Reckless Love

I recently had one of those conversations that make you stop and think. The kind of conversation that you just can’t let go of. It nags you. It demands attention. It calls to you to chew on it. It fills the space of your mind and your spirit. You are forced to look at it from every direction. You have no choice but to consider the arguments and search out the evidence. What is true??? So here it is: Can God’s love be considered reckless? Is it possible for God to love recklessly?

This question was spurred on by the song “Reckless Love” by Bethel. You have probably heard it, and if not today is your day.  My sister is a part of a large church that was also my church home for years. This church loves the Word and I trust them. They have decided that they will NOT sing this song there because of the words “Reckless Love”. They said that too many people would complain. The complainers (my wording) would say that God’s love isn’t reckless. Ok… Interesting.  ::Enter constant musing::

Is it? Can it be? Can God’s love be reckless, or were these words just simply crafted in a provocative way to grab attention and garner a following for a trendy new song? Could God’s love be considered reckless??? “Surely Not!”, or wait a minute, “Surely!” Oh goodness, I don’t know! So it stuck with me. Reckless? God’s Love?

I really like this song. It has meant a lot to me personally, but right off the bat I agreed with the complainers…God’s love is NOT reckless! It is full of purpose and reason. He has a plan. Nothing surprises Him. He is the Beginning and the End. He knows EVERY. SINGLE. THING. God’s knowledge, wisdom, and ability knows no end. He is the One who was, who is, and who is to come. He is not bound by the confines of time. He knows who will live with Him forever. He knows who His children are. He is NOT surprised by us. He isn’t going to see me or you in Heaven and say, “Oh, I didn’t know if you were going to make it”… HE ALREADY KNOWS. Period. He has already seen, and sees, and will see. (Did you stick with that there?)

This is the kind of question that makes you go deeper into what you know about the character of God. We know Him through the Word and also through our experience with Him (and as a clarification, His Word ALWAYS trumps our experience). His Word is powerful and living. It speaks to us and instructs us. HIS WORD IS LIFE. And God doesn’t just leave it at His written Word alone, even though that would be more than enough. He comes to us and He speaks to us, and He shows us who He is!

So I was left to ponder, to wonder, to examine. Is God’s love reckless? Has He loved recklessly, does He love recklessly, and will He love recklessly? I couldn’t help but look at my life and ask these questions. Has He loved me recklessly? When I was opposed to God and not under His salvation He ran to me. I am so glad that He chased me down and told me WHO HE IS and my need of Him. He has been so, so good to me! He has loved me recklessly! Does he continue to love me recklessly? There is a mystery that is too great for us to understand presently, but somehow while knowing our beginning and end, God still in His patient, enduring, faithful love gives us the option to choose. We can choose to follow Him or to run away from Him. Every single day we have the choice. I can choose HIM or I can choose ME. That’s it. There is no gray area there. I’m either moving toward God or I’m moving away from Him. We can choose to be hungry for Him. Or we can choose to be hungry for ourselves. And sadly, many times I have run toward myself. However there is no height, or depth, present or future that can separate us from the love of God!!! (Rom. 8:38-39) God continues to love me recklessly.

“Before I spoke a word, you were singing over me. You have been so, so good to me. Before I took a breathe you breathed your life in me. You have been so, so kind to me. When I was your foe, still your love fought for me. When I felt no worth you paid it all for me. You have been so, so good to me.”

“O, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God. O, it chases me down, fights ‘till I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine. I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still you give yourself away. O the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.”

“There’s no shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up, coming after me. There’s no wall you won’t kick down, lie you won’t tear down, coming after me.”

From God’s point of view His love is NOT reckless but instead persistent and tenacious. He knows you. He loves you. And He will chase you down, strip the blinders off of your eyes, and welcome you home. His love is powerful. His love is pure. He never gives up. His love is patient, it is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It does not dishonor. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs.  It always protects. Always trusts. Always hopes. Always perseveres. GOD’S LOVE NEVER FAILS! 

And because of this, from our point of view, His love can be seen as reckless. He pursues us even when we are running away from Him. Even when our backs are turned and we reject Him by our actions. Still He loves us.

You see, the reality is that even after we come to Him and have found rest in His Presence we are still prone to wander!  Yep you and me. We are like stupid sheep. We are prone to wander. And what happens when you do? Does God stay where He is and simply wave and wish you good luck? NO! He leaves the ninty-nine and chases your rebellious, scrawny self down. No matter how far you have turned your back and walked away, as soon as you turn around you realize that you are facing Him. He was always there right beside you. You just didn’t know it because you were so caught up in YOU. He was right beside you lighting up every dark shadow of your mind, intent, and action. He was right there calling you back to safety… back to Him.

