Have you ever thought deeply about your relationship with Jesus in terms of being a love affair? I hadn’t thought about this until this past year when I began reading some writings of Welton Gaddy. Many of these thoughts that follow, originate from his writings and their impact on me, but are written in my words.
A right relationship with God involves falling in love with God and nurturing that love to grow and mature. To pray to God is to speak freely and intimately to God within the security of that loving relationship. Communicating love back and forth is the essence of relational prayer. Lovers do not need counsellors to tell them to spend time with each other or talk to each other regularly. In fact, it seems like the only thing lover’s want to do is to spend time with one another. People in love cannot wait to share their thoughts, their feelings, their dreams, their experiences of that day with one another. Unprovoked, lovers naturally pour out their hearts to one another.
There are times when words cannot be found. At those times, lovers sit together in silence. They enjoy each other’s presence and share a quality of communion which cannot be equaled with words. The silence is not a sign of emptiness, rather it’s a place where their spirits meet and their lives touch. Eventually, lovers know each other so well that either one of them can anticipate what the other will say, think, or feel no matter what the situation. Such knowledge and intimacy does not shut down conversations between them, rather, the joy of a shared life prompts a deeper communion. In bad times and good times, with laughter and with tears, lovers articulate the obvious, as well as disclose the mystery of their faith, needs, assurances, and requests.
In a similar way that the affections, trust, devotion, honesty, intimacy, and freedom that characterize the relationship between lovers; they should also characterize one’s love for the Father. Meaningful prayer looks very much like the ceaseless communion between two people caught up in a love affair.
Gaddy points out that several Old Testament prophets describe our relationship with God as a love affair. Isaiah likened Israel’s relationship to God as a marriage (Isaiah 54:5-6). After writing of Israel’s early devotion to God as the love of a bride (Jeremiah 2:2) and of the nation’s subsequent disobedience to God as adultery (Jeremiah 3:1-16), Jeremiah captured the true identity of God as Lover and conveyed the incredible depths of this love (Jeremiah 3:12; 31:3). Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He frequently referred to God in terms of love, speaking of God’s love for the world and every person in it (John 3:16). The Apostle Paul chose the image of a love affair to describe the relationship between Jesus and the Church. In Ephesians 5, Paul identifies Christ as the loving Bridegroom and the Church as Christ’s beloved Bride.
Refresh your prayer life. Perceiving God as my lover brings a fresh, new freedom, and intimacy into my daily walk with Jesus. More and more I find that my prayers to God stem from a realization of God’s love for me and take form as an expression of my love for God.
Despite COVID, God has done some wonderful things this year. Many of our businesses have baptized new believers and God has brought over 90% of our businesses successfully through the pandemic. For God so loved…amazing His love for us, isn’t it?
February is the month of love. Day by day, may we all be falling more deeply in love with Jesus.