when we rely on god and he comes through, we build up our "trust muscle".
AND SO WE KNOW AND RELY ON THE LOVE GOD HAS FOR US. GOD IS LOVE. WHOEVER LIVES IN LOVE LIVES IN GOD, AND GOD IN THEM.
1 JOHN 4:16
I want to start off today’s post by asking you a couple of questions:
How would your life be changed if you lived out our verse, if you truly relied on God’s love? I mean, think about it. What if God’s love was what filled you up each day? What if you valued yourself the way God values you? What if you saw yourself through his eyes? What if you lived like you were known, understood, accepted and delighted in by God himself? How would that change the way you see yourself? How would it impact your closest relationships? Man. I can’t even begin to think about the difference it would make in my own life. I envision myself feeling more joyful, more confident, more free. And that’s exactly what God wants for us. He wants his love to root us and define us, to make us more of who we were meant to be. God wants us to rely on his love.
But mostly, we don’t.
Mostly we look to other people to give us the love we deeply need. We’re constantly looking for other people to understand and affirm us, to accept and rejoice over us, to heal our hurts and fill us up with their love. Trouble is, no human is capable of doing all that. I know I’m not. Take my kids, for instance. I can tell you without reservation that I love my kids with all my heart. But my love for them could never be enough. It could never be strong enough to uphold all their emotional needs, constant enough to always be there, or enduring enough to stand the test of time. I simply cannot do it. None of us can. We just cannot love our people the way they need us to love them. And we’re all in the same boat together, all needing to be loved and not having the capacity to love each other enough. This is the hard truth: we cannot be love, because we need love just as much as everyone else.
We don’t have to be love, because God is love.
I just want to reiterate something we discussed two weeks ago: God IS love. That concept is so important here. Because God IS love, he could never run out of love. He isn’t like us. He doesn’t need anyone to fill up his love tank. It’s always and eternally full. So, this means his love for us is 100% reliable all of the time. It will never fail us. His love is stronger than our doubts and insecurities. His love is faithful in the face of our faithlessness. And his love will endure every obstacle from eternity past into eternity future. There is no stopping his love. And unlike our human love-relationships, he’s not looking for us to meet his love needs. His love is free from neediness, unbound by selfishness or insecurity. It is free, eternal, strong, and faithful. His love is the firm foundation we need. His love is the safe, right place for us to put our confidence.
ON THE PODCASTMeet our February Dwell guest: Debra Fileta! Debra is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and an author of 5 books on healthy relationships. Her heart for Jesus informs her writing, her counseling, and her chats with us this month as we dig into 1 John 4:16.
(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)
We can rely on God’s love.
We found out last week that we begin to “know and rely” on God’s love from the minute he comes to dwell in our hearts. So, relying on God’s love goes hand-in-hand with our salvation. It’s God’s gift to us, because he knew we would need it. Isn’t this AMAZING?!?! This means we don’t have to figure out how we can start relying on God’s love. That reliance is a built-in feature of our relationship with Jesus. We don’t have to earn it, and we can never lose it! It’s just there! God gave us the ability to always rely on his love for us.
We can rely on God’s love more and more.
While relying on God’s love starts the instant of our salvation, it’s also progressive. Just like we can grow in knowledge of God (Col. 1:10), we can also grow in our reliance on God. Our “trust muscle'' is built up by repetitive use. When we rely on God, and he proves reliable, we build up our confidence in him. So, when we say with the Psalmist, “My foot is slipping,” and God supports us with his “unfailing love” (Psalm 94:18), we are trained by our experience that God’s love is reliable.
How is God asking you to rely on him today?
I’ll share first. Right now, I’m trying to carry too many things. So, they pile up around me and swirl in the whirlwind. I have too many responsibilities, problems, feelings, and decisions. I have too many people clamoring for my love, and I keep emptying myself without actually filling them. Studying this verse has revealed my desire to be all things to all people and my inability to do so. I deeply need God right here in the center of the storm. I need his love to rescue me. I need my people to rely on his love instead of mine. Only he can carry their burdens, along with my own. He is safe and good, and his love is trustworthy and powerful. He can do the thing I cannot. In fact, he can do ALL things. So, I will rely on the God who IS love. I will build up that “trust muscle” as I recall the wonders he has performed time and again in my life. Surely, he will come through. He always has.
WHERE DO YOU NEED TO RELY ON GOD'S LOVE FOR YOU?
HOW WOULD DEPENDING ON GOD'S LOVE MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER?
HOW HAS HE PROVED HIMSELF RELIABLE IN THE PAST? SHARE THAT STORY WITH SOMEONE WHO NEEDS TO HEAR IT.
Thanks for reading,
Meet Natalie,Dwell co-founder
Hi there, I'm Natalie. I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you and hear more about what God is doing in your life!
We'd love to see you around.