus. It’s a beautiful thing.
“But what if your wife said ‘I love you’ but you knew she didn’t honor you and love you in her heart. That you weren’t the most important person on earth to her, and, in fact, she had a couple of other men she liked to look at and think about more than you? How sick would that make you feel? How sick would it be for you to hear, ‘Oh, darling, I love you!’ What do the words ‘I love you’ mean? If you praise and worship Jesus with your mouth, and your life does not praise and worship him, there’s something wrong.
“I want you to go away from here broken and blessed in that order. I don’t want you to go away from here under condemnation. But I want you to get broken before God because unless you’re a broken vessel, he can’t put you back together the way he wants you.”
This really got my noggin a-goin’. How often do I say or sing “Jesus, I love you.” yet think of, depend on, honor, etc. things other than Him? It really is a humbling thought. At least for me it is. But what’s so good about our Lord is that He’s so patient with us. Even though we neglect Him, lie to Him, dishonor Him, even disown Him with our words or actions, He is always there waiting for us to return to Him. He weeps over us, but He also rejoices over us. We are all prodigals, and He is that loving Father who waits patiently and expectantly for us with open arms. We are all Gomers. We “sleep around” with other idols in our lives, all the while our God is like Hosea, accepting us and loving us unconditionally. Man, He’s so good to us. So good.
He wants a REAL relationship with us. He wants us to talk to Him about the good things and the bad things going on in our lives—just like any best friend or significant other would. In the same way, He wants us to listen to Him. He communicates so often through the Holy Spirit, but we so often have deaf ears to hear Him. We will always miss what we are not looking or listening for.
He wants me. He wants you. He just wants us to want Him.