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Losing the God of Rules

Published 3/3/20

Read Romans 5:6-8

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."


How does it make you feel, knowing that Christ died for you?

After years of trying to live like the "model Christian," God was gone. What now? How can I resuscitate a spiritual heart that had stopped beating?

One day in college, I spent time in reflection, examining my life, yet the Lord seemed to be nowhere near me. I searched and searched, I prayed and prayed. But the deep coolness, the emptiness of my heart remained. It wasn't that I just couldn't feel God. I soon realized that I couldn't really feel anything.I didn't laugh or cry or feel sad or happy. I just was--and I felt very alone.

For weeks and months, I cried out to God to come back to me. I did everything I could to get His attention. I had spent most of my life avoiding the long list of "don't's," now I was doing nearly everything on the list of spiritual "do's": I went to church as often as possible and even sang in the choir. I hung out with godly men and women.

But all the while, my heart felt dead and very much afraid. I couldn't stop thinking that the "tried and tested" formulas that I was raised on were missing the mark. It's not about reining me in and or conforming to someone else's idea of what a "good Christian" is. Something's missing. Something much bigger ... and much, much better!

One balmy Florida night--I lived in Jacksonville at the time--I heard a Christian song that caught me by surprise. I was bent over the sink, washing dishes in my little apartment, as lyrics blasted through my radio: "You pride yourself with all your searching, but why are you searching in the dark? You won't learn a thing until you soften your heart!"

Those convicting words pierced my heart.

It suddenly made sense. I instantly realized that I had been searching for the "God of Rules"--a god whose love and favor was dependent on something He required--no, demanded--in return. In all honesty, I was looking for a god who didn't really exist. I was searching in the dark.

In the weeks that followed, I began to experience a closer relationship with Jesus. What changed for me? I gradually came to understand the secret that would guide my relationship with God for the rest of my life: I need to fall in love with Jesus!


Lord Jesus, I want to know You better. Help me to fall in love with You. Amen.

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