Experiencing God's Love Produces a Spiritual Addiction

The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of The Christian Post or its editors.

Some people are addicted to drugs. Others to sex outside of marriage. And still others to harmful forms of religion. But none of those addictions can give you what God's love can give you.

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The love of God is life-changing once a person receives it. You instantly want more, and you experience a spiritual vitality which nothing else had ever provided for you. But only if you receive it. And to receive God's love, a person needs to receive Jesus.

"Yet to all who received Him..." (John 1:12) That is the key. Receiving Christ. Trusting Jesus. Embracing His love in your heart through faith. As you repent of your sin and accept Christ as your Savior, everything becomes new.

And then as you begin to spend meaningful time with other Christians, your personal addiction to God's love only increases. The Bible calls this Christian interaction "fellowship." It is a powerful experience and definitely a spiritual reality.

Are you a believer? If so, do you participate in a church where the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of God is flowing freely from one to another? In comparison, think about the parties where people get high on drugs, sex and alcohol. That too is a powerful experience. But it does nothing to benefit the soul. And it leaves you feeling empty, yet ironically wanting more of the same.

God's love is different. It truly satisfies us at the deepest level of our being. And while it definitely causes you to want more, it doesn't leave you feeling empty "the morning after." There is a completeness in a person's heart when he or she knows the Lord and is "in the flow" of God's power and grace.

Not all believers experience rich times of fellowship with other Christians. In fact, some of God's children feel quite isolated. They know Christ personally, but they are not active participants in a loving congregation of believers. A New Testament church grows strong through the Gospel message, prayer, and a desire for God to receive the glory rather than man or a particular church or denomination.

The Holy Spirit is accomplishing much in those churches where believers are loving one another, and also loving everyone God sends to them. Without Christ's love, a person's soul is never satisfied regardless of how many religious practices are carried out.

Imagine taking a surfboard to the beach and trying to create a wave. Impossible, right? Now imagine going to the beach and discovering 5-foot waves out in the water. What a difference! Likewise, you and I cannot create spiritual waves, but we can sure ride them. We can experience them and enjoy them. And we certainly get changed by God's love as we ride the waves of the Holy Spirit.

If you have not yet experienced the love of God, you likely have little interest in the Lord. Without the waves of God's Spirit, no one loves to pursue God's will. At least not with a heart filled with hope and anticipation. Only the Lord can give a person that kind of spiritual thirst and desire.

So it comes back to receiving Christ. That's the point at which the love of God first enters your soul. We are not born into this world with the love of God already inside us. It must be placed inside us, and this miracle occurs at the time of our spiritual birth. The new birth takes place when a person repents of his sin and trusts Jesus to save his soul.

A new Christian quickly realizes that sin still shows up in his heart and mind. And sin always quenches the Holy Spirit and lessens the joy within a believer's heart. A new Christian soon discovers how critical it is to resist temptation while yielding his heart and mind to the Holy Spirit.

Attempting to live the Christian life without a genuine spiritual addiction can be very discouraging. You feel like you are out in the water, but you just can't seem to locate the spiritual waves you long to experience. This is extremely common among believers. And it's why we need to seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit everyday through God's Word, obedience, fellowship and prayer.

After all, this spiritual fullness is the birthright of every believer. That's just the way God designed it for His family.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.