How deep is my own love for God? Would I be happy in a heaven where everything was “pleasant”, yet I didn’t have God? Do I love the gifts of life more than the One who gives them? These are some questions that I was asking myself as I read this week's chapter of Crazy Love. More than that, these are questions that I have been asking myself for the past couple of weeks, as I have been placing my own desires and needs on the throne of my life. In the midst of focusing solely on my relationships, grades, and career goals, I would offer God half-hearted offerings of prayer and worship out of guilt and fear. As Francis Chan calls it, I was trying to buy and prove my love to God, as opposed to truly loving him the way I ought (p 102).
But how can we genuinely love someone, if our wicked hearts are not naturally inclined to do so? Chan offers the answer towards the end of the chapter. We tell God honestly how we feel. We confess what we have been idolizing. We repent. We tell God that we want to desire Him above all things, and ask Him to take control of our lives (p 110-111).
The prayer that the author ends the chapter with reminds me of a promise God gives us in 1 John:
Praise God for His love for us, His goodness, and His faithfulness!
1. What are some things that you have been choosing lately over God? What supposed “needs” are you trying to satisfy with these pursuits and how would these needs be properly resolved through loving God?
2. In what ways have you been trying to buy (pay God back for what He’s done) or prove (make up for past failures) your love for God? Take some time to re-evalulate your spiritual life and church service and make sure you are doing things out of a true love for God and others.
3. What is an example in your life when you realized that you are more satisfied by giving and sacrificing for others than by having your own needs met?