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Loving God: Loving my Beloved

Updated: Mar 16


Girl sitting alone with God's creation

The Beginning

Emptiness is the artisan who crafts ways of becoming filled. Solomon tutors us, stating, “Nothing is new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  The desperate need to fill is not patented; we all sense the hole. Together, yet far apart, we all travel this road, which may not be apparent today, but certainly within a lifetime—we realize we are headed to mortality, and our vessel is empty.


Here, I document the bounty before you – the practice of loving our beloved—our God, our King, the lover of our soul. When you discover your sacred truth, I invite you also to document it.  Putting such treasure to paper may someday prove worthy of sharing.  Perhaps your descendants will read it – and maybe, at first glance, it will seem like the writings of a fanatic.  But in time, they also will search for the dignity that can only come from loving the God of Israel with all our heart and strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-6); I pray this article will help you search.

Hindrance to love

Our soul and body are hindrances to the love God made for our dwelling.  Our friend Paul said that without the spirit of the Living God, we perish (Romans 8:10).  Our existence is crushed by the fallen world, marred by the spirit of rebellion. Babylon from ages past brews in our DNA.  We discover that nothing made in the image of man resembles God’s intended purpose.  Fallenness draws us in and defines us. Our decisions, reactions, and judgments are tainted with the absurd and illusion of truth.   


What then? What is the antidote for such a terminal state? How do we eliminate the stains left by sin, our own or someone else's?  Many conclude that learning not to react with a survival response to current and future circumstances is the answer.  But it's simply a better-dressed survival strategy.


Is the solution a cognitive assent? We go through life crafting logic to concoct a version of “love or truth” only to end up with a counterfeit. Our soul and body take the path of least resistance and default to all the defensive strategies that have kept us alive. Our human spirit lives empty in such a state of turbulence.


Oh, what an auspicious hindrance lives within us. Truly, what we do is not the good we want to do; no, the evil we do not want to do—this we keep on doing (Romans 7:21).  Paul reminds us we are not alone in this battle, struggling to do what is Godly, faithful, and holy.  Who shall release us from such bondage?


Knowing from whence the brokenness comes does not deliver us into the arms of our God. It simply informs us why we behave as we do. Knowledge does not give us the freedom to choose Him nor deliver us into the reality of our identity in Him.


Recognizing the borrowed nature of life, we can resolve to observe. Glimpse behind the eyes of a terminal friend or imagine how our life would change if we knew we only had six weeks to live.  Would we find ourselves asking, did my life mean anything?  Or is God real? How do I draw near to my creator? In my experience as an end-of-life chaplain, many realize that they are empty – void of meaning. Many disembark in the port of decision – I need to find peace, and God is who I need.


I find our answers in the epic literary piece of all ages: the Bible. It is a love letter and a manual outlining the path from death to life, even when time is short. Our soul and body need the Spirit of the Living God. We arrive at the end looking back and realizing that as we go through life, our human spirit silently anguished to be filled by such an unparalleled truth.   

Tethered

Humanity's spirit is designed to connect with an external source of power and authority. In this world, there are two types of humans – those who are regenerated and those on their journey to be regenerated – the followers of Yeshua and those not yet believers. Man’s unregenerate spirit has fallen under the control of satan and is dead to God (Ephesians 4:17-19).  Unregenerate humans can make contact with the spiritual realm, but they cannot connect with God on their own, for “there can be a way that seems right to a person, but at its end are the ways of death.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)


Psalm 119 is the primer for beginning a journey toward God. Here, we discover the precious truth and how to cultivate healing and acceptance. This Psalm is written for all humans, those in the turmoil of not knowing our Savior, and those seeking a deeper relationship with Yeshua.  Here, we can grasp our tether to the Truth of life – God’s living Word. 


We are invited into eternity before our last breath.  We must abandon clinging to dust in this world, for what the world has to offer is here today and gone tomorrow.  We think clinging to “one day at a time” leaves us barren.  But God's Word is eternal and compelling, preeminent, and full of vigor, capable of reviving us.  His Word is our tether, and it is our lifeline.


Scripture unveils this truth in Dalet (Psalm 119:25-32).  Allow yourself to identify with the psalmist for a moment. In his words, "Dust” is not a generic metaphorical way of saying he is struggling. It is a pointed theological reminder of the brokenness of humanity’s fallen state. A hyperlink to Eden, on that sixth day when the glorious creation, made in the image of Yahweh Elohim - God, the Lord God, lost all its luster a few paragraphs later. Truly tragedy at maximum speed, sudden death, and terminal regret in one singular decision.


Yet with that same God speed, Adonai promises redemption.  Such a promise trickles through the ages and the psalmist's pen as the antidote – His Word, Jesus.


The fall is not the end. Even in a fallen world, we can find hope and joy in God again. The stanza begins with the psalmist holding onto dust but ends with the psalmist running in the path of God's commands - God has expanded his heart, and he is alive again in Eden.


 Behold, Adonai invites all of us to this sweet, heavenly dance of confession and prayer.  We are invited to confess our inability, sin, and shortsightedness and then beseech for eternal eyes so we can embrace His provision for a new life.  Echoing from ages past, we hear the sacred breadth of our Creator as he takes the man of dust from the ground and breathes the breath of life into his nostrils. 


We must surrender, not like a prisoner of war, but as a small child, full of trust and anticipation. Lay down the old for a fresh breath, a new life. Salvation unfolded in the second person, Yeshua the Christ; He is the Genesis promise from the heart of Adonai to ours. With the twinkle of an eye – we are a new creation when we accept the precious gift of salvation, the gift of relationship with the lover of souls - Yeshua.  A regenerated human spirit dwells with the third person of Yahweh, the comforter and Spirit of the living God. No matter how turbulent the world gets or how empty we feel inside, we have a tether to the heart of our God.  This promise remains; all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).


God breathes life into His Word, and we receive it by reading. His Word is the melody of this dance. It is the tether pointing us to our home, our true north.  The fallen world can press in, but nothing can breach the sacred space where we dwell with God.


I also invite you to organically read your love letter from the King of Glory, meditate on it, and allow it to be the melody in your heart. Listen for Him in the creation around you and in the eyes of others; His word created it all and bellows His love for you.


Un-apologetically let your spirit dance until your soul can rest in the stillness of Truth. And when your pleading is exhausted, quiet your voice and feel your Abba’s heart, like sitting with an old friend where words need not be spoken – sit with the Ancient of Days.


You have a tether, which is His Word – Yeshua.



by Malchiel S'lah

January 2024

 

 

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