LOVING GOD - A MESSAGE IN THE
MIDST OF THE OF THE MADNESS
by Prophet Cori Shelton
LOVING GOD - A RESPONSE TO HIS FAITHFULNESS
Whatever we suffer in life is an opportunity to test our love for God and to identify areas of our hearts that do not genuinely belong to Him. Loving God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength is by no means an easy thing to do. It is a place to grow into. I’m not where I want to be, but closer than I was years ago. Like many of you, I began to learn most of what I now understand about how to earnestly love God due to the deepest hurt I've ever known, the darkest days I've ever endured, and the greatest pain and loss I've ever experienced.
It was in those times that I began to understand, truly understand, the ways of God, not just the acts of God. I’ve learned that even though He may not move in the way I prayed He would, the way God holds me, instructs me and reveals His ways to me through the storms of life is of infinitely greater value than whether or not He prevents me from experiencing them. Knowing that He plans the outcomes, makes choices for me that may not gel with my understanding, and faithfully carries me through times of adversity has exposed me to the unfailing nature of His love for me, and in turn, made loving Him unreservedly an extremely natural thing.
Many of us have time right now that we don’t usually have. In the midst of so much suffering and loss due to Covid19, it would be a thorough waste and an even greater loss if we don’t take some time to listen to one of many messages in the midst of this madness. We have a divinely inspired opportunity to examine where we stand and if we genuinely love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength (2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Peter 1:10-11).
LOVING GOD - WHERE DO I BEGIN?
Start by asking yourself questions like “Who or what in my life separates me from the love of God?” (Romans 8:35-39) and “Do I genuinely love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength?” (Mark 12:30)
Sometimes, God requires things of us that make us wonder, “What’s love got to do with THIS?!” There are times when He allows things that don’t seem to make any sense at all. In fact, they actually don’t make sense. Love those who hate you, use you, and harm you (Matthew 5:44). If someone slaps you on one side of your cheek, turn and offer the other cheek for a slap also. (Matthew 5:38-40). Pray for healing but, if the person dies, continue to believe in healing. Continue to trust and proclaim that God is still able to heal. (James 5:15; Proverbs 3:5-8) And then……wait for it……Count it all joy and rejoice in the midst of your sorrow! (Romans 1:2-8; Romans 5:3-5) “Are you insane,” you might ask!
To love someone with all that’s within you who would allow those things, to put all your faith and confidence in someone you cannot see, and to believe in things you cannot grasp does not make sense! (I Corinthians 12:2))
LOVING A GOD WHO IS IRRATIONAL
These are not rational approaches to areas of life that bring sadness, disappointment, and heartbreak, but we don't serve a rational God. Faith is not rational. Faith does not make natural sense. It isn’t supposed to. It would not be faith if it did (Hebrews 12:1).
Faith gives tangible substance to what we hope and pray for and provides inward evidence or personal conviction that it exists, although unseen. Faith is the firm steadiness of a loving relationship with God that’s established on believing a well-built foundational truth: The Great I AM is who He says He is, and He will do what He says He will do. This faith enables you to remain courageously and resolutely unshakable in your love for God during life’s shifts and shake-ups.
It is this kind of faith that made the three Hebrew boys unafraid to be thrown into the fire for not denouncing their faith in God while proclaiming, “Our God will deliver us and if He doesn’t, He’s still able!” Trust like that is rooted in a very loving relationship! (Hebrews 3:16-18)
LOVING GOD - VERSUS LOVING HIS GIFTS
The difference between falling into fear and unbelief versus standing in faultless faith in that moment is this: their relationship was with God, and not with what God would, or would not do for them. They understood that whether they lived or died, they would still belong to God, whom they loved deeply. They rested in the assurance that to live is to serve God and to die would be gain because they would then see their King face to face. Having an authentically loving relationship with God and not just His blessings places you in a win-win position regardless of what you face in life. The relationship that the three Hebrew boys had with Him gave them an unshakable guarantee that, whether death or life was God’s ultimate plan, they would remain in God’s capable Hands.
God is not a utility. We cannot turn on His blessings and use them for our purposes, but when pleased that He’s performed to our satisfaction, there’s no space for cultivating the love and fellowship for which we were designed in the first place. Without a relationship that's founded on being truly, madly, and deeply in love with Jesus, you will not be able to handle the ways of God when His acts don’t meet your expectations (Psalms 103:7).
LOVING GOD-EXAMINE, SEEK, ASK, LET GO, DON'T GIVE UP
Take time to examine your relationship with God. Seek repentance, ask His forgiveness, and let go of anyone and anything that may be competing against Him for your heart. He tells us exactly how He wants to be loved and that is with everything within us. When we give Him our all this way, it is our relationship with Him that anchors our soul in the midst of things we don't understand. Like the Hebrew boys, we can be assured that although we may not understand His Plan, we can be secure in knowing we are in His hands.
As stated earlier, this is a place to grow into. So when God allows certain things to happen or makes decisions that don't gel with your understanding of His Word, don’t give up on loving God. He will never give up on loving you.