I’ve been reading the devotional Our Daily Bread over the past four months, which I get at my church. Some of the personal devotions in there, I like. Some I don’t like. And some make no impression on me at all. But the December 5 one contained a gem:
“God’s love is not a slowly dripping faucet or a well we must dig for ourselves. It is a rushing stream that flows from His heart into ours. Whatever our family background or experiences in life—-whether we feel well-loved by others or not—-we can know love. We can draw from the Lord’s inexhaustible source to know His loving care for us, and we can pass it on to others.”
I admit that I often view God’s love as a dripping faucet or a well that I must dig for myself. I feel that I must somehow earn God’s love and favor, and, once I get it, I then have to try to keep it. I think that my religious background has something to do with this, with Armstrongism’s emphasis on obedience and the law, but I’ve also felt this way in Adventist and even some evangelical settings. I think of John MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation, or the Wesleyan view that Christians can lose their salvation, or the Calvinist teaching that the truly elect manifest spiritual fruit in their lives along with a decreasing pattern of sin. Heck, I feel this way reading the Bible, with its emphasis on obedience, blessings and curses, God not hearing our prayers if we regard iniquity in our hearts, God not forgiving us if we don’t forgive others, etc. I really would like to believe that God’s love for me and others is a rushing stream that I don’t have to dig for myself. Religion has hindered me from doing so, however.