Looking for Love in All The Right Places…
Editor’s Note: This is Part 6 in the Portrait of Eve series. To see the previous parts, view below.
I Adore You
I felt as if the stars had dipped from the heavens and were tangoing around my head when those words were whispered in my ear by my then-boyfriend (now-husband’s) mouth. Surrounded by other college students gathered in the fieldhouse, we were dressed up in our absolute best waiting for beverages. But it felt as if we were the only two people in the room. Yes, smile if you like, laugh if you must, maybe it sounds corny, but it’s true. I don’t actually remember my response; I just remember the heat rising in my cheeks, the full blush of youthful bliss.
If you are married or in a serious relationship, think about the first time that special someone crept into your heart. What was it about that person that consumed your heart? I first knew I loved Adam when I felt at home with him. I had discovered a place so sacred, comforting, passionate and beautiful. It was unlike any other place I’d ever been. Despite the times I hurt him, scared him, or let him down, he still chose me – the one to hold his heart.
When we began dating, I can’t tell you the number of times ran away instead of trying to work through our problems. But Adam pursued me, and wouldn’t let me go. He told me, “I will always come for you so help me God.” He ran out to meet me like the father does in the story of the prodigal son. While I had an embarrassing habit of running away, Adam loved me anyway, and I have no doubt he will live up to his word.
Anyone who has been in a relationship knows the temptation of putting ‘that’ person up on a pedestal and forsaking our First Love. The King of the Universe wants your heart. Yet today, many women (and men) are searching for love in all the wrong places. They ignore the call of the Lover God, His gentle whispers, and respond more eagerly to any human who will throw them a bone of attention. This is a tragedy!
I remember one night at the beginning of our marriage I was feeling fearful and vulnerable, alone in the apartment while my husband was working. Uncomfortable with the silence, I went to pray, but I was distracted and distressed. When Adam came home, I rushed to the door, hoping to feel what every woman wants to feel…loved. But something was missing. I decided to take a shower, but when I stepped into the hot water, I shattered. The tears flowed hard and fast and I knew God was breaking me, making me confront all the idols I had been placing before Him. As the water turned cold, I sat down on the edge of the bathtub and for the first time in a long time, I met God on His terms. No distractions. No Adam. Just God and me. I felt the presence of the Lord speaking the words of the Psalms into my heart like a healing balm for my ragged soul. The King of the Universe came to romance me in my bathroom as I sat shivering, naked, and soul-bared. But when I left the bathroom that night, I was completely satisfied with my Lord. My desire for God was stronger than my desire for my husband and His love more fulfilling than Adam’s could ever be.
It is a scary realization when I lose my heart to things other than my Lord. Brent Curtis and John Eldredge write in The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God, “For what shall we do when we wake one day and find we have lost touch with our heart and with it the very refuge where God’s presence resides?” If I try to appease my heart with earthly things, they cannot make me whole. Precious sister in Christ, turn your eyes upon Jesus for you will not find satisfaction anywhere but in the arms of your Lover God who will carry you into eternity. I’ve heard it said that God is a gentleman. He doesn’t bang down doors. He doesn’t chase after the wind when you’ve left Him behind to bite the dust. But I am inclined to believe that as soon as you turn around toward Him, He races toward you with exuberance.
Place of Honor
Picture this. The King of the universe races out the door like lightning as He is so excited you have come back to Him. Scooping you up, He covers you with kisses of sweet forgiveness while you try to tell Him that you were so wrong. You are tired from the journey, broken from your hardened ways, deserving of nothing, but He wants to celebrate- and in grand style. He calls for His home to be massively cleaned and you don’t have to lift a finger. He humbles Himself, calling for a bucket of water and a towel, then bends down to tenderly wash your achy road-dusted feet. He arranges for you to wear the most gorgeous gown ever made from the absolute best of fabrics, embroidered by hand–the purest of bridal whites, interwoven with gold. He presents you with sparkling jewels to grace your neck, trickle from your ears, and crown your head. He orders a grand feast with all the best dishes, artistic masterpieces of produce, freshest cheeses, warmest breads, juiciest meats, and the most decadent desserts. He brings out the finest linens, best china dishes, golden silverware, crystal wine goblets filled with choicest wines. He brings in flowers from His lush garden, covering His home with their vibrant beauty, their heavenly fragrances spiraling throughout the rooms. His wondrous promises don on velvet tapestries hanging from the walls, and crystal chandeliers of His glorious light dangle from the ceiling. On cue, a full orchestra plays magnificent music as you descend the grand staircase, a radiant and transformed woman. He comes toward you, holding out his hand with a smile, beckoning you to come forth as He announces, “This is my beloved.”
Did you just get chills? I felt thrilling chills just as I was trying to capture this on screen. What a Lover! This is every woman’s fantasy. Who doesn’t want to be treated like a queen? What an incredible picture of God’s holy, wild love for us! If you repent and believe, the King of the Universe will come knocking and give you a place of honor in His kingdom. But what happens?
In the Garden, Eve reached for the fruit because she wanted to be like God. She didn’t want to know God. She only wanted His benefits. Don’t we do that sometimes? We call ourselves Christians enjoying the perks of grace, but like Eve, we, too, take of forbidden fruits. We sip of the ephemeral juices of earthly pleasures, forgetting the magnificent God who created the very tree we’re taking from… who breathed life into our being.
God didn’t create Adam and Eve to take of the forbidden fruit; He created them to be in relationship with Him. He created them to bear fruit. This is not strictly limited to physical fruitfulness (bearing children). Being fruitful means radical obedience, worship, and transformation. Radical obedience is produced by giving up everything to follow Him, radical worship, when you abandon yourself to God’s radical love, and radical transformation, when you consciously and actively seek Christ. What do all of these things have in common? Sacrifice.
Let’s not forget the incredible sacrifice Christ made for us when He humbled Himself, dying a criminal’s death on a cross, and rising again from the grave, victoriously stamping out sin and death. He reconciled us to the Father because of His radical love for us. If you give up everything, God promises you everything – life eternal with Him. And eternity starts now.
Are You Ready?
How do you know if you’re ready to meet God? Ask yourself this: Are you letting yourself be radically loved by God, opening yourself up to be romanced by the King of the universe, broken, naked, humbled or are you plucking earthy loves from temporal trees to satisfy your teeth from time to time? Are you fully embracing the life God has intended for you, living free and pure and whole, or are you running away from your full potential, racing back to darkness with shadows and self as your guide?
Dear lady friend, until you embrace the radical love of God, you cannot be radically transformed or radically obedient, and you cannot radically worship the Lord. Look for love in all the right places – come running home today!
“Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” (Deuteronomy 4:23-24)
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.” (Luke 15:20-24)
1. What We Were Designed For A Portrait of Eve introduction – the woman you were created to be.
2. Under the Arm and Near the Heart Part 1 – A position of honor and glory and a look at what it means to be a help-meet
3. The Scary “S” Word Part 2 – Did submission exist prior to the Fall? And what does it mean to be submissive in marriage?
4. Radical Obedience Part 3- A different look at Biblical fruitfulness, what it means, what it requires, and what the Bible says about fearing the Lord.
5. Radical Worship Part 4 – “Idolatry is the fruit of flesh. Our hearts were programmed for worship.”
6. Radical Transformation Part 5 – “True Biblical confession requires remorse, desire to be back in right standing with the Lord, and actively seeking the Lord in order to be restored and renewed.”