“God wishes to be seen, and he wishes to be sought, and he wishes to be expected, and he wishes to be trusted.” – Julian of Norwich
“Persons rarely become present where they are not heartily wanted. Certainly that is true for you and me. We prefer to be wanted, warmly wanted, before we reveal our souls – or even come to a party.” – Dallas Willard
How much do you desire God? How much do you believe he desires you?
What we want plays a significant role in our relationship with God. It takes two to tango, and God does not force us to dance. Instead, he lets us choose the level of intimacy we want and then responds accordingly.
This does not mean that his love for us is determined by us. In fact, it’s just the opposite – God’s love for everyone is always perfect and overflowing because it comes from his very essence. God is love.
But he does respect our freedom to choose. We can reject, ignore, avoid, misunderstand, slander, mock, and offend him if we want to. He’ll keep pursuing our hearts in the midst of it all, but he won’t enter without an invite.
You and I have a scary amount of sovereignty in our relationship with God. Every day he lets us choose if, how, when, where, and why we will engage him. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” He loves everyone, but he’s looking to strengthen those who have chosen him above all else.
Any normal, healthy relationship requires honesty, and it’s no different with our heavenly Father. He wants us to be real with him about what we want, and what we want to want (“I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24). And he desires to share his heart with us, too. In many ways, he already has through the scriptures.
We find all sorts of ways to mess up this beautiful interchange. We lie about what we want, we avoid the truth of what we want, we feel guilty about what we want. And then of course there are things that are no real fault of our own – lies we’ve been told, false images of God we’ve been handed, attacked from the devil, abuses we’ve encountered, wounds we’ve received…the list goes on.
But when you clear away the clutter, aren’t you attracted to a relationship with God that’s honest on both sides about what’s really wanted? Life is so much simpler without the static.
Okay, so a few questions to reflect on this week:
- What do you really want in life? Be honest and don’t be afraid to name places of internal conflict.
- What do you want out of your relationship with God? He already knows, so don’t be afraid to answer truthfully.
- What do you want to want?
Spend some time bringing all this before God, and perhaps a few trusted friends, and see where it takes you. It may feel awkward, scary, painful, or even joyful, but at least you’ll know where you stand and be better positioned to grow closer to the God who gave everything to show how much he wanted you.