Pursuing God

The God Who is Undone

What I think about God has everything to do with how I choose to live my life before Him.

When I was a Youth Pastor I remember receiving an emergency call about one of my young adults. I was asked to quickly head over to their apartment.

Upon arrival I discovered the front door slightly open. After calling her name several times I decided to go in and moved my way through the apartment.

To my utter surprise I found her unconscious on the bathroom floor with slits in her wrists. Not a pretty sight. I immediately began to pray for her and called 911.

The good news was that she came out of it OK.

What was disturbing about this was the fact that she loved God, faithfully attended church and was a regular attendee in our young adult group.

In summarizing why she did this it came down to her feeling that God was distant and really did not fully love her nor enjoy her.

There is a crucial lesson for us here. If we don’t grab hold of a God who is passionately in love with us and completely devoted even in our weakness we will always struggle with intimacy and depth in our knowledge of God.

This story is extreme but it definitely uncovers a heart condition that many are struggling with.

GOD IS PASSIONATE FOR ME!

Personally, the idea that God really likes me and is madly in love with me was seldom taught as a boy growing up in the Catholic church or even after I got saved as a teenager.

Either it was not understood by my friends, teachers and pastors or it was somehow considered “cheap grace” or too juvenile.

Maybe the prevailing thought was that if taught, it would somehow make God appear weak with emotion. And a God with loving emotions does not fit too well in our western theological worldview.

The truth is, it is hard to imagine that a perfect God who completely knows me inside and out, with all of my imperfections (and there are many) is deeply in love with me.

How can perfect Love, love the imperfect? How can one who is sinless embrace one who is sinful?

The good news is that God loves me in spite of myself. The fact is, God’s love is limitless and it covers a multitude of sin.  The Cross is a covering for those who receive the Man who was killed on it. Jesus became sin so I can become righteous 2 Cor. 5:21. God’s love is given and applied to me.

Jesus laid His life down because He wanted something or should I say someone.

That someone — is me!

His passion is so intense He left heaven to fulfill it. The Son of God died, fulfilled the requirements of the law, absorbed the wrath of God, conquered death, hell and the grave to have me!

And in spite of my inconsistencies, my lack, my weakness, He still chooses me and will continue to choose me with the very same passion and zeal He left heaven with!

THE GOD WHO IS UNDONE

I have God’s affections pointed right at me. He is undone. He is wildly in love with me.

God is the Ultimate Lover. His pursuit is breathtaking.

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8

“we love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

No one loves me like God. No One is as passionate for me as He is. Hard to believe, but it is true.

There is no other reason for the Son to leave heaven. He endured the cross because His eyes were fixed on a wedding day. It was the joy set before Him.

Jesus is not some stoic, passionless, rule-based Savior. On the contrary, He is a fiery, affectionate lover who enjoys me and longs to be with me.

Can you give the affections of your heart to Someone who loves you so perfectly, so honestly, so deeply, so passionately and so completely?

WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?

If my heart does not grab the revelation of a relentless God who is passionately pursuing me, it will not be moved.

It’s like being married without touch. without communication, without intimacy.

Covenant without affection.

Commitment without affirmation.

The marriage is in trouble. At best, it’s not fulfilling. Some just “suck it up” and deal with it. Others look elsewhere.

But with God we NEVER have to look elsewhere or live unfulfilled. NEVER!

If I don’t embrace this revelation, my heart becomes embittered and I eventually sink into doing things for God out of duty, striving to be faithful and never really connecting with Him at a deep level. This way of living will not last. And for many, it hasn’t.

Exhaustion. Burnout. Sin. These eventually surface.

This is a far cry from the words of Jesus;

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10

KEEPING MY HEART ALIVE

My heart stays alive when I consistently remember and experience His passion and pursuit of me. Choosing a One Pursuit life requires this foundation.

“and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,” Colossians 3:10

When I sense my heart drifting I renew it through growing in the (experiential) knowledge of God, reminding myself of my identity in Christ and rediscovering God’s fiery heart for me.

WHAT CAN DO?

If this is all new to you, here are some resources that can get you going on this journey. I encourage you to begin reading, or even re-read some of these materials. Of course you might have your own, if so, pass on what you recommend.

1.  The Pleasures of Loving God

2. Face to Face with God

3. Studies in Song of Songs

4. Pursuit of God

5. Pursuit of the Holy

6. Adoration Prayer Book. Here is the link to the ebook format.

Just look in scripture to find places that reveal God’s affections and emotions for you. Here are a few to get you going. Ps. 16:11; Ps 36:7-10; Ps. 139:1-18; Is. 62:2-4; Zeph. 3:17; John 17:24-26; Eph. 1:16-19; Eph. 3:16-20

FEEDBACK: Love to get your insight and thoughts on this!  How do you think this view of God is vital for the believer in keeping their heart alive and maintaining a strong relationship with the Lord? What’s been your experience?

Greg Simas

• Pastor | Writer | Leader | Coach • Senior Leader of Convergence House of Prayer in SF Bay Area. "Building people whose lives change so they can change lives."

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20 thoughts on “The God Who is Undone”

  1. Love this article! I got saved when I was young, but it took me until I was in my 30s before I actually realized God loved me (even though I knew the Bible said he did). No wonder I was struggling with depression and burnout. When I finally decided to believe what He said, and not the way I felt, things changed. When we realize how much God loves us, so many of the things we struggle with get fixed, and his love is able to operate through us. Thanks for the great article.

    1. Bryan, I totally agree! Thanks for your life-insight. Super appreciated.

      Do you have a blog? Just wandering because there is no link attached to your name. fyi

  2. First teachiing I ever heard was God’s Love is unconditional! First book I ever read was AW Pursuit of God. I liked the book One Thing.

