Sunday, August 16, 2009

To truly be romanced....

So often we spend our time helping others in need we cannot completely see the extent of our own pain. Now I'm not saying that we shouldn't help others, but sometimes we use it as a coping mechanism to channel away from our own problems. Our struggles are evident, but we may not always realize how rooted they really are.

Proverbs 4.23
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

"Like Eve after she tasted the forbidden fruit, we women hide. We hide behind our makeup. We hide behind our humor. We hide with angry silences and punishing withdrawals. We hide our truest selves and offer only what we believe is wanted, what is safe. We act in self-protective ways and refuse to offer what we truly see, believe, and know. We will not risk rejection or looking like a fool. We have spoken in the past and been met with blank stares and mocking guffaws. We will not do it again. We hide because we are afraid. We have been wounded and wounded deeply. People have sinned against us and we have sinned as well. To hide means to remain safe, to hurt less. At least that is what we think. And so by hiding we take matters into our own hands. We don't return to our God with our broken and desperate hearts. And it has never occurred to us that in all our hiding, something precious is also lost--something the world needs from us so very, very much.

Whether we tend to dominate and control, or withdraw in our desolation and hide, still...the ache remains. The deep longings in our hearts as women just won't go away. And so we indulge. We buy ourselves something nice when we aren't feeling appreciated. We "allow" ourselves a second helping of ice cream or a super-sized something when we are lonely. We move into a fantasy world to find some water for our thirsty hearts. Romance novels, soap operas, talk shows, gossip, the myriads of women's magazines all feed an inner life of relational dreaming and voyeurism that substitutes--for a while--for the real thing. But none of these really satisfy, and so we find ourselves trying to fill the remaining emptiness with our little indulgences. (Brent Curtis calls them our "little affairs of the heart") They are what we give our hearts away to instead of giving them to the heart of God.

We daydream our way through traffic. We imagine meaningful conversations or difficult ones where we speak brilliantly. We spend our imaginations on cheap novels, picturing ourselves as the beautiful heroine-winsome, pursued, beautiful. We are endlessly creative in our indulgent pursuits, our adulteries of the heart. Certainly, we don't limit ourselves to just one.

Take a moment and consider yours. Where do you go to instead of God when the ache of your heart begins to make itself known? Spending too much money, gambling, bingeing, purging, shopping, drinking, working, cleaning, exercising, too many movies, sitcoms, talk shows, even our negative emotions can become indulgences. When we camp our hearts in self-doubt, condemning thoughts, or even shame because those emotions have become familiar and comfortable, we are FAITHLESSLY indulging rather then allowing our deep ache draw us to God. " (Captivating.John & Stasi Eldredge)

Romans 14.23
Whatever is not from FAITH is SIN.

Why as women, are we always looking for romance in movies, books, magazines, and how-to's? Oh we search, but we don't find it. So often we confuse lust with love while the one true love is living right here in our very hearts. Who is the one who knows the greatest love of all? Why is it that we aren't being romanced by him? I mean are we even letting him? We see God as being powerful and strong, which he is, but not as needing us, wanting to be desired by us.

(Here is a piece from Wild at Heart)
After years of hearing the heart-cry of women, I am convinced beyond a doubt of this: God wants to be loved. He wants to be a priority to someone. How could we have missed this? From cover to cover, from beginning to end, the cry of God's heart is, "Why won't you choose me?" It is amazing to me how humble, how vulnerable God is on this point. "You will find me." says the Lord, "when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29.13) In other words, "Look for me, pursue me--I want you to pursue me." Amazing. As Tozer says, "God waits to be wanted."

Now, let me rephrase that. God waits to be wanted. Those that he knows will never come to him. He waits. He doesn't take them by the shoulders and shake them. Or better yet, make them love him. He just waits. Those of us that know what he desires of us, but we continue to do it on our own. He waits. He simply waits. Talk about patience. LOL. I mean I can't even fathom knowing the future, for better or worse, and still just waiting.

And we think of our Lord as one we should always fear. Never be close to. He is powerful, strong, intimidating, out of our reach, full of wrath.

There is this song by Phil Wickham that I absolutely love. Take the time to listen to it, but here are some of the words.

"Come close listen to the story
About a love more faithful than the morning
The Father gave His only Son just to save us

The earth was shaking in the dark
All creation felt the Fathers Broken Heart
Tears were filling Heaven's Eyes
The day that True Love died, the day that True Love died
When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn't move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that True Love died, The day that True Love died"

A love more faithful then the morning. Just think about that for a second. Incredible.
So what's keeping us from seeking God with our whole hearts? When will we have an intimate relationship with our Lord? At what point will we finally let him romance us? I know it's easier said then done, but honestly we need to stop giving ourselves to EVERYTHING but him.

The one and only who is himself. True love.