Every human alive has a natural, built-in magnetism towards their Creator. To deny this fact is to deny the essence of what it means to be an image bearer of the Creator. We are intrinsically able to know of a God that we cannot see. The embracing of this magnetic attraction causes us to seek Him; the denial of the inward pull toward a heavenly Father causes us to run as fast as we can away from Him. For it is this distance from Him that diminishes that aching in our hearts. Like a planet on the very outskirts of an orbit from its star, we grow colder the farther we get from the energy and heat that the star emits.
In my years of learning from the Spirit of God and His written word, I have discovered an apparent truth. This truth is that most of what God wants from us is hard-wired within and can be totally natural. In other words, once we let go of all the weight that the world puts upon us, the spiritual disciplines are really not disciplines at all; rather, they are more like graces or blessings. It is the letting go that is hard. Drawing close to God, once the weights are removed, is the most natural response known to us. When we are weighted down with doubt, pride, sin, and selfishness, we cannot fall into His intimacy. But once we finally figure out that it is our own hands that keep us from a loving God, we can choose to let those weights fall from us. Once that choice is made, the spirit that lives and breathes in us rushes to Him like a balloon ascending upwards. The balloon doesn’t have to try to rise; it simply follows the natural laws of physics.
Some examples to ponder are practices such as prayer and worship. Prayer can be a chore! Why is prayer a chore at first? The reason is bizarre but nevertheless true: we think too much about ourselves! We want the universe to revolve around us, not us around God. Our fallen, carnal minds come equipped with a sense that we are special, that we are the most important part of our little world, and that we, whether we know it or not, have set ourselves up as our own god! That sounds harsh, I know. But it is an undeniable fact. We are born, because of sin, with ME sitting on the throne of our heart. Until we allow God to execute a coup in our dictatorship, His kingdom cannot reign within us. He will not storm into your life and overthrow YOU. He must be invited to the throne that is your heart. This is the ultimate act of spiritual worship. Prayer, for instance, becomes completely natural and comfortable when we know we are talking to our King. And He is not “out there somewhere”; He is ruling our kingdom, which ironically is now His Kingdom, the seat of which is in your heart! Why do you think Jesus told us that “the Kingdom of God is within you”?
Madam Jeanne Guyon penned this gem in the 17th century: “When the soul’s efforts to withdraw itself inward brings it into the influence of the law of love, it falls gradually without any other force than the weight of love into its proper center…God. The more passive and tranquil the soul remains, and the freer it is from self-effort, the more rapidly it advances, because the drawing power of God is unobstructed and has full freedom of action.” By the way, Madam Guyon was imprisoned for 7 years for statements like these! Three of those years were spent in the Bastille in Paris. She never recovered physically from that brutality. That is how powerful this truth is! It is worth that much.
When ME is sitting as the center of our being, we want everyone and everything to revolve around us…even God. The problem is that we don’t emit energy outward; we are takers of energy instead of givers of said energy. Eventually we are like black holes that suck the life out of the people we love, or suck the joy out of life that was meant as a gift. Life without joy, peace, and love is not life at all. Our original design is not to take from this life, but rather to give life all that we have! We have a perverted need to take from life instead of giving into life; we need other people to love us, to pour that love into us; and even when we think we are giving of ourselves, we are really investing ourselves for an expected return. Sad, isn’t it?
The good news is that once we place the Lord on the throne of our hearts, He emits all that we need and more, and He fills us enough that we have plenty to give away. Suddenly, we don’t need to take from others because we have all we need in Him. So the order reverses. Now we become givers instead of takers. We give love because Godly love is naturally overflowing and outflowing; we become peacemakers because we live in a land of inward peace; and we become free of darkness simply because He is light. We don’t have to try at all! All was made right when we surrendered our kingdom to His Kingdom.
So the one and only key is to seek, knock, and ask how to release yourself from ME. This is no easy task as we all know; however, it is the quest of every person determined to find the missing piece in our soul. All that is temporary vanishes in a heartbeat when the eternal enters. All chains that have held us captives to self are broken when we realize that we, all this time, have been responsible for our own captivity and misery. The evil that has kept us trapped and enslaved to sin and death is overrun by the infinite power of a loving God.
When all is said and done, all we really crave at our deepest level is to be loved. To be loved unconditionally, to be loved deeply, to be special for one reason and one reason only…because our Creator thinks we are special. This divine love, once allowed to enrapture us and drown us in grace, becomes the driving force of life. And more than that, the love that has conquered us is eternal and infinite in its nature. It draws all who yearn to it. It pulls the poor in spirit, it confounds the wise, it makes the bitterness turn to sweetness, and it gives sight to the blind. God’s love is irresistible once tasted. But our burdens that we carry have kept us from tasting His goodness! Jesus came to earth and offered to not only remove those burdens, but to carry them for us…all the way to Calvary. He offers us rest. Rest from our running away from Him, rest from our finite worries, rest from the pain of life, and rest from the exhausting affair of ruling our own kingdom.
The old hymn says it aptly:
All to Jesus I surrender; all to him I freely give; I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live.
All to Jesus I surrender; humbly at his feet I bow, worldly pleasures all forsaken; take me, Jesus, take me now.
All to Jesus I surrender; make me, Savior, wholly thine; fill me with thy love and power; truly know that thou art mine.
All to Jesus I surrender; Lord, I give myself to thee; fill me with thy love and power; let thy blessing fall on me.
All to Jesus I surrender; now I feel the sacred flame. O the joy of full salvation! Glory, glory, to his name!
You see, it is wrong in the worst sense to ask God to come in and fix our situations, and then mock Him for not accommodating us. The problem is that God doesn’t want to fix your situation; He wants to fix you! Once you are no longer the center of your own world, everything falls under His rule. Until you invite Him to take over, He is merely doing your bidding for a temporary fix and God doesn’t operate like that. God works freely in a person yielded to His love and power and authority. To ask Him into your orbit as a guest is disrespectful and such a heinous crime that it is like slapping the Almighty in the face! Can’t we see that no one in the universe is more in love with us than God, no one wants to fix our problems more than He, and no one has the antidote to what ails us but He alone? The cure for our disease is His rule in our lives. And His rule is lovely beyond words. When Christ reigns in our lives, we can honestly say, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain”! Our Lord is bent on a permanent solution, for our own good.
My invitation today is will you finally surrender? Will you finally come to the end of YOU and embrace Him? Will you, at this very moment, succumb to the desire that has haunted you all your life? Fall into the magnetic force that is God’s love. Why wait? It’s time to let go completely and fall into the arms of grace. He will catch you, I promise. Let go of everything holding you back because you will need both hands open to completely embrace your only true and eternal love.