Have you ever had a spiritual mentor ask you how your relationship with God was going? Perhaps it was a parent or a loved one, or even the person who helped lead you to Christ. Did it make you consider how or if your walk with Christ was growing? Now I want you to imagine for a second that Jesus Christ Himself showed up and asked you the same question. What if He was standing in front of you asking you how your walk with Him was going? Was it a daily walk? Was it your source of life, peace, and joy? Would you be able to say, You know how my walk with You is going.
Sometimes my wife tries to fix a rift between us by showing me how much she still loves me. Maybe I’m upset at her for something trivial, but she is still wanting to mend and grow the relationship between us. She does something small like saying that she loves me, or making me something to eat, or reminding me of something that I needed to remember. When she does this, it’s up to me to choose my response. She might be showing me love, but I have to decide that I truly want to pursue that loving relationship with her—I can either respond by accepting the love and asking for forgiveness, or I can choose to reject the love and continue walking alone.
If you’ve been alive very long, you have experienced the love of God. You might not be seeking Him, but He is still offering support when you need it. He is still coming along beside you and drawing you to Him in love. You may have a specific occurrence come to mind. The truth is, none of us would have a relationship with the Lord if it was not for His active participation in that relationship first.
“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)
God First Loved Us
God loved us first. There’s no getting around it, and if you ever think that it was you who initiated the relationship then you need to reevaluate the human ability to love. We were void of love until He bridged that gap with the death and resurrection of His Son. It was the ultimate display of love, and it was given despite the knowledge that many would reject such love.
So how can we respond to His love today? Evaluate your relationship status with Jesus, and then pursue Him with your whole heart. As you begin to walk closer to Him, you will see the effects of His love working through you as you become a minister of that love to others.
A few verses later, we see that “We love, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Your Source of Life and Joy
Once you embrace the love of God and allow Him to lead you to full repentance, the power of Christ will begin to transform you through the Holy Spirit so that you are a mirror of His love to others. It starts with knowing Him, and to get to the point where His love is pouring out, you first have to respond to what He has already put into the relationship. We need to be walking in His love, and the only way to do that is to be walking with Him. If you are feeling detached from your source of life and joy, ask Him to draw you back and begin to seek Him with all your heart.
Our relationship with God is made possible and hinges on the fact that we (even when we were still in our sins) get to respond to His love. Jesus stated this truth clearly in John 15:9-11. He says, “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”