Heart Hungry

“Jason, how do you do that?” my friend asked.

Before I could respond, he continued. “You talk about God like He’s your best friend, like He’s in this room sitting at our table, like He is talking to you all the time.” He paused for a moment and I could see he was distressed. “I have been saved since I was five,” he continued, “and I don’t feel like I really know what you are talking about. Most days, God seems like He is a million miles away.”

This fella and I go back several years. We have had some incredible discussions about God’s love. He is a wild believer. He is a church leader. And he is a man of God. He wasn’t challenging me; he was exposing a great hunger in his heart, a hunger for a deeper relationship with Father God, for authentic encounters with Love.

Gently, I asked a question, “Bro, are you convinced, head to toes, that He is absolutely, unwaveringly, always in love with you?”

“Are you convinced, head to toes, that He is absolutely, unwaveringly, always in love with you?”

Through sudden tears, he responded, “I have been taught about God’s love. I know the Scriptures, so I am sure here.” He pointed to his head. “But the way you talk about His love, I feel like I am missing something. Honestly, I’m not always sure here,” pointing to his heart.

I don’t think my friend is alone. There is an epidemic ravaging the hearts of many believers. We are head rich and heart hungry. I have met too many Christians who’ve rarely felt intimate with the Father, who have rarely felt like His presence as though he were in the room. I have met many who are daily battling overwhelming doubts about His uncompromising, personal, one-of-a-kind love. I have met too many believers who are desperately hungry for an encounter that includes more than their intellect.

“I have met many believers who are desperately hungry for an encounter with the Father that includes more than their intellect.”

I know many who can hypothesize about Love. I know many who can debate the theology, they can tell me the Greek definitions and Hebrew pronunciations, and there is nothing wrong with that. There is true beauty in knowing and loving God with our all of our mind, but infinitely more important is knowing and loving God with all of our heart.

Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27). There’s a reason it’s in that order. We are to be heart-first lovers.

But Jesus also tells us that we can only love because He first loved us (John 4:16).  So this Christian life is not first about doing, it’s about receiving.

“There is true beauty in knowing and loving God with our all of our mind, but infinitely more important is knowing and loving God with all of our heart.”

My Bible, and yours, tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8). I don’t know if you have ever thought of it this way, but if God is love then it make sense that His language would be love.

It’s about love, first receiving, then becoming.

So I asked my friend a question I often ask of people who feel distant from God or just want to know His presence more.

“When is the last time you felt God’s absolute joy and laughter over your life? When was the last time you knew to your very bones that He was absolutely in love with you?”

I ask that question because it sets up a person to hear and know God. You see, God is always in in the room, He will never leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5).

If you want to hear and discover God presence, it will always start with becoming sure that He is love and His love is always good. A greater encounter with His presence is about becoming fluent in His language - unhindered, unrestrained love.

“When is the last time you felt God’s absolute joy and laughter over your life? When was the last time you knew to your very bones that He was absolutely in love with you?”

God is not a million miles away, He is in the room, in fact He has never been closer. To know is to choose by faith to believe that His love is always good; that it has nothing to do with our circumstances, our behavior or our insecurity.

He will never love us more than He does right now and the key to knowing His presence starts with choosing to believe.

This is what I told my friend who wanted to know the God who is in the room.

“Decide that Gods love toward you is always good, then ask Him to reveal it. Then don’t allow teaching, circumstances, or disappointments to change your mind. It won’t be long until you begin to recognize that He is in the room.”

 

Jason Clark is a writer, speaker and lead communicator at A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Website: www.afamilystory.org