One morning while out for a run with the Lord, blowing my earbuds with worship music, enjoying some together time and singing as loud as I could through my panting, the Father’s voice spoke to my spirit.
“Turn off your music. I have something to talk to you about.”
I did. Of course I did.
“Why do you keep comparing yourself?” It was a question that appeared in an instant, and I knew exactly what he was asking about.
I had heard stories about people who were experiencing all kinds of beautiful visions and encounters in the Spirit that I wasn’t, and I was jealous. I didn’t even really know what they were talking about; I had no grid for that kind of experience with the Lord at all. I heard about people who went places with Jesus and visited people in their personal worship time and stuff like that. I was so jealous. I was so so jealous. The fact that others got to see stuff and do stuff with God that I didn’t just grated on me, and I complained about it to him. A lot.
Something ugly was being revealed. I was comparing my relationship with the Lord against other people’s, and mine was coming up short. Surely their experiences meant that they were worshipping on a deeper level than I was. Surely they were further along with the Lord than I was. Maybe he loved them more, favored them more, trusted them more. Surely there was something I could do to get where they were.
Now we see what the Father was getting at, don’t we? Yes, we do.
“I don’t know. Maybe I’m an experiential learner,” was my answer.
“Stop.” The word came firm and quick. “When you do that, you rob me of the unique relationship I have with you. I cherish it. I don’t have it with anyone else, and I miss it when it’s gone.”
Imagine it. I had spent so much of my time jealous of what he had with others, when all that time he was jealous for me! He just wanted to be with me. He just wanted ME! Oh, the happy repentance the Father’s love brings! How could I go on the way I had? I couldn’t. I can’t.
He came for me, and I’ll go with him. Of course I will. How could I say anything but a humble, sobby yes? Yes. I’ll be loved by you.
And look here, now I have a beautiful reason why I should never bow to comparison again: My love, my only true love, my very closest companion, misses me when I’m gone. And what we have together, he doesn’t have with anyone else on the face of the earth. Of the billions and billions of people–he and I, we have a very special thing going on. And he doesn’t have it, nor does he want it, with anyone else.
Cue the tears. Cue the glorious, wonderful, you-just-bent-my-world-around tears that come when the King of the Universe himself tells you how fiercely he loves you.
“For you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14). My God, his name is Jealous. His is not an immature jealousy like mine, always longing after what someone else has, full of complaint and whining and entitlement. His is a magnificent, holy jealousy that is both a pursuit and a holding near. He is jealous to keep close to his heart the things that belong to him. Namely, his people. Namely, me. Namely, you.
He doesn’t want to share you with anyone or with anything. He wants you all to himself. What you have together, or could have together, is not for anyone else to have. And what’s more, you are missed when your affection, your gaze, and your desire is elsewhere.
Your lover is Jealous.February 14, 2014