But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

1 Corinthians 8: 3

 

This idea is somewhat the opposite of the way that we often view our relationship with God. At least I tend to think in terms of loving God and so seeking to know Him ever more fully, deeply, and completely. Yet, if I think about it, consider what Paul is saying, and meditate upon these few simple words, it begins to make sense. Love is something that changes people. It reshapes the way that we see the world round us as it takes us into a deeper form of engagement with its object. In love, we seek out the beloved, and we desire to know that person very well, but love also opens up the lover to the other. This is true in romantic love relationships, and it is also true in other forms of deep, personal relationships.

 

In fact, there should be no place where this confident openness is more present than in our love for God. There is no one who is more trustworthy than is the Lord, and there is no other relationship that we can enter into that has the same degree of commitment inherent in the nature of the beloved than that which is present in God. God is in relationship with each of us who know Him for the duration of time, and there is nothing that can change His perspective on loving and on being present with us. The Lord is the definition of the sort of unfaltering promise of loving others that is missing in our world, for He does not hold our weakness, failure, and inconsistency as a form of ransom over us so that we think that we need to perform in order to retain that affection. Instead, God gave Himself up as a ransom of love in order to set us free for all of eternity from our own sinfulness and its shame.

 

So, my love for God leads to giving Him my heart, mind, and soul. I allow Him into my inner life in a way that is not even possible for any other to do. As Christ has given each of us who know Him His Spirit to dwell with and in us, we are inhabited by God’s love as it is poured out upon His people. There is no other experience in this life that is like this in its fullness and totality. God’s love is what brings this rare element into our world, and His love given to me is what defines, enables, and empowers all of the love that I have to give to others. Thus, as I love God, I come to relax the protective barriers that life in this world has taught me to place around my heart, and I allow Christ access to the full range of my feelings, my responses to others, and to my willingness to trust and to engage with people. In Christ, I know perfect love, and He pours Himself into me so that I can, in turn, be that sort of committed lover in all of my other relationships.

The Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.

Habakkuk 2: 20

My ears are buzzing with the overload of the sound of life that too often becomes the foreground of the day. Maybe it’s the constant noise of life in the modern world where machines and electronic devices are everywhere. Maybe it’s the way that everyone seems to have an opinion about everything, and they express them continually. Whatever the source, my head is swimming and my mind just can’t keep up with the pace of the stimulation that my ears are letting in to it.

It is too easy to lose sight of the fact that there is one voice that separates the real from the false and that creates order out of chaos. I struggle with simply shutting out the clutter and with not getting caught up in the allure and the energy of the buzz. Yet, I must shut it out in order to allow myself the ability to hear God as He speaks. It is also true that the Lord will filter all of the external information for me if I would reroute my inputs so that I am taking everything in by testing it against what God says in His word and through His Spirit.

The basic truth is that God is ever present, and He is present everywhere. Additionally, as His child, I am His temple; thus, God’s Spirit is in me. It is an inescapable fact that the world will always be a noisy and distracting place to live, but Christ brings calm and peace to our lives. We can choose to turn off the noise and shut out the buzz of this world. When we do this and meditate on God’s truth, His voice will speak clearly despite all of the world’s attempts to drown it out.