There are two critical moments in our human life, the moment God fell in love with us and the moment we finally fell in love with God.
God brought us into existence because He loved us. Scriptures say that God fell in love with us even before we were conceived. But, as we all know, it is one thing to be loved, and it’s another thing to understand (and appreciate) that you’re loved.
To forge a healthy, loving relationship, reciprocity of love between the parties involved is a must. Many of us don’t enjoy a rewarding relationship with our loving creator because we’re yet to understand the dynamics of divine love.
The term “fall in love” or “having a crash” implies that the process is somewhat accidental – unexpected, unplanned, and uncontrolled. In addition, falling in love with somebody comes with an element of damage or pain, something that many of us either don’t realise or don’t want to accept.
According to a researcher Donatella Marazziti of the University of Pisa, Italy, when two people fall in love, their hearts and hormones ignite a natural state that is a high similar to being on cocaine that puts them in emotional overdrive.
More interestingly, Donatella Marazzit says love asks you to lower your defences and loosen up your boundaries to merge your needs and desires with those of your lover. This process can be threatening and make you feel vulnerable. Nonetheless, this is the making of a robust and healthy relationship attachment.
Falling in love with God – having an exposure to the Love of God – is more or less the same. Our first experience with God always evokes some refreshing and exciting feeling. Still, it leaves us vulnerable to enormous pain at the same time.
Falling in love with God is very different from being religious. Unlike religion, falling in love with God is a matter of appointment rather than choice. As Jesus said, it is about God choosing to open the streams of His love in us, not us choosing to love Him – John 15:16.
It’s like an orthodox (old school) courtship/marriage where the bride-to-be (God) dates and proposes to his future wife (and not another way round)! Being religious is trying to please God and win His approval, but being in love with God means being happy with Him and appreciating His blessing.
Religion is about seizing the initiative – doing something for God, whereas falling in love with God is taking the initiative to introduce Himself to us. Once we are exposed to Him, we can’t help but adore Him, surrender and appreciate His enduring love, incredible power and profound wisdom.
Being in Love with God is not an event but an enduring relationship within which God is a dominant partner and we, the beloved, as humble, obedient partners. In this case, being in love with God is being full of divine love that makes you consentingly vulnerable – willingly choosing to lose yourself, forfeiting your interests and living for God.
Although falling in love with God is always accidental, to God is anything but random. God doesn’t wake up one morning and say, I’m going to reveal myself to XYZ today. Instead, He deliberately and carefully plans ahead of time (before we were born, in fact) about the nature and the timing of the “crash” that will bring the desired impact.
True love is a personal affair, and intimacy is enjoyed best in a private, secret, quiet, exclusive and often dark environment. That’s why true worship (having intimacy with God), as Jesus said, must occur in the spirit. To fully appreciate God (the epitome of true love), this experience must happen at the core of our hearts; it must be intensely private and personal. For the bond of love between God and us to properly gel, there must not be any ‘dust’.
No wonder falling in love with God is always preceded by loss and pain. Before God can reveal to you (depending on the level of intimacy God want to forge with you), He will subject you to the loss of relationships, reputation, career, assets, finances and even health.
In the bible, all people who had a life-changing experience with God had their lives crashed just before their experience.
God revealed and fortified His affirmative love to His son Jesus Christ in the wilderness. This happened in the wilderness not sooner after Jesus had gone hungry for forty days, tested and bruised by the Devil.
Elijah was tired, stressed and suicidal. God came to his rescue and wanted to talk to him in person. God chose to meet Elijah in the cave at night. Elijah had to travel deep in the desert for days to this place. Even then, God could not speak to him until there was a series of dramatic displays of strong wind, a terrifying earthquake and a mighty fire.
Moses met God during a “burning bush” experience. This happened in the middle of the desert when Moses was alone. This was after he had lost everything, including his status as prince of Egypt, and was living in a foreign land as a fugitive.
God had a “blessing” appointment with Jacob. Of all places, He chose to meet him in the bare open desert, alone, at night. The experience was incredible and went on for a while. Jacob saw the heavens split open, angels ascending and descending before changing his life with a blessing. The Lord, though, did not release the benefit until He had dislocated Jacob’s hip.
Saul (later Paul) met his master, who “blindly” changed the course of his life (in the desert) on the way to Damascus. Afterwards, Paul was led into the desert of Arabia for years. While there, Paul fell in love with God and received unprecedented revelations that shaped the Church and the entire world. But this same experience left Paul with a permanent pain (he called it a thorn).
I became a committed Christian at 12, and for over four decades, I tried to love God with all of my heart. For decades I religiously tried to please God and toiled to win His favour. But my spiritual experience with God changed when I was baptised in a deep river of God’s love. Since then, my walk with Him has been fulfilling and refreshing. Strangely though, this wonderful, indescribable experience climaxed at midnight, following months of agonising trauma that included losing virtually everything.
I’m saying that unplanned and uncontrolled trauma is a sign that God is about to reveal Himself. If you are going through a thorny issue – a problem that is not due to a fault of your own, or that happened at the back of you doing what you believe to be morally, spiritually or legally correct, and you can’t do anything to change it – my advice to you is to hold your peace and trust God. Know that He is in control of the situation and something good will come out of all this.