He was doing the hard thing and climbing that ridiculous, treacherous mountain that you thought you should go climb on your own without any safety precautions or knowledge of The Way. He was keeping you from falling off the mountain into the great abyss. He let you climb on, and along the way you may have sprained your ankle, or gashed your head on a rock. Surely there was injury due to your foolishness, but He kept you safe from the abyss. He kept you in Life and safe from the clutches of Death. Did you deserve it? Nope! But He did it! That sounds pretty reckless to me!

Those walls that you built up, He kicked them all down. He wouldn’t let you build separation. Those lies that you told to yourself and to others, He tore them ALL down. And thank God that He did. He brought EVERYTHING to THE LIGHT (Job 12:22 and John 8:12)! He pursued you and pursues you recklessly!

He chooses to love us even when we don’t deserve it! That is God’s reckless love! When everything in us chooses all that is not God, He still chooses us! Because He loves us. He knows who we are supposed to be. He knows the plans that He has laid out for us. He knows what our full potential in Him is. He knows our future! “And I don’t deserve it, I couldn’t earn it, still you give yourself away. O, the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God!”

Could there be any more love than that? To love someone when they are underserving of love? Even when they have rejected you? Even when they have rejected holiness? To love someone who has put all of their effort into running away from you and to something else? Just as God loves us recklessly, He calls us to love recklessly. Or maybe better worded— Just as God loves us tenaciously, He has called us to love tenaciously.

You can know that this is NOT easy, because we ourselves are prone to wander. We want this life to be about us and how we feel and now God is calling us to be like Him and to love without end? I don’t know about you, but my soul that is prone to wander cries out to that person who has hurt me, “Nope, I don’t think so! You hurt me too deeply. I don’t think I can love you recklessly and tenaciously. I don’t think I can love you with a love that keeps on keeping on. You don’t deserve it. In fact, I think I will withdraw any love that I ever had and instead I will build a high and thick wall around myself. I will make sure that I’m safe. I won’t let you hurt me. You are not worthy of my love.”

And then God’s spirit speaks to me. And this is where He gets me every time. You see, God’s way is higher than our ways. So He intercedes. He comes beside us and wraps an arm around us and says, “My child, I love you. You are in fact JUSTIFIED in how you feel toward this person. You are. But tell me now, how do you want me to deal with you? I will measure you up to my Holiness… should I use your JUSTIFCATION as my tool to measure YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS up to my Holiness? Or would you prefer that I use REDEMPTION and measure you according to MY RIGHTEOUSNESS? Would you like to stand before me with only your works both good and bad, or would you like to stand before me with my covering?” I don’t know about you, but in a breath, in a heartbeat I choose to be redeemed and covered by Jesus. And God’s reply to that is, “Good. Now go do the same. Love with a redeeming love.” “But God, that would be reckless!” “Yes. It. Would.”

You see, reckless love lays it all on the line. I’m not talking about being unwise and putting yourself in a dangerous situation. Sometimes loving someone recklessly IS loving them from a distance. But oftentimes loving recklessly is us laying down our rights, bowing our knee to Jesus, and committing to love even though it’s hard. It’s running into the unknown for the sake of love and redemption… even though the person doesn’t deserve it. Don’t forget though, you and I don’t deserve God’s love either. We are saved, protected, and measured by God’s redeeming love. You and I could never be good enough. And when we are willing to lay down our will and our life for another, that is when we see a bigger picture of God’s unending, ever-faithful love for us… of His love for mankind.

Reckless love is God loving me even though I could never earn it or deserve it. Reckless love is God lovingly pursuing me when I am covered in the filth of sin and running in the opposite direction from him. He chases me down. He fights till I’m found. He leaves the ninety-nine. He gives himself away.

And so that is what I will do! I will bend my knee to God’s Will and I will love with reckless abandon because that is how My Jesus loves me! He gave it ALL for me. He did the hard thing. He gave His life for me. He loves me tenaciously. And from my earthly point of view… He loves me recklessly. He loves you recklessly. Will you love the same way?

Lord, help us to love like you do! Help us bend our knee to Your Will. Help us to love unconditionally and lay all of our insecurities on the line. Help us to forgive and protect. Help us to pursue with love. Help us to be less prone to wander and more prone to lie in the comfort and protection of your love. Make us more like you. Fill us with You Spirit.  Help us to be still and know that you are God. Lord you are so good. So holy. So faithful. So relentless. Like you there is none other!

Reckless Love

Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me

And oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me
There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me
There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me
There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

 

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