When I first became a Christian I was on this “Romantic God High.” It’s like God “Love Bombed” me. All of my senses came alive to him. My eyes now saw technicolor (I literally only saw black and white before I met God…I was just trying to survive). My sight was now clearly 20/20. The world of color came alive to me!
My tastes became turned around…I only wanted to taste and see what God wanted me too. What I listened to dramatically changed. God started cleaning up my foul mouth and also gave me a distaste for swearing, especially when the Lord’s name was taken in vain: How could anyone speak badly about my Abba Father?!
I hated sin, and the ripple effect of sin — what it had done to my life as well as the lives of others. I fell on my knees seeking forgiveness. It was graciously and extravagantly given. I knew I was part of some BIGGER, GRANDER story.
After a number of years, the first-love honeymoon stage began to lose its glamor. My heart was still beating but had lost the extra heart passion for God. The love affair slowly began to grow cold. My life began to feel more like a series of repetitive behaviors filled up with church meetings, principles, programs.
As a pastor’s wife and ministry leader I tried my best to live the orthodoxy “Believe and Behave Accordingly.” This cold calculated behavior plan wasn’t sufficient enough to satisfy the turmoil of desires and longing in my heart. The longing to be passionately in love with God and others.
And then my life fell apart. I was hit with crisis after crisis. Physically, relationships crumbling, financially I was plunged into near poverty. I felt like I would just lift my head and would get hit down again. I was thrown under the bus with so much betrayal by others, and had actually thrown myself under the bus (because I felt like I deserved it). I was under attack by the evil one in every area in my life.
And then I began to experience on a minute-by-minute basis DIVINE LOVE. So much love I found myself falling on my knees everywhere in worship, prayer and over the top gratitude. My God-sized heart began to beat wildly again. But I had a choice. I knew that there was beginning to be a great divide between my head and my heart. I could either deaden my heart or divide my life into two parts.
The outer story had become the theater of the “should” while the inner story of desire, needs passion is deadened. God kept telling me to live WHOLE. Wholly human, wholly alive, Holy reverent. God was divinely connecting my head and my heart. Satan was no longer making his mark on my heart. It was coming alive! Beating with WILD LOVE! I was weary with “behavioral notification” and it’s so boring…. yawn.
Jesus was asking me to shift my change of priorities. From the frantic place of “many things” to the “one necessary thing.” Jesus knows we live in a many-faceted world. We must live in it yet firmly rooted in the center of all things. He wanted me to change my heart. To “set my heart on his kingdom first”. And all these other things will be given to me as well.
He was asking me to move my heart to the center, where all other things fall into place. The world was losing it’s grip on me because I knew the King of Heaven desired my attention. He wanted ME!
Last night I watched a movie that I hadn’t seen in decades. In the movie Ordinary People, the Mother who is played by Mary Tyler Moore was a cold mother, a controlled put together wife and mother. She was living the perfect life, controlled, and calculated, everything in perfect order (Actually she was A LOT like my mother). When her son attempted suicide she lost it. Because she was concerned with him? No, because he got blood on her tile. He made a mess of her “perfect world”.
This movie was a great illustration of the fact that we can be divided. She had a choice. She choose to live a “controlled calculated perfect world, where there was no room for the heart”. Her heart had grown cold, even for her own son. The romance of the heart and living with your head are radically different yet seem so mutually exclusive that they split our hearts in two.
To live the romance is full of wonder and beauty, to live by your head is to live in the midst of ugliness and devastation. And the crazy thing is we think to live with our head while our hearts grow cold is to have control. What an illusion! Only God has control. His love is wild and so exciting!
So today and to the end of our days, and into all eternity, let’s allow God to “love bomb” us! Do you not see it? In the wind, in the birds flying overhead! Everything comes alive with the “Love Bomb”!
“Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)