Wasteland Kings

I have a desire for God’s love and grace. The only problem is that slowly, but surely, I have become numb to this desire. I have become conditioned to living without it and spend most of my days convinced that I have already experienced enough of God’s love and grace.

I must break this conditioned state of my heart in order to really start experiencing God’s love on a consistent basis.

This conditioned state is kind of like how we get used to bad vision or stale food. I have some experience with this because about five years ago I thought my vision was just fine. That assumption came to an end when some of my friends discovered that I couldn’t make something out that was at a distance.

That discovery led to an optometrist’s office where I found out that I have astigmatism in both eyes and that I’m nearsighted, I’d also had these problems for awhile. Astigmatisms are something that you’re born with and I always had trouble with long range vision. Most people discover these issues well before they’re 22, but I had simply compensated for these problems and thought my vision was normal.

Until that point, I had just guessed at far off road signs to compensate for the fact that I couldn’t read anything farther than 50 yards away. Bad astigmatisms, like mine, make your vision blurry and that meant I had to squint at every screen and page that I read until I was 22. Without my friends help, I would have continued on, being unaware of these problems for, the rest of my life.

I can still remember sitting at my friend’s desk and hearing him question me about why I had to lean into the screen to read the article that he wanted to show me. That moment was embarrassing at the time, but his question feels priceless to me now. I hope to create a similar effect with this blog.

You only think that you have experienced enough of God’s love because you’re used to compensating for your lack of it. You know in your head that you have the desire, but your heart has grown numb from your lack of experiencing God’s love. I also know this from personal experience.

Just like my nearsightedness, I commonly guess at what God thinks about me or how He feels about me. I don’t really know deep down in my heart that He values me and delights in me. For a long time, I thought my assumptions and guesses about God’s love for me were enough and that I didn’t need to really experience it on a daily basis.

I can’t just feed my heart assumptions about God’s love though. If it doesn’t experience the real thing, it will starve and everything else in my life will suffer. Sadly, many of us have become conditioned to living in that state of starvation.

Do you know what it’s like to hangout with a friend you haven’t seen in a long time or take part in a game or hobby that you used to love? When that happens to me, I feel this part of my heart wake up from a slumber and I wonder why I haven’t felt my desire for that source of joy in so long. The same is true with experiencing God’s love and grace; we just have to wake up that part of our hearts.

We all have a desire for God’s love and grace, we just tend to ignore it and shut it up in a closet somewhere. The good news is that God not only wants to help us wake up that desire, He desperately wants to satisfy it as well. He gives us many ways to help us experience His love and grace; we just have to take advantage of them.

If you want to experience God’s love, reach out to some Christian friends and open up a little about your life. You can also do something that brings you joy and invite God into that activity. As long as you’re not sinning or seeking out something inappropriate, this should stir your affections for God and start to wake up your heart. It can also help to talk with God about the relationships and activities that bring you joy and tell Him about why you like them.

This kind of breaks the mold when it comes to the normal ‘God I pray that…’ prayer, but it really helps create genuine intimacy with God and wakes up that part of you that longs for His personal love. Humbling ourselves and confessing our sins also helps because it reminds us that God’s grace is personal and specific instead of an impersonal blanket that just lies on top of all Christendom.

These are just the things that help me stir up my affections for God and awaken my desire for God. You probably know better what stirs your affections and you don’t have to change your relationship with God so that it looks like mine. I only ask that you examine what you can do to wake up your heart and your unquenchable thirst for God’s love and grace.

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The Personal Bible

Matthew Rial