“The only thing you need to do to get to Heaven is let God love you.”
Stunned by my priest friend’s statement, I’ve spent the past several months bringing it to prayer. At first, it felt too simple, almost easy. The only thing I need to do to get to Heaven is let God love me? Great!
Over time, however, I realized this truth made me feel confused, even scared. In order for God to love me, He has to: know: me. Really: know me. All: of me. That’s terrifying.
In Genesis, we hear about Adam and Eve. Adam lived in perfect harmony with himself. Eve lived in perfect harmony with herself. They lived in perfect harmony with each other, and they lived in perfect harmony with God. Ideal, right?
Eve then reached for the apple, and we know what happened next.
Ever since Eve’s original sin, God’s perfect plan for humanity has never been the same. We no longer experience harmony, but rather divisions. Divisions within ourselves, between ourselves and others, and between ourselves and God. These divisions manifest in lies, wounds, and sins and keep us from experiencing wholeness. Not ideal, right?
As Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves, we too have learned how to “protect” ourselves, separating ourselves from God’s love. And: it is in this self defense that we are depriving our hearts of the love we have been created for.
Deep within the core of our hearts, we know we weren’t made for the lies, wounds, and sins we experience. We know we want to be known, seen, and loved. We know that we are made for a relationship with God (whether we want to admit it or not). As terrifying as it may be, we desperately desire God to tear down the walls we’ve built, see past our sins, and wrap us in His arms. What’s awesome is that He desperately wants to, too!
So the question is, how do I let Him?
Unfortunately, there is an overwhelming gap between the Love we want and the counterfeit love normalized in our culture today.
In our country,
90% of boy are exposed to pornography before the age of 18.
60-80% of college students have engaged in the hookup culture.
69% of people think living together before marriage is acceptable.
50% of all marriages end in divorce.
Clearly, our culture is crying for help – crying for love!
Pornography, the hookup culture, and the party scene will never reach the depths of our hearts because our hearts were made for so much more. They were made for a relationship with the Creator of the World.
God wants to love YOU, all of you! He is waiting for you to let go of your fig leaves and let Him in. Don’t you want that? If so, I suggest reading these 3 suggestions for how to receive God’s love:
- Spend time with Him.
Like any other relationship in your life, a relationship with the Lord requires time and effort. Start by spending 10 minutes each day in prayer, and work your way up from there. Feel free to get creative with your prayer time, too! Whether you are sitting in silence in adoration, reading a spiritual book, journaling, listening to praise and worship music, on a walk, (I like to switch it up!) Carve out intentional time with God every day. The only way to develop a relationship with Him is by spending time together!
- Recognize your fig leaves.
Become aware of the aspects of your life or parts of yourself that are separating you from the Lord. Maybe it’s shame, fear, lust, sloth, or pride. Personally, I was scared of what people would think of me if I lived my life for Jesus. I told myself that life would not be fun anymore if I was serious about living virtuously, and that God could not love me if he knew what I had done in the past. What lies are you telling yourself? Chances are those lies are not protecting you, but keeping you from God’s love.
- Live out of your identity.
You are a daughter or son of God. That is your primary identity. Before understanding my identity as a daughter of God, I put my worth in my other titles. I continuously remind myself that I will not be a perfect daughter of my parents or sister of my siblings. I will fall short as a missionary and teammate. But no matter how many times I fail in my life, I will always be loved by the King of the Universe.
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