He Loves Me… He Loves Me…(not?)
Does the title sound familiar? Of course, at least for some of you, I hope. In case you don’t, perhaps there are people reading this that are too young or from another culture that never heard it before. I looked it up on Wikipedia and it seems to be of French origin.
Suppose a young girl daydreams about a boy, there is a simple game called “he loves me… he loves me not” which would determine whether the boy loves her or not. It is played by picking a daisy and then plucking the petals from it one by one. As each petal is removed the girl will say out loud “he loves me”, then the next petal is removed, “he loves me not”, next petal, “he loves me”, next petal “he loves me not” and so on until the last petal is picked which, whatever phrase is recited, determines whether the boy loves her, or not. Suppose the last petal is “he loves me not”? Why she’d probably have to pick another daisy and try again. 🙂
Is it silly? Maybe, but cute.
Isn’t it nice to know that God always loves us and regardless of any “daisy game”, He still loves us?
But do we believe this? Day in and day out? Is this just intellectual knowledge of God’s Word or is it something that we know to be true in our hearts?
I think the greater understanding of His love for us is directly related to the less stress we have.
Here’s the real test: Ask yourself these questions “Do I still worry?”, “Do I still have fear?” Or how about “When my bills are late, do I get anxious?”, “Do I fear losing my job?”, “Do I worry about losing my home?”, “What do I worry about?”
If you said yes to any one of these that just means your normal. Everyone has fears and worries to various degrees. Although I believe this about people I’m convinced that that is not God’s plan for us.
Philippians 4: 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Matthew 6: 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
He tells us not to worry about anything! Are you kidding me?
At the heart of this, I believe that worry is simply a word to mean “lack of faith”.
Matthew 8: 26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.
Hebrews 11: 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
I’ve learned that as I grow spiritually, I worry less and less, and although I still struggle with it, this knowledge gives me hope. Meditating on both Philippians 4:6 and Mattew 6:34 as seen above, has been really good for me. God is telling me not to worry. Eventually, I finally started to say to God “OK Lord, if you say so.” and I am amazed at how effective it was to meditate on these verses.
Another verse that really disturbed me and was helpful in meditating on was this:
Psalm 112: 7
They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.
Who is “They” anyway and why wouldn’t they fear bad news, doesn’t everybody fear bad news? Can anyone relate to this? “They”, found earlier in the Psalm, is:
1 Praise the Lord!
How joyful are those who fear the Lord
and delight in obeying his commands.
Some days I’ll tremble with fear and others I seem to be at peace. It is the days of fear that I’ve really learned to cling to Him and go to Him constantly. It is also in these days of unrest that I find myself doubting what I know to be true. Is God really going to rescue me? Does He really love me? What I find fascinating is that after a day of gloom I can pray to my God and the next day, with the same circumstances, He gives me a renewed sense of hope and peace. It’s as if to say “He really does love me!”.
1 John 4: 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
I think perfect love should always be our goal; this would enable us to overcome fear. This makes sense since the greatest commandments are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and neighbors as ourselves.
Isn’t this great news? You see, He loved us first:
1 John 4:19 19 We love him, because he first loved us. (KJV)
Then He commands us to love Him back, for our own good, of course:
Deuteronomy 10: 13 And you must always obey the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.
In the effort to love God and learning how to love Him; this is where true transformation really happens.
The more we understand God and the love He has for us the less fear we’ll have.
James 4: 8a Come close to God, and God will come close to you.
The closer God comes to you, the more you will realize just how much He loves you and your fears will start to fade away.
How do I grow spiritually and learn to love Him more?
- I read my Bible daily and follow a reading plan because I need one.
- I seek Him in prayer on an as needed basis(at least daily), telling Him about all my fears and asking Him to fill me with His Spirit and to teach me His ways. “Lord, how can I be one of those who doesn’t fear bad news? Please let that be said of me.”
- I regularly spend time in fellowship with believers discussing each other’s lives and focusing on the Word of God. In groups of 2-15 people (about 4-5 times a week)
- I read godly books. Personal biographies are great and those focused on spiritual growth.
Sermons at church and on the radio are great, but nothing beats “individual God time” and scriptural fellowship.
Keep in mind that this is where I am now. When I first started to seriously seek God I read the Bible, prayed a little bit and met once a week with others. Since then my desire for fellowship grew and I find great enjoyment from these weekly meetings with the godly. The more I sought God, the more time I wanted to be with Him and His followers.
Will you join me on this journey to love Him more?
“Dear Lord, thank you for calling and loving me. I am so privileged to know you and have a heart for you. Will you help me know you better? Please help me to learn how to perfect my love and learn how to love you more. You have been so good to me and I thank you for what you’re doing today and in the future. In Jesus name, amen.”