“And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it. How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took over. They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were so absorbed in “God projects” that they didn’t notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road.” (Romans 9:31-32 The Message)
Wow, quite the scripture! Can you relate to this? This verse is talking about Israel in Paul’s day, but it could easily be talking about the church in our day. I don’t mean overall as a general statement, but sometimes this is exactly how we are.
We love to get together and talk about God and what He’s doing in the world. We love to read the latest books about Him and how to live a better Christian life and there is absolutely nothing wrong with these things. These are good things. But in that constant talking about God and reading about Him, the question to ask ourselves is, “Is my life really changed by this? Am I more in love with God?”
This verse also says that “they were so absorbed in “God projects” that they didn’t notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road.” It is so easy to get involved in “God things”, serving Him, keeping busy for Him, but in the midst of that, actually missing Him.
It’s not about what we do for God or what we say about God or even what we know about God; It’s about actually knowing God. Knowing, as in being intimately connected to Him in relationship. It’s about being loved, and in return, loving Him.
This is exactly what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for. Oh, they loved to talk about God and regale the world with their knowledge of the Scriptures. They loved to “serve” God by praying big eloquent prayers before men, by giving large offerings that people would take notice of. But in all of that knowledge, that talk, and that “doing” for God, they completely missed Him.
It’s not enough to know the Word. It’s not enough to even do great things for Him. What God really wants from you, is your heart. He is madly in love with you. He desires you. He longs for intimate relationship with you.
Some say God doesn’t need us, but I don’t buy this. He really and truly loves us and it hurts Him when we don’t take the time to be with Him. Our names are written on His hand. That’s what I used to do in school days when I liked a boy. He thinks about us all the time. “How vast is the sum (his thoughts of us) of them! Were I to count them they would outnumber the grains of sand.” (Psalm 139:17-18)
More than any other thing – God wants you. He wants your love. He wants your heart. Anything we do for God, all our words about God, mean nothing unless they come out of a heart that is in love with Him.
I Corinthians 13 states it well, “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten no where. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”