God has been pursuing us ever since Eden, and He will stop at nothing. Even if it means laying aside His glory to become one of us. If that’s what it takes to know us – to attain that authentic, vibrant relationship He longs for – then that’s what He will do. God never wanted to relate with us from a distance. He didn’t want a cosmic Facebook relationship with His image bearers. He didn’t want to tweet us once in a while or shoot us a text to see how we’re doing. “Don’t have time to call, but just wanted to make sure you’re okay.” Our God carves our names into His hands. He enters into our pain and finds us under the bridge.
– Sprinkle, Preston; Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us; David C. Cook Publishing; Colorado Springs, CO; Kindle version; copyright 2014; page 135
I can totally relate to the prodigal son after he squandered his wealth (Luke 15: 11-32). I resonate with the feelings he had when he was eating with the pigs, thinking he could back to the father as a slave. SOmetimes I waited a few days or even weeks before talking to Him because I wanted to have a period of proving myself. In doing this, I acted like a slave and obeyed as well as I could. I figured I could still serve Him even though I felt uncomfortable having a real conversation with Him.
Have you ever felt this way? Do you ever want to distance yourself from Him because you feel so much same over your sin?
This was a regular pattern for me. I wanted to prove that I was sorry for what I did by being faithful for a period of time. I wanted to develop a good track record before pursuing my relationship with Him again. I wanted God to see that I could be a good servant. Then I felt good enough to talk to God again. But God didn’t want a good slave who tried really hard. He wanted me to see that He was a good Father. He wants intimacy.
– Chan, Francis; Forgotten God: Reversing the Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit; David C. Cook Publishers; Colorado Springs, CO; copyright 2009; p. 113
We have been chosen, grafted, adopted into the family of God. And now that we are a part of the family, the Spirit causes us to call out “Abba! Father!” Remember that Abba is the most intimate form for referring to a father. It is like saying “Daddy”; it connotes a deep level of familiarity and intimacy. As God’s Spirit speaks to our hearts, we can call out to God as our Abba. We will begin to experience this intimate relationship more deeply than we ever thought possible, so much so that we will begin to wonder, Does everyone feel this loved by God?
– Chan, Francis; Forgotten God: Reversing the Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit; David C. Cook Publishers; Colorado Springs, CO; copyright 2009; p. 112
Love in response to goodness isn’t love, but reward. Fortunately for us, that’s not God’s way. Our relationship with God is not a matter of reward, but of love. And that’s why we can enjoy such staggering in his presence.
– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 232
There is often a great disparity between how we feel about faith and how we are meant to feel. Why do so few people genuinely find joy and pleasure in their relationship with God! Why do most people feel they have to either pay God back for all He’s done (by His love) or somehow keep making up for all their inadequacies and failures (prove their love)? Why are the words of Psalm 63:1-5 not an honest reflection of our lives on most days?
– Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, copyright 2008, page 102
People who are obsessed with God have an intimate relationship with Him. They are nourished by God’s Word throughout the day because they know that forty minutes on Sundays is not enough to sustain them for a whole week, especially when they will encounter so many distractions and alternative messages.
– Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, copyright 2008, page 145
Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money and thought on the things of this world?
Are you satisfied being “godly enough” to get yourself to heaven, or to look good in comparison to others? Or can you say with Paul that you “want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10)
– Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, copyright 2008, page 67