Do you want to be a lover of God? Do you want to have fiery love for God? Do you want to see your dedication increase? Understand God's dedication to you. Do you want your enjoyment of God to increase? Understand God's enjoyment of you. Do you want to pursue God more? Study how God pursues you.
I wrote a book titled Passion for Jesus. Since then, people regularly ask me how they can develop passion for Jesus. I give them the same answer each time: Your passion for Jesus will increase to the measure that you study and encounter Jesus' passion for you. The key to passion for Jesus is to know Jesus' passion for you. Sounds simple. It is not a mystery. The challenge is not in knowing this principle, but rather in filling your spirit with revelation and knowledge of God's passion and emotion.
You cannot make this happen by yourself. It takes God to love God. It takes God's power for you to love God. If you want to become a fiery lover of God, you must understand God as a fiery lover of you. We see Him as a lover, and it makes us a lover. We see His emotions of fiery desire for us, and this is what awakens emotions of fiery desire back to Him. Whatever you understand about God's heart for you is what changes your heart for God.
We behold something in the heart of God and, in time, though it does not happen immediately, it then opens the pathway for those things to become a part of our character, nature and our behavior.
Exhortations to action are very ineffective by themselves. But exhortations to acts of obedience that flow out of a firm foundation of a revelation of God's heart become effective and efficient in our lives.
David was first and foremost a man after God's heart because he cultivated the revelation of what God's heart was like. It is only when we know what God's heart looks like or know what God looks like that we can know what we look like to God. When we know what we look like to God then we can successfully obey the commands of God in a consistent way.
Many people want to commit themselves to become lovers of God, to obey the commands of God's heart. This is a good thing, but they are sure to be very frustrated and disappointed by this method.
If your approach to becoming a lover of God is just to try harder, you will fail every time. I tell the young people in Kansas City "Do not try harder. Learn to enjoy more." They say, "What?" I say, "Do not try to love God harder. Learn how to enjoy God more, and you will automatically love Him."
They say, "How can we learn how to enjoy God more? If this is the key to loving God more, then I want to do it." I say, "There is one great principle to enjoying God more - understanding that God enjoys you in your weakness."
This is a very unusual idea to many traditions in the body of Christ today. Most of the teaching on holiness and dedication appeals to the people to try harder.
"Come down to the altar, cry, tell everybody all of your sins, and make promises to God like you have never made before." Then the person leaves, they wipe the tears from their eyes and say, "I will do anything to love you more!" During the next three months they fail miserably.
They go to the next revival meeting, and the preacher tells them to try harder. They come down to the altar, they cry more, they make more promises, and they will tell everybody all of their sins to prove how sincere they are. Three months later, they fail again.
They go to another revival meeting, and the preacher preaches on holiness. They come down to the altar, they cry, and this goes on for three or four years. Then something very, very terrible takes place. They quit. "I cannot do this any more!" they say, and their hearts get locked. They have so much pain because of their failure, and they quit.
They stay in the church and sit on the back row. They watch the young people come down and cry at the altar. They say, "I remember when I was young - I used to do that very same thing, too."
You will never love God more by trying harder. Gritting your teeth and making promises is not what makes your heart awaken in love. The way that you become a lover of God is not by trying harder. It is by learning to enjoy more.
You may say, "This is opposite of everything I ever heard. Enjoy more, enjoy what? How do I enjoy God more? How do you make your heart enjoy God more?"
I can tell you clearly from the Scripture. You gain understanding that God enjoys you more. When you understand that He enjoys you, it gives you the ability to enjoy Him.
David had more understanding of God's emotions than any other man in his day. I believe David had more understanding of God's emotions than any man in the Old Testament. This is why he is called the man after God's own heart. It is not enough for me to know that David was a person after God's own heart. I want to be one. I will, by the grace of God, and you can be, too.
Jesus prophesied that God's people would love God with all their heart and strength (Matthew 22:37). Jesus referred to this as "the first commandment" because it is the commandment that is God's first priority. Thus, the Holy Spirit will restore the first commandment to first place in the Church before the Lord returns. It is our inheritance to be empowered to love God with all our heart. God reveals His affections to us as the way to enable us to give our affections back to Him. This is the way to pursue the deep things of God's heart (1 Corinthians 2:10-12). This conference is for those who desire to understand the passion that God has for them, and in turn, live with passion for Jesus. (Mike Bickle, IHOP)
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