I don’t read my Bible every day. I never thought I would broadcast this news. Admitting this after years of being drilled with the importance of daily reading, makes me sound and sometimes feel like a rebel. Early on I had been told that if I loved God I would read His Word daily to prove it.
It wasn’t that long ago that I realized I was trying to earn His love. I didn’t believe that in and of myself I was enough. I performed, and strived hoping that somehow it would make me enough. The problem with this theology is that life became about Me. It was all about what I could and would do.
It’s not His way. He wanted me to know the true way. He wanted me to know I was loved for who I was, not for what I could do. Quiet times didn’t prove my love for Him, like I’d been told. What He longed for was my response to His pursuit. I didn’t know Him as the pursuer of my heart. I thought it was up to me. He wanted me to know that it was He who pursued me.
It all began with Him alluring me into the desert to speak tenderly to me. In the desert His Word became the streams that watered my soul. It was no longer about a daily reading. A question of desperation would lead me to search through the scriptures to know His heart for me in the moment. During that time I dissected His Word to discover truth. I loved treasure hunting in His Word. In moments of the barren desert, I was desperate for Him. He not only revealed Himself to me, He stored up treasures of truth in my heart for the season to come.
The next season He began to take the demands of reading the Word off of me. At first I struggled to remain there. I felt so out of balance and guilty. The feelings of guilt indicates that my reading had been more requirement than relationship. Were I living out of the response of the relationship there would be no guilt. After all guilt is not in His vocabulary. That was what He was coming for, the lies that brought the guilt. He wanted me to know that I could just “be” with Him, without “doing” a thing.
Many days I spent confessing to Him my guilt for not reading until He whispered to my heart. “Jewel, it’s OK that you are not doing anything. I don’t want you to have to do anything for love. I want you to rest here with me. Just be you, Jewel. Just respond to me the way your heart tells you to. Forget the assignments, forget the requirements, just be here with me.”
Could it be that simple? Could I let it all go and respond to His pursuit of my heart as I felt led? Were there really no requirements? Somehow in the midst, the guilt dissipated and I began to relax. He knew my heart. He knew I wanted Him more than life itself. He knew I loved His Word. He wanted me to respond to His invitation without a set “to do” list?
The Word of God is vital to my life. Both the written Word and the spoken Word. His spoken Word erupted into my world during this time and I was undone. I wondered how long had He been waiting to speak to me. I had never heard such words of love and affirmation. All this time He had been waiting for my ear.
Each and every day He woos my heart to “be” with Him so that He can love on me. Sometimes it is with the written Word and sometimes it is with the spoken Word. He amazes me with His presence as He delights in pursuing me with His relentless love.
An amazing transition has taken place. I am breaking free from the rules to live in the freedom of responding to His pursuit. Everything is by His initiation. He invites me to come to Him so that He can love on me. Guilt has fallen off of me. I am free. Maybe I am a rebel after all, a rebel with a cause, to know how deeply and intimately I am loved by the pursuer of my heart because I am made for love.
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. Jeremiah 31:3
©copyrighted 2008 by Julie L. Todd