Can there be a more vital message than this? In the midst of life with confusion, trial, suffering, tribulation - I am increasingly coming to realise that the only thing that can meet that longing is God's passion for His people. So I was thrilled and greatly encouraged to read Terry Virgo's latest blog;
"God isn’t interested merely in how you can serve him. He wants you to hear the clear, gentle whisper, ‘I love you. I’m for you. I know your sighing, your longings, and your heartbreak. I know what you’ve been doing for me and how little you’ve been appreciated for it. I hear you when you cry out in desperation.’ It’s this gentle whisper that melts your heart".
One of the insidious lies of legalism is that all God cares about is what we DO. But rather the grace message preaches the truth - it's DONE - it's DONE - it's DONE! There's been so much argument about "indwelling sin" and John Owen the Puritan didn't help matters by producing a thick volume on how to "mortify" sin and basically concluding - you can't until you die! But when you read a paragraph like Terry's next - sin couldn't be further from your mind!
"I once looked up ‘delight’ in the dictionary. It said ‘great pleasure and satisfaction’. But I wasn’t satisfied with that, so I searched for it in a thesaurus. This is what I found: ‘laugh, smile, get a kick out of, hug oneself, rave, bask in, enjoy, wallow, have fun, exhilarate, relish, elate, thrill, ravish, intoxicate, entrance, enrapture, purr.’ Isn’t that wonderful? When God looks at you he purrs with delight!".
And again more specifically Terry writes to those overcome by exhaustion in life and tired of fighting (like I am today after finding out I can't go to Hong Kong unless I leave my job and having just endured a 1 and a half hour grievance hearing at my old work!);
"How do I find healing from exhaustion? It lies in the gentle whisper from God, ‘I love you. I’m delighted with you. You make my heart sing whenever I see you.’ That’s what overwhelmed great Christians throughout history and that’s what restores your soul – a fresh experience of intimacy with God and a new revelation of his grace".
"God has a wonderful way of working healing into weary people. If you drift away from him, he doesn’t abandon you. No matter what you do, you’re always his delightful child. His thoughts about you have never changed and never will. Surely this is what grace is all about".
How awesome and lavish is His grace?! This beautiful verse from the Song of Solomon sums up perfectly how I am feeling about God right now. But what's even MORE mind-blowing is that the Bible is clear that this is actually how HE is feeling about me! (See how much people are missing who incredibly think that the Song of Solomon is a sex manual for husbands and wives?!)
"You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes" (Song of Songs 4:9).