Many Christians talk about intimacy with the Lord, walking with him, knowing him, having fellowship with him. But we can’t have true communion with God unless we receive into our hearts the full revelation of his love, grace and mercy.
Communion with God consists of two things:
1. Receiving the love of the Father, and
2. Loving him in return
You can spend hours each day in prayer, telling the Lord how much you love him, but that isn’t communion. If you haven’t received his love, you haven’t had communion with him. You simply can’t share intimacy with the Lord unless you’re secure in his love for you.
I know when I come to my Lord, I’m not coming to a hard, fierce, demanding Father. He doesn’t wait for me with an angry countenance, anxious to put a rod to my back. He doesn’t trail me, waiting for me to fail so he can say, “I caught you!”
No, I’m coming to a Father who has revealed himself to me as pure, unconditional love. He’s kind and tenderhearted, full of grace and mercy, anxious to lift all my cares and burdens. And I know he’ll never turn me down when I call on him.
That’s why I’m to come into his courts with praise and thanksgiving because I’m thankful for who my God is. He cares about everything concerning me! (See Psalm 100.)
The prophet Zephaniah says something incredible about God’s love for us. He writes, “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
This verse tells us two important things about how the Lord loves us:
- God rests in his love for his people. In Hebrew, the phrase “He will rest in his love” reads, “He shall be silent because of His love.” God is saying, in essence, “I’ve found my true love, and I’m totally satisfied! I don’t need to look elsewhere, because I have no complaint. I’m completely fulfilled in this relationship, and I won’t take my love back. My love is a settled matter!”
- God gets great pleasure from his people. Zephaniah testifies, “He rejoices over you with singing.” He is saying, “God’s love for you is so great, it puts a song on his lips!”
To rejoice means “to have joy and delight.” It’s an outward expression of internal delight. It’s also the highest expression of love. The Hebrew word Zephaniah uses for “rejoice” here is tripudiare meaning, “to leap, as one overcome with joyful ecstasy.”
Can you conceive of your heavenly Father being so in love with you that he leaps with joy at the very thought of you?
Can you receive his word that he loved you before the world was created, before humankind existed, before you were even born? Can you accept that he loved you even after you fell into Adam’s sinful ways and became an enemy to him?