Every once in a while, I’ll think to myself, “You’ve done a good, Tim. You’ve done good.” I think I have pretty good reasons to be happy with where I am. God has blessed me abundantly, and I think I’ve returned the favor by worshipping and serving Him. Overall, I’ve tried my best to be obedient. I’d even say I really do love God. What more could be asked of me?
And then, I’ll stumble. I’ll find myself falling back into petty sins. Normally, this serves to remind me that I’m not perfect. No big deal; nobody’s perfect. Lately, though, these mistakes have pointed me to a real problem in my soul, which is this: The whole attitude of being satisfied in my relationship with God is completely backwards.
What I’ve come to realize is that I don’t really love God, despite what I tell myself and others. Being complacent and self-satisfied shows that I don’t really love Him. If everything I’ve done up till now is what it means to love God–if I’m comfortable with where I am–then my love for Him really isn’t that impressive. In fact, it’s pathetic. God deserves a devotion that isn’t satisfied with anything less than Him. Having a true desire for God means that I should never think that I know what it means to love Him; it means that I should never think that I’ve grasped the fullness of who He is. A love that’s too easily satisfied is a love that’s too small for God.
And so, I’m forced to admit the shallowness of my desire for God. My cries for repentance are feeble, my heart is hard, my soul is dry. I think the only thing that can redeem my weakness is the power of Christ. In Christ and in him alone, I have what I lack in myself. Lancelot Andrewes, one of the original translators of the KJV, once wrote the following in one of his prayers: “At least give me some of the tears of Christ, which He shed plentifully in the days of His flesh. Bestow on me from that store; in Him there is superfluity for my deficiency.” Lancelot Andrewes recognizes his deficiency, but his response is not to make himself better; rather, he turns to Christ and falls more deeply in love with Him.
This all goes back to being complacent and self-satisfied vs. being deeply in love with God. A love that constantly reflects upon itself isn’t love at all. Being satisfied with my “relationship with God” means that I’m looking at my own performance; consequently, it means that I am looking at myself and not Christ. True love for God shouldn’t think about itself, because it is too busy thinking about Christ. To love Christ is to look to Him and Him alone–not to anyone else, not even myself.