Let Me love you. Let Me love you.
Tears streamed down my face in the dark of the auditorium. The man who had just given me a razor-sharp prophetic word took his hand off my head and moved on to minister to another person. I would take the whole night to process the word I had received.
Even on the train home from church, I was crying quietly to myself. But they were tears joy. After months of groping around in the dark for the Lord and pushing through walls of doubt, He had finally revealed Himself to me. And the slightest glimpse of His face, the faintest whisper of His voice were sweet beyond description.
I was sixteen at the time and had been taking my first clumsy steps towards a Father who seemed too good to be true. But that night my deepest wish had come true – God was real! I now knew it beyond a shadow of doubt. He knew my secrets and He loved me.
Let Me love you. What does that even mean? I was intrigued. He said it twice, so it must be important. Over many months, I toyed with the word, shelved it, and took it out again occasionally to examine it.
Over a year passed before I heard that phrase again. I was at a different church, and a former prisoner-of-war was the speaker that day. I perked up at those familiar words and approached him after the sermon to ask him about it. I was in a tough season of my life then, fully aware of many old wounds that never seemed to heal and hoped that this old man, standing tall after a lifetime of battle scars – physical and spiritual – could offer me some hope.
Let Me love you.
I knew that God loved me – I had read it in His Word. But I was grasping for a set of practical instructions. How do you let a God you can’t see, touch or hear audibly – love you?
He gazed at me steadily with eyes that said more. “You just let Him love you,” was his soft answer.
It has been three or four years since that day. As I look back, I realise I had only scratched the surface of His love. God has been teaching me to let Him love me in every moment spent with Him, and every tiny decision made to seek Him. The Lord wants us to let Him love us because His kindness leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
We cannot bring ourselves under submission to Jesus without the experiencing His Father’s heart for us. We cannot long for the return of our Bridegroom without first having a taste of His rich and incomparable love. We cannot release God’s kingdom into this world if His love has not first reached and taken root in the depths of our hearts. To come into the fullness of our calling in Him, we must first let Him love us.
While my heart still has dark and dusty corners that are in the process of being redeemed by His light, I offer some practical handles for those of us who struggle to allow God’s love in. I hope this will help those who have emotional wounds that impede them from developing intimacy with God and fellow believers who struggle from a lack of spiritual sensitivity.
4 WAYS TO LET LOVE IN
1. Be alone with God in quiet places
The first practical step to letting God love you is to grow a daily habit of being alone with Him somewhere quiet and peaceful. Jesus always retreated from people to be alone with the Father. In order to be intimate with God, we must seek Him in a place where we can learn to take pleasure in His presence without it being diluted by the company of others, and hear His whispers of love without them being drowned out by the distractions of the world.
While we are meant to enjoy and worship God as a community of His children, we must guard our personal time with God. To experience the sufficiency of His love, we must give Him an exclusive intimacy with us. Our relationship with Him cannot be founded on leaders, family or friends – we need to seek Him on our own. We need to take time and linger in His presence.
Spending time with God mustn’t be treated like a duty but a pleasure. Time with God is time with the One in this world whose love for you is perfect, who knows you wholly. Time with God is the safest space in the world and the most restful respite.
Our relationship with Him cannot be founded on leaders, family or friends – we need to seek Him on our own.
2. Take Him at His word
We need to shed our deeply entrenched notions of logic and take God at His Word. God has already given us the seed to develop the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and we must actively resist the ways of the world and renew our minds in accordance with Him (Romans 12:2).
That means leaving aside persistent doubt and humbly accepting God’s truths: He delights in us, is close to us and is both listening to our prayers and speaking to us. That means intentionally submitting painful experiences and disappointments of the past to God and seizing His truth as written in His Word.
Letting Him love us means believing He is there because He says so in His Word, even if we do not feel His presence tangibly. Letting Him love us means hoping in Him, even when our hearts have been crushed by disappointments. Letting Him loves us means involving Him in the smallest moments in life, simply out of faith that He loves us personally.
… He is there because He says so in His Word, even if we do not feel His presence tangibly.
3. Be vulnerable
To let Him love us, we need to open up our hearts to His love. We need to take the scary step of being vulnerable with God. That means crying to God when we are hurt, admitting our most shameful sins to God when we are guilty, and even yelling at God when we are angry with Him – as long as we are moving toward God rather than away from Him.
A friend once shared with me that a part of her hated God and she had been hiding that away in shame while trying her best to love Him. To let Him love us, we must not keep any portion of our heart away from Him, especially the parts that make us feel ashamed or think may stop Him from loving us.
We must fully open up our hearts to Him in order for His love to touch every inch of us.
4. Be patient and let God be God
God takes His time in building a relationship with us. He enjoys the process and invites us to enjoy it with Him. So if you’re struggling today to receive God’s love, rest in the fact that it will not happen overnight and that the agency for building this relationship is primarily in God’s hands and not yours. Our job is to submit to His leading and to wait with Him through the twists, turns and curveballs of life.
Today, God invites you to open up your heart to Him and let Him love you.