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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Longing for...(2)

Today I'm reading Isaiah 54:5 where the Bridegroom God says to Israel His wife, "For your Maker is your husband - the Lord Almighty is his name - the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth."

I think Søren Kierkegaard is one of the most relevant theologians for our time. Even though he lived in Denmark in the early 19th century, his bold, prophetic criticism of the dying institutional church of Europe speaks volumes to the state of the church in America today. Kierkegaard was also very passionate about experiencing the love of Christ.

He once told a story about a king who fell in love with a humble maiden. Philip Yancy paraphrases the story this way:

The king was like no other king. Every statesmen trembled before his power. No one dared breathe a word against him, for he had the strength to crush all opponents. And yet this might king was melted by love for a humble maiden.

How could he declare his for her? In an odd sort of way, his kingliness tied his hands. If he brought her to the palace and crowned her head with jewels and clothed her body in royal robes, she would surely not resist - no one dared resist him But would she love him?

She would say she loved him, of course, but would she truly? Or would she live with him in fear, nursing a private grief for the life she had left behind? Would she be happy at his side? How could he know?

If he rode to her forest cottage in his royal carriage, with an armed escort waving bright banners, that too would overwhelm her. He did not want a cringing subject, He wanted a lover, an equal. He wanted her to forget that he was a king and she a humble maiden and to let shared love cross the gulf between them.

[Kierkegaard concludes] It is only in love that the unequal can be made equal.

In retelling this same story John Eldridge writes: The king clothes himself as a beggar and renounces his throne in order to win her hand. The Incarnation, the life, and death of Jesus, answers once and for all the question: "What is God's heart toward me?"

God is longing for a relationship with you that mirrors the perfection of marriage. He wants lovers who will submit to Him from their hearts, who are driven by love, rather than ritual or reward. He longs for us to be as lovesick about him as he is for us.

S. J. Hill writes: "The longing that each of us has to be wholeheartedly and passionate for God is satisfied by the impartation of the kiss of God to our hearts."

Today's prayer: Father, stir such a passion in my heart that words cannot describe the adoration I will have for You. Give me a revelation of just how much You love me. Remind me of the times and ways You have pursued me. Increase my desire to pursue You. Ignite the red-hot fires of Your love and unconditional acceptance in my heart so I will be changed forever. Kiss me with the kisses of your Word. Soften my heart. Liberate me. Bring me into an unfolding understanding of your heart and Your passion for me. Father, I want to know who You really are. Reveal Yourself to me. Warm my heart with Your Spirit and make me more life Your Son. In Jesus' Name. Amen. (S. J. Hill "Enjoying God")


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