God’s love is sovereign.
Don’t you walk away from this just yet. Let me paint you a picture.
There is something to be said of the way a man pursues a woman. For you gals out there, you can understand how exciting it is when a man pursues us: when he is drawn to us and remains persistent in his quest for our heart. And for you men out there, you know how wonderful it is when the woman you have been diligently pursuing responds to your brilliant efforts and pursues you back with her affections. This is known as the ‘the chase’. But the idea of a man selecting an individual with the desire to be hers, and for her to be his is nothing new- it’s called the doctrine of ‘election’. And really, when you think about it, the premise is quite beautiful because of the following:
a) In order to be pursued, there must be something worth pursuing.
With the male, he see’s something of tremendous value in a specific female and pursues her because he ‘wants’ to be with her. Now for the woman he pursues, she is given worth from the one who pursues her. Her beauty is found in the eye of the beholder, and for this, the beholder is seen as magnificent. (You know, a knight in shining armour…)
b) God pursues his bride. We can see allegorical references to this in the books of song of Solomon and Hosea. We know that the bride of Christ is the church. And when I say the church, I mean God‘s chosen people- not a building. Those whom God has sought out from the beginning of time with a desire for them to be his people. Those whom he had predestined to be His, much like Israel, to be his “betrothed” [Hosea 2:19-20]. We know that in all things, glory is for God alone. And much like the dynamic of marriage, God is the knight in shining armour in wonderful picture- he is the king of kings and the Lord of Lords, that continually pursues us, even when we don’t respond to him with our affections and admiration. But we know even with this, that it is God who draws us to him, who pushes our hearts towards him and our minds to think of him. Without God’s divine hand in this- there is no way that we can see his goodness because in the book of Romans, Paul says that there is ”no one who seeks God, no one“. We can be knowledgeable in the things of God, without our hearts being part of the equation. Welcome to legalism. But if our eyes are opened to see the goodness of God, it is because the holy spirit has revealed such a wonderful thing to us. If such a work has been started, it is not of our doing, but God‘s, and we can only glory in God‘s goodness. “Taste and see that he Lord is good..”. When we respond to the love of Christ, it is because our eyes understand the gravity and reality of what Christ has accomplished for us on the cross because God so chooses to lift the blinders off of our eyes and it is God who predestines those who are to be ’his’ . God’s election is such a beautiful love story.
Bunyan writes from his book Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners:
One day as I was passing into the field…this sentence fell upon my soul.
Thy righteousness is in heaven. And I saw with the eyes of my soul Jesus
Christ at God’s right hand; there, I say, was my righteousness; so that
wherever I was, or whatever I was doing, God could not say of me he
[lacks] my righteousness, for that was just before him. I also saw, moreover,
that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness worse,
for my righteousness was Jesus Christ himself, “The same yesterday, today,
and forever.” Heb.13:8. Now did my chains fall off my legs indeed. I was loosed
from my afflictions and irons; my temptations also fled away; so that from
that time those dreadful scriptures of God [about the unforgivable sin] left off
to trouble me; now went I home rejoicing for the grace and love of God.
It is only in God that we will truly be satisfied. Because we were made for Him. Our hearts were made to beat for him, our feet were meant to dance for him, our voices were meant to sing for him, our minds were meant to glorify him, and our time was meant to be spent with him. We were made for him, and we were made to find our enjoyment and purpose in him.
Our value- as the ‘pursued’ does not come from ourselves or our achievements. Our true value comes from God, yet the twist is this….he see’s our depravity and gives us a new title: ‘righteous‘. He draws us towards himself with kindness to understand the beauty of what Jesus Christ did on the cross for us [Eph 3:19; John 13:1]. He knows we are unfaithful to him, like the bride of Hosea, but, with this, still pursues us. [Rom 3:23] As the bride we can come to God because of the death and resurrection of Christ that makes us fit to be the spotless bride we were created to be. Now the church gets to anxiously await the day we will see the return of our bridegroom and be united with him. We want to be with him because he wants to be with us. We love, because he first loved us…
When Jesus prayed to his father, he said this, “…[T]hat the world may know that you have sent Me, and have loved them as you have loved me. Father, I desire that they also whom you gave me may be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which you have given me; For you loved me before the foundation of the world. [John 17:23-24]
The happiness we experience in this world is nothing to be compared with the glory of God that we will experience in full. Our joy will be in Gods glory. This joy that keeps us running in this race, is the fact that nothing will ever compare to the joy that is found in the sovereignty of Christ. We are joyful for what is to come, not what is in the present. The joy of God gives us happiness when all grows dim. The joy of the Lord is our strength in times of weakness. His joy drives our feet to move when we don’t want to walk, and ignites our hearts with a flame when all is trying. The joy of the Lord carries us through the storms and trials of this life, and the joy of the Lord is what God has given to us by his grace. [John 17:13]
“…To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”. [Isaiah 61:3]
So lets recap.
1. We are pursued by a holy God. Like a lover pursues his love. We are the apple of Gods eye. His wonderful workmanship.
2. God desires to be with us- yet can’t be around us in our sin because our sin defiles a holy God. So in his goodness he makes those who believe in him …’righteous’ through the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. [2 Cor 5:21]
3. Our joy is found in Christ Jesus. Like the anticipation of a wedding, the church waits in anticipation for the bridegroom and when he arrives, our joy will be full and endless.
In God’s sovereign love, he is glorious. He is sovereign in everything he does- even in his quest for a perfect bride. He draws us and calls us, he pursues us, and when we respond to his love HE gets the glory. God is the knight in shining armour that will one day come back for his people. Lets continue to put off selfish ambition as the bride of Christ, and love others like Christ has loved us. And when you research a piece of theology, remember, everything should serve as a platform for his glory. After all, if we are his bride we should not cease to glorify him in all things.
Thanks for reading. God Bless you all.
Much love fam.