Human beings are emotional creatures. Because we are made in the likeness of God, we simply embody what is true of Him. The ekklesia that I am a part of is currently working on a project together that is seeking to discover the emotions of Jesus Christ contained throughout the scriptures. As Christ Himself said, all of the scriptures were written about Him. As a result, we are starting this project in the Old Testament.
As you may know, the relationship portrayed between the Lord and His people in the Old Testament is a bit complicated. It was an ‘on again, off again’ relationship that was based in misunderstanding. The Lord’s heart of love & affection for His people was misunderstood by them time and time again. This was due to the fact that humanity had been cut off from His life and heart after the incident in the Garden of Eden in which they chose to seek knowledge instead of life.
Instead of knowing His love and affection for them, they assumed the worst in His heart and motives. They did not trust that their nation could be led by Him alone as king, so they looked to a human political leader to lead them instead of Him. Instead of trusting Him to provide security for them, they regularly made alliances with others to protect them instead of Him. Instead of trusting Him to provide for their provision, they regularly turned to the false agricultural gods of the peoples around them to provide for them instead of Him. As a lover, this deeply grieved His heart. You can literally hear His broken heart through this one simple question that our all knowing God asked:
My people, what have I done to you, and how have I wearied you? Answer Me. (Micah 6:3, NASB)
If only they could know His heart for them, they would never question His love for them. Out of their brokenness, however, they continually lived in ‘survival’ mode. Their rejection of Him for more ‘tangible’ solutions was their self-defense mechanisms in full swing. Oh, how He must have longed to share His heart with them, but they simply could not hear Him. This emotion of God is personified in the person of Jesus Christ. This brokenness comes through loud and clear in this statement that Christ made while He was overlooking the city of Jerusalem:
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. (Matthew 23:37, NASB)
As I was pondering this emotion of Christ recently, I continually heard a song playing in the back recesses of my mind. Based on past experiences of hearing the Lord’s heart communicated to me through song, I decided to pay attention and listen to this song. When I did, I was caught off guard and stunned.
The song is titled ‘All I have’ by Jennifer Lopez featuring LL Cool J. In the song, I sensed the Lord revealing to me the similarities of Jennifer Lopez’s response to our own misunderstanding when we don’t live from a revelation of the profound love of Christ. The plea of the Lord to us also spoke very loud and clear through LL Cool J’s portion of the song as well. Please take a few minutes to listen to the complicated Old Covenant relationship in this song:
The New Covenant Solution
In my previous post, I wrote about the ‘new city’ that the Lord desires us to live in. City life can be quite terrifying and difficult if we don’t live from a revelation of the tremendous love of Christ.
- In order to truly live in the ‘city’ of God, we must cease from all our religious labors that are rooted in performance for the purpose of gaining approval.
- In order to truly live in the ‘city’ of God, we must see the heart & motives of Christ in our brothers and sisters, not the ill motives of their old nature that has already been put to death on the cross.
- In order to truly live in the ‘city’ of God, we must deeply know that Christ is the head of His Ekklesia. He is building this city. We cannot compete with Him for this position.
Ceasing from all of our religious labors, trusting the heart of Christ in our brothers and sisters, and laying down our need to be the ‘head’ and control others is only possible as we become aware of His tremendous love that He has extravagantly put deep inside of us.
May this awareness grow and abound in us all in the days ahead,