What difference would it make in your life if you truly believed God loves you just the way you are? If you knew beyond any doubt that He is not rolling His eyes in frustration with your lack of progress, or shaking His head in disappointment with your recent failure? Could it possibly be true that His steadfast love for you never ceases? Never fades? Never changes?
Because we are so intimately acquainted with our own darkness, the reality of a holy God who intimately knows us, yet unconditionally loves us, is difficult to believe. Isn’t it too good to be true?
How could He really love me after everything I have done?
How could He possibly be pleased with me when I have failed so many times?
How could I ever be worthy of His favor when I never measure up?
God’s love may be too good to be understood, but it’s NOT too good to be true.
His love is a precious gift and the very foundation of our relationship with Him; it’s what we’re to be rooted in as our source, our stability, and our nourishment. When we can’t connect to His personal, passionate, extravagant love for us, all we have left is a transactional system of religion ~ trying to earn His favor, trying to please Him, trying to deserve His love.
What if we stopped trying and started receiving?
God’s love is never earned; it is freely given. So all we can do is receive it and experience it. Learning how to personally receive and experience the love of God breaks the vicious cycle of religion and transforms our relationship with Him.
It’s the experience of love that changes us. To know by experience that he not only loves you, but delights in you. That you’re not only forgiven, but you’re His favorite.
What is your experience of being known and delighted in by God, with complete vulnerability and authenticity, in all of your broken humanity?
Genuine transformation begins to takes place in our hearts as we practice being known and loved just as we are.
It’s so easy to emphasize knowing God or knowing things about God, but what is your experience of being known by Him?
For much of my life, I’ve consciously and subconsciously resisted God’s love. Pushed it away. Felt unworthy of such an extravagant gift. Incredibly exhausting, really, but it was my “normal”. Until I began practicing a new normal.
It’s very difficult to change ourselves.
But we can change a pattern.
And when we change a pattern of resisting love to a pattern of receiving love, something beautiful begins to happen.
Recently, I led a group of women through a Bible study of 1 John. A few weeks into the class, I discovered I’m not alone in my struggle; almost every woman in that room wrestled with doubts about God’s love for her. So I tried something different and led them through a meditation that proved to be very helpful and overwhelmingly positive.
I recorded a video of that meditation for you. Practicing this guided meditation can help you begin a new pattern of receiving God’s love in a very unique and personal way. The session is about 10 minutes and includes a brief introduction.
Before you begin, gather your Bible, a pen, a journal or notepad, and find a quiet place to be alone. In order to receive the full impact, take a few extra minutes after the video is finished to linger in His presence, process your thoughts, and journal your experience.
You can access the video HERE.
I’ve also created a mini Bible study devotional to help you break down barriers to receiving God’s love. You can download and print HERE.
I hope and pray these resources help you receive God’s love in a fresh way. And I would love to know your biggest takeaway!