Monday, September 21, 2015

Are you merely infatuated with Jesus?

Imagine you saw this amazing girl or amazing guy.  Everything about this person blew you out of the water:  their looks, their manners, their caring attitude for others, their intelligence, even the goals they had in life were inspirational to you.  As you compare them to yourself, you wonder how in the world you could ever get the attention of such a person, just to be a friend, much less the outlandish notion that they would be the love of your life.

Yet, hope beyond hope, you find out from a very reliable source that they are interested in you.  It's like all of your dreams are coming true.  You courageously take the first step by approaching this person to hear for yourself whether or not this person is interested in pursuing a relationship with you and discover that all the rumors are true.

Elated, you begin a relationship that starts so well.  You begin to learn about their past and what they hope their future will be.  You also begin to share the things that are important to you.  A newfound feeling of exuberance starts to penetrate a budding friendship.

However, just as things seem to be going so well, something threatens to hijack the experience.  Slowly but surely, each conversation starts and ends with you.  Your dreams, your plans, your fears, your hopes, your expectations all begin to dominate what used to be a two way relationship.  All of a sudden, dates are broken, commitments are forgotten and tension builds in this relationship.

Ironically, like an abusive partner, you begin to blame this same person you called "amazing" for all the lack of intimacy that you are now experiencing.  You don't understand why it seems they are no longer there for you and actually claim that you don't understand this person anymore.  If this is the way that they are going to treat you, then it might be better off if you never met in the first place.  If they aren't going to care for you, the way that you care for you, then they must not love you and any "relationship" that you actually had was, in reality, an illusion.

The truth is that anyone looking objectively at this situation would come to the quick evaluation that what you experienced during this time was merely infatuation and not truly a relationship of any sort.  What may have started off so well, only happened because you were interested in the other person solely for how they could benefit you, not because you truly cared for them and desired to know them.

Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
And yet, this is often how we have treated God.  The God we say that we love.  The God who gave His only begotten Son for us so that we may have life.  The God who knows us so completely (see Psalm 139) and desperately wants us to know Him that He has left knowledge of Himself for us to get to know Him in His Word.

This knowledge of His love and forgiveness through Christ attracts us to Him.  This knowledge that He actually wants us and cares for us overwhelms us to the point where we learn the basics about Christ and His nature.  

But like the seed that is planted in shallow soil or weeded terrain, we quickly cool to the idea of a loving God when it is expected that we grow in our relationship or sacrifice time to actually consider the nature, hopes and dreams of a God who gave everything for us.  Our times of prayer become a list of things we want.  Our time in the Word, non-existent.  Other things more important than this relationship consistently crowd out any time with Him.  And then, we begin to feel a distance from the One we we so sure would never leave us or forsake us.  Until one day, we claim, because God let us down in our expectations in this relationship, that we don't even know this God we serve or even if He exists.  So we give up and blame God that He didn't try hard enough to convince us that He is there and that He cares for us.

Don't be fooled.  That's not a relationship...it's merely infatuation.  It is of those people whom Jesus will say, "I never knew you."  Not because He doesn't want us to, but because deep down...we really don't want to know Him.  And just like every other relationship we have...we show it with our actions.  

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