Who of you like lukewarm coffee on an icy winter’s day? Or what about some warm water after exercising? Don’t you agree, we like our coffee boiling hot and our water refreshingly cold. And when it comes to the issues of the heart, we tend to follow the same principle. There is nothing more frustrating for an employer, than to be stuck with an unenthusiastic employee. Coaches do not tolerate mediocrity on the sports field. Wives won’t settle for 70% or even 99% of her husband’s heart, no, she wants 100% or nothing.
Now, I have a question for you? Do you think God is any different in this regard? Do you think God is satisfied with our half-hearted commitment towards Him? The logical answer is ‘no’, and the Biblical evidence supports that conclusion. God proclaimed to His children through Moses: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.” (Exodus 19:4)
This picture of how God carried His people on eagles’ wings towards himself evokes the romantic warrior in me. It looks like the script of an epic modern-day film. The hero (God) destroys the antagonist (Egyptians) and rescues the girl (Israel). God is not about to share His bride. He rescued her. He rescued us. He rescued you. God cannot be substituted. He is the source of life and love. When we substitute God with earthly sources of life and fulfillment, we fool ourselves and we provoke God to anger.
Listen how God responds to people who substitute Him for another: “They have roused my jealousy by worshipping things that are not God; they have provoked my anger with their useless idols.” (Deuteronomy 32:21) Moses warns the Israelites against idol worship because the ‘Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.’ (Deuteronomy 4:24) God is not jealous like we are jealous.
Steven Fry explains: “The word ‘jealousy’ often carries a negative connotation. Yet, when the Scripture speaks of God as a jealous God it means that He desires us in the purest, most relentless way. His is a jealousy that humankind can never know; for God is the only one who has a right to be jealous, because He is the only one who is perfect in love. His jealousy is not controlling – it is releasing. Holy jealousy speaks of God’s passionate commitment to us. It underscores the truth that God does not just love us because He has to, but because He wants to. He is not moved to love us merely to maintain His own moral excellence, but because He desires us. His jealousy is an absolute intolerance of anything that would divide our affection and thereby forfeit His best for us.”
Did you see that? God desires us in the purest, most relentless way; not because He must, but because He wants to. He gave the best He could in order to pursue this relationship with us. He gave Himself, His life, His blood, His control, His power, His throne, His all, so that you and I can be reconciled to the divine relationship.
Let us respond likewise!
Father, thank You that You love us with a pure, relentless jealousy
Thank You that You are not a passive spectator in our lives
No, You are passionately pursuing our hearts every day
Forgive us for our lukewarm response
Set us alight with Your Heavenly fire!!!