  3. Great post!
    I think to often Christians focus on the harshness of God, repent!! Yes, we need to repent, check our ways and follow in the footsteps of Jesus, but our God is madly in love with us!! We really need to bring this to light for the younger generation. Satan is attacking them so viciously, but we can counter this with telling them about this passionate love of Christ for us! We are referred to as the bride of Christ and a groom only has eyes for his bride. Head over heals passionately in love with her. God is calling and beckoning people to come to Him for He loves them….WOW, the power of the love of God is unbelievable.

    Just last night I was talking with a young adult about the love of Jesus and how an older man was telling him he was so wrong to focus on that. The older man left saying that he would pray for the salvation of this young one’s soul. Sad, for if my friend wasn’t grounded in God then that might have turned him away.

    Blessings,
    <

    1. Romans 2:4 says that it is His kindness that leads us to repentance. Song of Songs 8:6 states that love is strong…it burns like a mighty flame. God’s love for humanity is why He came to earth anyways. “the greatest of these is love”

      His love is not weak, passive, feeling-orientated. It’s strong, passionate, committed, relentless and unconditional. This is what our young people need to be hearing.

      For some guys, logic trumps love. But knowing about someone is never the same is knowing them personally. God’s love needs to be at the center of our conversations!

      Thanks for sharing. Love it!

  4. I also grew up Catholic and held the view that God was a “mean kid with a magnifying glass waiting to burn us little ants”. I felt like I walked on eggshells, scared to mess up and that I had to be perfect to be loved. I struggled my whole life with perfectionism and depression. Even as a Spirit Filled believer I continued to feel like God was far away and I just couldn’t please Him enough — that His nearness was determined by how much He liked me, so if I couldn’t “feel” Him, maybe I wasn’t one of His “favorites”.
    I’ve been plugged into really good truthful teaching the past few years, and though I have overcome a lot of these false ideas, I honestly still struggle to ‘know’ God loves me. Usually, the more time I spend in His presence, the more confident I am in His love.
    For me, books and teachings don’t really help, I need to speak, sing, and pray the Word over and over, pray in the Spirit, and soak in His presence OFTEN. Im pretty needy for Him I guess. :-/

    1. Gina, I think that how you are feeling represents a large contingency of the body of Christ. Personally, I struggle in the some of the same areas you mentioned above. Love being conditional, based on doing or rather how well I do things.

      I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that books and teachings are not the primary means to go deeper in the love of God. Nothing replaces being with Him.

      You should blog on this topic more often!

  5. Love this article PG! I have to admit, I have walked with the Lord for almost 25 years and I am just in the last few years beginning to understand the depth of His love for me. I can’t wrap my brain around it. I continue to ask Him for fresh revelations of His love for me!

  6. What a timely post! There are times when my emotions take over, especially as I’ve been going through very uncertain and difficult times. However, then I remember what God’s Word says. I’m glad that I’ve taken time to memorize many Scriptures. They seem to come to me during these times as the Lord reminds me of His presence even when I don’t always feel Him.

    Thank you for the links. I may need to use my Amazon gift card to buy a few of these books. Thanks.

    Blessings,
    Debbie

    1. Debbie, the books would be a great investment…I think you would really enjoy them.

      I’m so glad you memorized so much of the Word. This is powerful. I see a few future posts on just how to do this. In addition to the more traditional verses, I want to memorize ones that express his heart and affection to me. I don’t have those down yet, but will in the near future. 😉

  7. Thanks PG for the great post! It’s really good to hear about God’s love and how it all ties into scripture. This is good stuff… I’m slowly, but surely awakening the sleeping Spirit Man within me and I was at a point of burn-out due to work and ministry. Thank You for showing me a way and to remind me of the “why” behind the gospel and why Jesus went on the cross. I’ve heard of God’s love many times but head knowledge making it’s way to experiential heart knowledge took quite a bit of time… reminds me to always continue to seek Him and why? Because He loved us first so we can be sustained throughout our week.

    -Gary

    1. Gary, love what you saying here. I sense many are “awakening the sleeping Spirit Man”. Living from an intellectual reality will have life on it for a few years but it cannot sustain the heart long-term. Burn-out is all to common in the church and I am convinced that it never has to be!

      Love your input…keep coming back and contribute your thoughts often!

      That goes for everyone who is reading this comment. Keep them coming!!!

  8. i really agree with this post. the revelation that He passionately pursues us is life-changing and life-giving. it ruins me forever for anything else. i think of what peter said when Jesus asked them if they were leaving too when all the other followers were offended and he said, “where else could we go?” that is what i feel like. i am ruined for anything else but Him. i am so blessed to have found this at a young age and i am convinced that it has been what has kept me on the straight and narrow. i love to feel His pleasure on my heart. there is nothing else like it.

    1. Yeah.. What Peter said is so true. He was completely wrecked for anything else. Reminds me of Psa. 73:25 “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.”

      This is definitely a growing reality in me – in many different ways!

  9. If there one thing that I need in my walk with the Lord is knowing, understanding and grasping the depth of Christ’s unconditional love and affection towards me and then embracing it fully with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
    I believe this is very crucial and important to having a firm and unshakable faith in God, and curbing doubts, inconsistencies and complains in my christian life.
    This is the prayer Paul makes for the Ephesians and its my desire that God will do and effect it in my life:
    Eph 3:14-19
    For this reason I kneel
    before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
    God bless you Pastor Greg!

    1. Hi Stephen. You’re right. This is a struggling point for me. I tend to lean towards performance to gain God’s approval rather than simply resting in knowing that I am accepted by Him. Ephesians 3 is one of my favs.

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