I feel a little… risky… as I write this post. But I feel compelled to write it. I guess it is the curse of reading John Eldredge and John Piper. Both characterize our relationship with Christ as a love affair, as a pursuit… even a hedonistic pursuit of all things Christ.
My deepest longing in life is… you might think I would say “is to know Christ.” Had I began with “I want my deepest longing…”, then maybe. I wish it were so. But instead, my deepest longing is for significance. I want my life to count for something, and I want to be noticed. There you go. I want to be noticed, affirmed, validated, told I’m special, and in general, to have my life show that it counts for something.
When I think deeper about my longing for significance, it is really a longing to be known. It is masked in my sin to be noticed and recognized and… well, to have a good reputation. But I believe it is definitely a deeper longing to be known.
I also know that what God desires is obedience.
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16
But is that all God desires? To be obeyed? To follow a set of rules? Or does God also desire something greater of us. Does God desire to be known? I was looking at a familiar passage, but until I read the New Living Translation, I did not see it in the proper light:
I want you to show love,not offer sacrifices.I want you to know memore than I want burnt offerings.
God does want to be known! I want to be known! And it is no coincidence that sexual union between a man and his wife is described as being “known in the Biblical sense.” To know God and to be known by God in the way that God intended is the most scandalous, beautiful, and satisfying love affair one can ever have. Think about it. If I loved and knew God the way I was made to (go read Song of Solomon 5 and see if you don’t blush a little bit), how scandalous this would be! The world is constantly telling us to have love affairs with the things of this world. People, material possessions, fame and success. What I’m saying is that this Christian life is to be lived not as a set of rules, but as a love affair with the living God!
We are the bride of Christ. One day, the marriage and consummation will happen:
Let us rejoice and exultand give him the glory,for the marriage of the Lamb has come,and his Bride has made herself ready;
May we see our walk with Christ, our relationship with the living God, our enjoyment and obedience of the Holy Spirit not as a set of rules and obligations, but as a deep love affair that we will enjoy in the fullest sense one day in eternity!