Some people smile really big. Others dance. Still others seem to float across the room. And in others we can just see it in their eyes. I’m talking about joy – when our hearts are content and full. How do you react to the feeling of overflowing joy?
So much is made in Christianity and the church about how people are supposed to act toward God. Obedience, worship, gratitude, submission, etc. And this is all completely true! However, it was never meant to occur in a vacuum. It isn’t just a learned behavioral action that we comply with “because we’re supposed to.” There is an actual root cause for how we are to act toward God. And when we find it, then the “supposed to” language is completely removed from the equation.
What is it? Simple – God loves you! And not just in a mundane and basic way. He doesn’t just love you because he is God and he has to. He loves you dynamically. This is a game changer! The prophet Zephaniah writes this, “God is in your midst, a mighty warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you and in his love he will no longer rebuke you. He will rejoice over you with loud singing.” Did you take that all in?
God loves you! His love pursues you. He isn’t far off. He is in your midst. The God of the universe is choosing to be in your presence. His love seeks to rescue you. He is active to intervene in your life, in the small and large battles. He commands legions of angels and rules over the universe, yet he chooses to mobilize to fight locally on your behalf. His love means that he delights in you. You aren’t hard for him to love. He genuinely likes you. He enjoys every moment that he can spend with you. His love redeems you. He isn’t looking to put your failures in your face. Rather he has provided a means of ultimate victory through Jesus. And his love means that you bring him great joy. It is overflowing joy that you bring him. Elsewhere he calls you his inheritance. And when God is overflowing with joy, he sings…loud.
This kind of love when I embrace it redirects my whole existence and defines my pursuit of him. It is not an obligation. It is a response that is far short of worthy in the face of the perfect way he loves me.