I began asking the question years ago: does God even like me?
I never spoke it aloud, of course. Can you imagine asking your pastor that question? I can already hear the carefully curated and ever-so-slightly incredulous responses:
Yes, God loves you! He loves you so much that He sent His one and only Son to die, Jesus’ blood poured out to wash away your sin.
Of course He does! God created you in His image, just like it says in Genesis.
How could God not love you? He came to earth, when He did not have to, in human form, Jesus. God experienced the worst of humanity to save you. His suffering for your salvation.
But those responses were ones I did not need to hear because they were to a question I was not asking.
I knew that God loves me; I was not convinced that God likes me.
How could He when He so intimately knows everything about and within me? Is it even possible for God to like us in all our brokenness?
It was in the midst of this struggle-me trying to figure out how to serve a God I was not sure even liked me-that I stumbled across a blog that changed everything for me.
Sara Hagerty started a practice she calls Adoration decades ago, when she found herself attending yet another baby shower with a still-barren womb, wondering what God’s plan was for her life. Desperate to experience more of God in the everyday mundane, Sara began meditating on a new Bible verse every day.
Each morning, over her early mug of steaming tea, she chooses a verse which reveals a bit of truth about who God is and then spends all day repeating it back to Him. In her own words, “Adoration: inhaling His Word and exhaling praise.”
I didn’t understand, but I took Sara’s word for it and started my own adoration practice. Everyday, I began sitting down with a strong cup of coffee and talking to God. I started intentionally telling God who He is, praising Him without a request tacked on. I just sat with God, praising and listening.
It seemed silly, at first, telling God who He is (because, of course, He already knows!). But as I continued this practice, I discovered the secret:
When our hearts understand who God is, then we understand who we are.
We cannot know the heart of God without spending time listening to Him. The more time I spent with God, the more clearly I could hear His voice.
And the truth is, He’s wooing us all:
I enjoy spending time with you (Psalm 149:4).
I am pleased with you (Mark 1:11).
My delight is in you (Isaiah 62:4).
I not only love you, but I like you (Psalm 18:19).
Can you hear Him?
I challenge you, in a month hijacked by a culture obsessed with romanticized notions of love, to remind yourself how you are loved by God. Fall into adoration with God, both of you murmuring whispers of love to one another.
What are you learning in your time spent with God? Let us know in the comments below!