Are You in a Long Distance Relationship with Jesus?

If you have ever been in a long-distance relationship, you know the struggles that can arise when trying to make things work. Passion and commitment that once burned bright slowly began to dim the more time you spent apart. Slowly the desire to hear their voice on the phone or the excitement you had when they texted is not as strong as it once was. It is not that you stopped loving them, it is just that the fullness of your love for one another is not as easily expressed or experienced. For a time when they are gone, you keep them near and dear by looking at their social media page or texting them just to check in. The texts and calls are always answered, and you feel confident that the relationship has what it takes to make it work. But after some time, you begin to feel accustomed to them not being around, you may even enjoy the freedom to be able to do what you want since you do not have to spend time with them. Suddenly, you are not as excited when they text, you may even wait to respond. You still enjoy the safety net of being in a relationship, it is no fun finding dates for functions, but the need for the physical embrace starts to become evident. This is where many long-distance relationships fail.   The need for the embrace, the constant presence of that person that makes you feel secure, loved, and connected, sends you looking for something to fill that void. You are loyal so you tell yourself you would never cheat on them, but all this new free time you have has led you to pursue other interests. You take a class, begin a hobby, or join a gym, you are suddenly beginning a new chapter without the one you love by your side. After a while you just get used to not having them around and something or someone else takes the spot in your heart the one you love once had. You know how much this person loves you and would never leave you (in their heart) so you may allow yourself freedom to do things you know they would not approve of. It may start off as innocent (having coffee with someone you know likes you or putting yourself in a position where temptation will present itself) but eventually you compromise your heart and the tiny crack in your character slowly begins to grow. Eventually, the only thing holding the relationship together are the memories you made with them and not the enjoyment of the present or the dreams of the future. Jesus is the love of our life. When we first say yes to Him, we are so excited and on fire we can take on the world. We begin to walk in the love and acceptance He has for us, and we feel almost invincible. He showers us affection, blessings, and promises, life is good. It is good because Jesus did all the work in the relationship, we just said yes. But when we say yes, we are not just saying yes to being rescued from eternity in Hell but yes to everything else that comes with it. The bible says we were bought with a price, and we are not our own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) so we do not get to do what we want and let Jesus do all the work. Think of what the Apostle Paul said, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) which means we carry on the work of Jesus on earth, and we will be rewarded in eternity. We are His hands and feet. All relationships require sacrifice and commitment to be healthy, we would not like it if we did all the work while our mate did nothing right? Jesus loved us so much that He paid the ultimate price for us to be with Him, so if we do not do our part, we will miss the fullness of the relationship He wants to have with us.  Jesus does not want to be a guest in our hearts, He wants to be the master of It. We are married to Him, and He makes the decisions. Many times, we want Jesus to follow us instead of us following Him, He is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11). Think of the story when Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Jerusalem for Passover, when they were on their way home, they realized that Jesus was not with them. Have we ever wandered down a road and realized Jesus wasn’t with us? I realize that He will never leave us nor forsake us but many times we leave Him. We may not intend to leave Him but when we do not set time aside to pray, read His word, etc. we slowly drift apart and our relationship with Him becomes distant. We still go to church on Sunday and bible study on Wednesday but have not had that intimate alone time with Him as much as we used to. It is like a marriage that grows apart because the spouse is always working or in other ways distracted. We still enjoy many benefits of being married to the King but the greatest benefit of all is His presence. It is in His presence that we get to know His voice and feel His love. If we become too busy with life and pursuing our own interests, slowly His voice is drowned out by all the noise. We still have all His promises tucked away in our hearts, but our desires are suddenly not for Him, for His presence, they are for other things, things of the world, that we were taught will never satisfy us.  Eventually we find ourselves going places we normally would not go, doing things we know we should not. The further we get from Him, the less convicted we feel when we sin. Soon we are not on fire, the things of God are on the back burner, and we have erected idols in the form of addiction, greed, and every other vain thing. Pretty soon we fall in love with something/someone else, and after a while we are in bondage, just like the prodigal son. When we leave our first love (Revelation 2:4) we can find ourselves in a place where it is hard to recognize His voice. We made the mistake of thinking we could have a long distant relationship with Jesus, and it did not work.  Jesus longs to be with us, and we should long to be with Him, not just when we need Him but because we love being with Him. He is such a loving and compassionate person, the more time we spend with Him the more we fall in love with Him. I pray that we seek Him like Song of Solomon and as a deer pants for the water (Psalm 42) and when we find Him, we remain close, not allowing any distance in our relationship.  

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