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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Relentless Love

So . . .
Who else loves you
like this
With a jealous love,
a protective love
A love that wants the best for you
A love that knows the best for you
Because it's the same love
that created you
And knows what and whom
you were created for
And wants nothing to compete
with your love and affections

1 Kings 8:23 (MSG) says "O God, God of Israel, there is no God like you in the skies above or on the earth below who unswervingly keeps covenant with his servants and relentlessly loves them as they sincerely live in obedience to your way."

He (Solomon) goes on to say:

You kept your word

You did what You promised

The proof is before us today.

The thought of jealous love that our pastor asked about this morning had been stirring in my heart for a few weeks since I read that verse in 1 Kings. One of his names is the Jealous God. He says in Exodus 34:14 "Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." What thoughts does
jealous love produce in you, our pastor asked this morning. Because maybe your encounters with jealousy didn't leave a good impression. I'm think it's time to change that . . . think of the momma bear or lion who is jealous of her cubs because a jealous person is "solicitous or vigilant in maintaining or guarding something." Or think of a spouse loving with a jealous love because they are "intolerant of unfaithfulness or rivalry." I'd be worried if my husband's love WASN'T jealous!

Two things you NEED to figure out before you can begin to grasp this relentless love:

*Legitimacy - You belong to Him because He made you (Psalm 100); He is so much more than you can imagine, but you know Him by experiencing Him.
*Identity - Once you know who He is and that you are His, you can see who You
are in Him.

Trust the voice that says from Psalm 139:13 "For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb
."

Holding Fast

I just read this quote: "When Jesus whispers you better listen . . . even when the whisper is faint. Trust it."

The man of God.

Nothing left to eat.

A dry brook.

Then comes the whisper of God. "Get up and go to Zarephath in Sidon and live there. I have instructed a woman who lives there, a widow, to feed you." (1 Kings 17:7-9)

So he goes.
No questions asked.
He arrives in Sidon
and circumstances APPEAR to NOT be in his favor.
The widow has enough left to make one last meal.

This is what amazes me . . . what my mind and heart won't let go of:

He held fast to the word.

The word, that may have seemed like a whisper to him.

But the word sustained him.

How?

He didn't get there and say,
are you sure God?

He didn't walk away from the widow, saying to himself,
"Guess I heard that one wrong."

He arrived,
and asked the widow to make something for him
before making her "last meal"
refusing to accept what appeared to be the end.

"For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah." 1 Kings 17:16

Why?
Because Elijah knew WHO gave him the word. He knew who backed up the word.

Elijah KNEW his provision was from God, not the widow. She was just the vessel. He trusted the messenger and message. He was not looking to the natural and seeing the lack.

And that same "He" does not go back on His word. His word is true; it is alive. And yes, sometimes it seems to contradict what you see in the natural.

Getting this in my heart is vital. We have got to HOLD on to the word He gives us for each situation.

Just the other week, I watched this was put to action in my own life. I had been praying for my oldest and his roommate situation at college. Things were not going well, as my son seemed to be in a Catch 22 situation, but the bottom line was he needed a new room and roommate but it didn't look possible.

"Let him (the roommate) get caught." But Lord what about my son, I don't want him to go down with this sinking ship. "I will hide him."

Trust me - this momma bear's heart wanted to call up the university and give someone a piece of her mind and resolve this issue NOW!

But I held onto the word - even when it seemed like there was no way in the natural for any change. He had talked to the powers that be about changing rooms and almost was accused in the process - asked for proof. And for days, seriously, God reminded me, in verse after verse that I turned to, that He is my son's hiding place. I saw God's faithfulness in this process. After much warfare prayer by many warriors, my son called. Incredulously he asked if I had talked with the decision maker. "No!" I said. "Are you sure?" he asks. "Yes, I am sure I did NOT call anyone," I tell him. "Well, it seems like she is on my side now."

A few days later, he moved (broke his pinkie in the process, but that's another blog :-)