Day 11: Lotsa’ Loves

“Jesus is a teacher who doesn’t just inform our intellect but forms our very loves. He isn’t content to simply deposit new ideas into your mind; he is after nothing less than your wants, your loves, your longings.” — James K. A. Smith

Be Quiet. Sit still and silent for 3 minutes. Let your mind be aware that God is present with you. When you get distracted, don’t fight with yourself. Simply turn your thoughts again to God. Imagine the delight your Father feels because you showed-up to be with Him! Breathe slowly and relax.

Scripture. “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” 1 John 2:15-17

Meditation. This scripture penetrated me when I discovered it 38 years ago. It opened my eyes to why I felt miserable; it opened my hope to a forever life with God. I was churched but lost in the world’s loves. The wild-goose chase for popularity and honors left me dog-tired. Turns out the Holy Spirit was chasing me, longing to show me the Father’s love!

The aim of forever life is loving union with God. Only Jesus can teach us this. He casts the vision for it in the Gospel narratives, where we see Him withdrawing to be alone with His Father in prayer. And where we see Him opening the kingdom to those who are unqualified by the world’s standards. Also, where we read story after story of Jesus stepping-in to reclaim and reshape people whose disordered loves left them empty, ashamed or desperate.

This quote from James K. A. Smith is insightful: “Jesus is a teacher who doesn’t just inform our intellect but forms our very loves. He isn’t content to simply deposit new ideas into your mind; he is after nothing less than your wants, your loves, your longings.

Seductive, lesser loves flirt with me every day. But the Holy Spirit hasn’t stopped chasing me, and He’s coming after you, too. God desires to form our desires so we will, in turn, find satisfaction in the love that never fades or spoils. Let’s surrender to the chase and let God have His way. The deep, inner formation He’s guiding shapes us for spiritual pleasures in our forever life with Jesus.

Question to Ponder. What worldly cravings are edging-out your hunger for loving union with God?

Connect with God. Pray for the best gift, the Holy Spirit, to fill you and form your desires this week. Thank Him for His many mercies.

Connect with Others. Leave a comment. Share with us how God is transforming your loves and longings.