A few months back, near Easter time, I heard on the local Christian radio station a beautiful song named “More Than Anything” by Natalie Grant. The lyrics touched my heart, especially the chorus, so I would like to share it with you now.
“Help me want the Healer more than the healing
Help me want the Savior more than the saving.
Help me want the Giver more than the giving.
Oh help me want You, Jesus, more than anything.”
I think the message of this song is beautiful because it invites us to seek the Lord first and foremost, establishing a personal and intimate relationship with Him, instead of the apparent, beneficial effects or results that might come from the spiritual exchange alone. Our Christian faith and relationship with the Lord is not simply benefit-based but of a personal and loving one. We should not treat or come to Him simply for benefits, as a Giver and Grantor of what we need, but the One who truly loves and desires us.
Often times, we tend to treat God as the last resource when everything else failed, when we had run short or exhausted our options, or when we need something (extraordinary) done right away. Often times, we treat Him as a Provider or a type of spiritual insurance, “just in case something happens,” instead of truly loving Him with our everything. We might even pray and speak of God a lot but our hearts are not totally in love with Him. Nevertheless, deep within our heart, we know that we are called to truly be in love with Him who loves us passionately, totally, and completely. Why? Because He has loved us from the beginning, formed and gave us life in and through love.
Historically and biblically speaking, salvation history tells us the extreme measures that God had taken in order to call us back to Him and saved us from our own self or socially-created path of perdition. For some reasons, there has always been an unfair assumption that God needs and should be there for us when we need Him — no matter what. If this is same treatment is given to any of us, we would have walked away from it many times over. I believe that this is an unfair and selfish understanding of a companionship instead of true love. We only care for someone, in this case, God, because we need something from Him. We do what we want, as we want, and how we want to live our life, and only when things fall apart, God needs to be there to fix our mistakes and pulls us out of the mess. If we are treated like this, we would have ended the relationship already because there is no real respect and love, just purely the selfish acts of taking advantages of someone. Nevertheless, we do it to Him all the time.
Nonetheless, God has loved us so much that only He can do something that is humanly unimaginable and impossible. He chose to become one of us, to live like us in all things except sin, to die a cruel and horrible death on the Cross for our iniquities, and to continue to pour forth His resurrection power of grace upon us to guide us in our faith journey back to His love. It is like asking the most powerful person to give up everything to live among the poorest of the poor with little to nothing! Much more than that, as the Creator of the universe, it is like giving up one’s place as the king to become a bacteria. As a sign of everlasting and true love for us, He chose to die a gruesome death that none of us would have chosen. Why? He is passionately in love with us! Crucifixion was the death sentence reserved and only given to people that the Romans hated the most so that they would die a slow and painful death as to satisfy their hatred for those who rebelled against them or deemed as rejected by society. The Gospels told us that He rejected gall (the mixture of wine with myrrh), which was used to numb away the senses, so that He can feel everything out of love for us. Imagine that! Who in their right mind would have chosen that if it is not God who is passionately in love with us?
Therefore, the question should then be: Are we passionately in love with God or are we simply treat Him like a person of interest and for benefits? Let us not just seek the benefits, the apparent healings, asking Him to save us when needed, or the gifts that we expect, but truly love the One who loves, can heal, saves, and gives us more than we can imagine. He wants to give us the bigger gift than what we can ever imagine or could able to attain by ourselves, which is eternal life with Him! May we not only expect and demand immediate, gratifying, and pleasurable gifts (that we seem to want now) but desire the greater and eternal gift that comes from Him. This personal, intimate, and transcendental gift of faith cannot simply be calculated or understood by our feeble and finite minds with its limited empirical and sensual knowledge. We just have to love the One who loves us from all eternity and trust that He truly cares for us and our eternal good. That is why this faith is more than just a demand for answers and benefits, but a loving, personal, and intimate trust in the Lord who loves as we hope and love Him. Let us love, adore, and cherish Him above everything.
Let us ask ourselves these questions:
- How is my faith doing? If there is an obstacle, what is keeping me from giving my all to God?
- How am I treating God? For benefits, as needed, and on-demand or with respect, love, and the personal gift of myself
- If I know that He loves me, how am I spending my time loving Him in return?
- Am I spending my time well? Are there opportunities for me to reflect, to pray, and discern what is going on in life and find the time to lift my heart up to Him (or am I too busy)?
- If God is trying to reach me, is He able to speak and call on me or am I too filled and occupied with other things to hear Him?
- If I know that He does not expect me to have it all together to come to Him, am I comfortable in opening up my heart to Him in prayer?
Let us personally make some time…