Last week, we talked about how to have individual health but today I'd like to share about the second area of health we discuss in the Hope & Health Workshop: spiritual health.
Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated Valentine's Day and I blogged about what love is. Today, I'd like to focus again on a more permanent love than even love in marriage: our love for Jesus. As a Christian, I have often believed that God wants me to spend time in His Word and in prayer so that I can grow as a Christian and I am definitely an advocate of reading the Bible and praying. But I think our Father wants something more from us. I believe He wants not only our obedience but, more importantly, our love.
Falling in Love
I still remember falling in love with my wife, even though it has been almost twenty-five years ago. We met at a mutual friend's birthday party and soon began to date. It wasn't long before we decided to get married.
When you fall in love, you have all sorts of emotions running through your body. You feel the exhilaration of finding someone to spend time with and the joy of getting to know this wonderful person. You will spend hours on the phone talking with each other because you are in love.
The moment we begin our faith in Christ, we have all sorts of emotions, too. We have the relief of knowing that all of our sins have been forgiven forever. We have the joy of entering a love relationship with the God of the universe. But, as in marriage, we will have a shallow relationship if it only involves emotion. We have to spend time together to get to know each other and grow in a love relationship.
Growing in Love
After we got married, my wife and I began to spend even more time together. We went away on the weekends and visited out-of-town friends. We would talk to each other about the day and about what we had planned for the week. In short, we started to grow deeper in love the more time we spent together. The same is true in our relationship with God. He doesn't want us to have our Quiet Time so we can check a box off of our to-do list. He wants us to spend time with Him in an intimate relationship where we grow closer together. As in marriage, our Father desires to grow in a love relationship with each of us. 1 John 4:19 says, "We love because he first loved us." As God loved us sacrificially by sending His Son, so we love Him by sacrificing ourselves to grow closer to Him.
Living in Love
Everyday, I get the joy of waking up and seeing my beautiful wife. We don't have a perfect life but I'm glad that we have each other to share life together.
Everyday, your heavenly Father wants you to enjoy spending time with Him. We don't have to limit our time with Him to a few minutes in the morning but we can talk to Him in prayer throughout the day. Your Father wants you to live in love with Him by thinking of Him, reminding yourself of what He has taught you in His Word, and by talking with Him in prayer. He wants you to have that type of intimate relationship with Him.
1 Peter 1:8 says,
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.
In Christ, you have the opportunity to not only know God your Father but to have a loving Father-child relationship with Him. Don't settle for just knowing about Him. Get to know the Father who loves you so much.