Sunday, 3 August 2014

A Jealous Lover

Do you know you're in a relationship with God? Do you know that He loves you? He sent His only son to die in your place? He has loved you with an unfailing love. Isaiah 54:5 "For Your maker is your HUsband - the Lord Almighty is His name, the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, He is called the God of all the earth." But as with every lover, God is a jealous one. When He doesn't have our time, when we don't spend time with Him, He gets jealous.

Exodus 34:6
God revealed to Moses that "the Lord is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin..."

That's all true, God said it Himself. He forgives iniquity, He loves His children. He is our rock, He is our fortress. But He also reveals Himself in a different and deeper way. Yes, God is our Love, God is our deliverer, He is our healer. But there's more to the revelation of who He is. Skip to Exodus 34:14, "Do not worship any other God, for the Lord, whose name is JEALOUS, is a jealous God."

So, God is love, He is gracious, He is KIND, He is a deliverer but He is also a JEALOUS God. He is in LOVE with His people. If you read throughout the Old Testament, it's almost like a love story. He is passionately in LOVE with His bride. Jealousy means to be intolerant with CHEATING. This means God will not allow His bride to have roving eyes. He has EYES for YOU which means You should have eyes for Him only. God is a JEALOUS lover. He doesn't want anyone else taking that place. He gets ANGRY.

Imagine you're married, and your husband or wife constantly focusses on other things, other men or women...your wife or husband will be JEALOUS. Your attention is not on your husband. God has been a faithful lover...He has never cheated on US. He always provides for US, He is always faithful. He never lets us DOWN.

"Psalm 89:1 "I will sing of the Lords great love forever, with my mouth, I will make your faithfulness known through all generations..."

So, when can God get jealous? When there's an alienation of affection. When your affection for God is no longer there. You can see it with Israel. They wanted something to see, to touch. They didn't want God because they never saw God, they couldn't touch Him. Even though the miracles were there. They made idols, and worshipped idols. Israel is a 'Church' in the Bible.

Deuteronomy 4:23 "Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you. Do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a JEALOUS God."

Deuteronomy 5:7 "You shall have no other Gods before me. You shall not make for yourselves an image in the form of anything in Heaven ABOVE or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord Your God, am a jealous God..."

Deuteronomy 6:14 "Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and He will destroy you from the face of the land."

Joshua 24:19 "You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God, he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you after he has been good to you."

God's jealousy is always TIED to idolatry. Those people who probably worship God but do not do it in Spirit and in Truth. Worshipping Him everywhere you go. That doesn't mean going out to your place of work and raising your hands up and worshipping Him. It just means living out your truth.

Looking at the Israelites, God provided for them. But you can see what idolatry did to them. Israel provoked God to ANGER with their idols.

Have you ever read the Book of Hosea? In that Book, Gomer (Hosea's wife) was a prostitute, representing Israel which was the Church in those days. Hosea had love placed in his heart for Gomer. He was instructed to marry her but throughout the Book, although she was faithful to him at the beginning, she was intimate with him (she bore him a son) and they were fruitful, Gomer began cheating on him. She had love for other gods, she had many lovers. Now, imagine the pain and brokenness suffered by Hosea. The pain in Hosea's heart was overwhelming. Gomer had promised to be faithful, but she wasn't. This is a representation of our relationship with God. We got married to Him by giving our lives to Him, making a covenant and commitment to Him. He is our Husband (Isaiah 54:5). We may not fully understand the pain that God Himself goes through when we hurt Him, when we cheat on Him. Hosea's story is just a glimpse of it. But each and everytime Gomer cheated on him, Hosea was commanded to take her back and love her just as much. Yet, she would cheat on him again. 
Hosea 2:3 - this represents what God will do if we continue to cheat on Him. All the resources of the Holy Spirit will go. The peace of God will leave you, the joy and fellowship of God will leave you. You will be left with confusion and pain, no fulfilment and you will thirst for some meaning in life. 
Hosea 3:1 God instructed Hosea to love her even though she was loved by another man and had sinned. JUST like He loves Israel in their sin and they turn to other gods. 

Today, in this present age, are we provoking God?

Self Help
You know when you're so down in the dumps and you just want to talk to someone. Someone you can see, someone you can hear with your ears, someone you can just vent to, but you don't go to God first, it can sort of hurt. I'm just trying to imagine myself being in a marriage where, every time my husband is in trouble or is so burdened with something, he runs to someone else, I would feel so JEALOUS. I would feel angry. I would feel hurt and unworthy. That's what happens nowadays, when we get in trouble...we go to books for help. Or we look for quotes. We no longer run to God, we no longer pray to God. We get self help books such as 'coping with poor marriage', 'how to find the right mate', 'how to cope with loneliness'. But God is right there and He feels rejected.

It must provoke GOD to jealousy when we run to the flesh instead of HIM. We cannot rely on MAN. God is our lover, He is our provider. It is important not to run to men but to RUN to God.

Psalm 37:39 "the salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord, He is their stronghold in time of trouble."

When you look to anybody else but God for help, you are provoking Him to jealousy. You are idolising someone else, some other god instead of Him. Sometimes, when God can't give you something right away, He just wants time with you. When you go into His presence, He just wants to feel your love. He waits for that time, that intercourse, when you are loving Him and He is loving You. When you two communicate.

When you are very worried about something because things aren't happening according to your plan. That's when you fret against the Lord. Your life is not completely submitted to God then. I am guilty of this. I know I shouldn't worry because He's got me but it's so hard not to worry because I cannot see past my problem. I know I have to trust Him.Trust is the highest form of affection. If you say you love somebody you will trust them. If the trust is not there, there is no basis for true love. TRUST is possibly the highest form of worship. I am truly working on this.

When you fret or worry, you are not fully persuaded that He is capable of bringing it to pass, or what He has promised He is able to perform. God knows what's going on. He is working in every area of Your life. He just wants YOU to love Him, sit in His arms and let Him do the work.

Just imagine what God thinks, when we worry and fret, He must think 'does she not think I am capable of doing it all? Does she not think I am the Lord?' He brought out SLAVES from Egypt. He saved Daniel from the den of lions. He sent His SON to die in your place. What LITTLE do you think He cannot do?

Nowadays, there are so many ways that we dishonour Him. When we are among friends, we complain yet we state that we are God's people. We murmur and complain. We honour Him with your lips but our hearts are far from Him. Honouring God is not just by works, i.e. you do not smoke, drink, fornicate but honouring Him by being fully HIS. People around you MUST know that you are God's child. When sorrow or tribulation strikes you, you do not fall apart. You do not go to others and say how hard it is. You say it all to Jesus. You remain peaceful in those times. Then those who do not believe will see the testimony of God in YOU.

It must make Him terribly jealous when we give time to everything else but Him. When we go to our friends and talk about our problems instead of Him. If you don't want to pray or be in His presence, you don't love Him. People who are in love want to be alone with each other. That's what it's like. Whoa, that's actually scary. Again, it's like marriage. When you are married, you want to be alone with your husband sometimes. You want to be with him and spend time with him. You even probably rush home because you can't wait to talk to him. It's just the same with God. Prayer is communication with Him. You pray and communicate with Him because you love Him. Your love who He is. You love His presence. You love spending time with Him. As it should be. We can all work on this. Life gets so busy but it's important not to neglect Him because essentially, you are putting everything else before HIM. He even told us himself (you know how husbands can command this), to not have any other gods before HIM.

Listen to this message :)
Christ and His Harlot Church

Let your heart not grow COLD. He loves You and wants you close to Him. Happy Sunday. x