Let Me Love You
MAC: Let Me Love You, like Call My Name, is a song from God’s perspective. Remember that prayer is not a one-sided conversation-it’s two-way. So the song has been written with the idea of God speaking to us when we are going through hard times and Him giving us the strength and holding us through those hard times. But it can also be us talking to our children, or a husband speaking to his wife, a loved one speaking to another, all being people who want to encourage, uplift and be the shoulder to lean on and to cry on.
QUESTION: Did you have particular Biblical perspective in mind when you wrote it?
MAC: Like I’ve been saying from stage every night recently when Jesus speaks the words “Come to me all of you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest”— I guess that’s the key spiritual foundation of this song.
DAVID: When we are in the pitfalls of life and everything is crashing down or we just feel overwhelmed by the present circumstances, the idea of God's love can seem almost like a fairy tale. But God longs for us to take the time to let him love us. To let it season and sink in. Contemplative prayer and breathing in the awesome love of the father become essential in such times—really all the time! We soon discover the easy yoke and light burden Jesus spoke of. Life may not get easier right away but we are led a place of rest and peace in the midst of storms.
The Love Yoke
More songs have been written about Love than any other subject. You’ve probably got hundreds and hundreds of ‘love songs’ in your CD collection or on your i-Pod. Love is a fundamental of life, an expression of worth, a covenant between Father God Almighty and his children. Yet for many of us, because of previous hurts and disappointments, even disillusionment, we find it hard not just to love but to be loved. Love is about trust, and when Jesus utters the words that Mac referred to as the key spiritual foundation for this song, Jesus is asking his followers to trust Him completely and to be restful and secure in His love and His care:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV).
Unless you live on an old-fashioned farm, you probably aren’t too familiar with a yoke. It’s a wooden bracket that held two farm animals, normally oxen, together as they were harnessed to a plough. An older more experienced animal would normally be yoked together with a younger animal, with the older beast taking more of the strain.
The term ‘yoked’ was also used to describe the apprenticeship to learn their faith. Jesus often used imagery that his listeners would understand and here he is helping them realize the benefits of intimacy with Him. A yoke would do three things. Firstly, it would keep the two animals close together. If you are truly ‘yoked’ to Jesus then you’ll be so close to Him that you’ll hear Him whispering words of guidance and affection into your ear. Second, a yoke kept the younger animal traveling in the same direction as the older one. If you are ‘yoked’ to Jesus, then he will be your guide and you’ll be walking his steps, you’ll never be alone. Third, a yoke kept the two animals walking at the same pace. If you are ‘yoked’ to Jesus then there will be times when He speeds you up and other times when He slows you down.
The apostle Paul uses the imagery of being unequally yoked to describe being married to someone who does not share your faith in Jesus- the exact Greek word means a ‘mismatch’. If you think about it, the biggest mismatch should be that Jesus the Son of God wants to be yoked in love to you and I. Just think about it- the God who created the heaven and the earth wants to love you! Paul also writes these words:
"God loves you dearly, and he has called you to be his very own people. May grace and peace be yours from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:7, NLT).
HOSEA AND GOMER—A MODEL OF GOD’S LOVE
Those of you who are real old school fans of Third Day will know well the story of Hosea and Gomer. It’s about a man who has an adulterous wife, and God uses their situation to parallel His love for an unfaithful nation.
Read the story of Hosea and Gomer in the book of Hosea, chapters 1-3.
Hosea is told by the Lord to marry an adulterous woman, which he did and they had children. Now hold on, you might be saying, that sounds a scandalous thing for the Lord to ask. Yet that’s an exact replica of God loving each of us- we’ve all been unfaithful to the Lord at some time or other: either before we knew His love, or even when we knew He loved us! Gomer left Hosea and lived life as a prostitute, and chapter 2 of Hosea gives graphic detail of an unfaithful wife taking other lovers, a betrayed husband grieving but seeking his promiscuous wife to offer her love and forgiveness. How did Hosea manage to demonstrate such sacrificial love? And what must have Gomer thought when despite all the unfaithfulness which had humiliated Hosea he said to her ‘I still love you’? The key is in these words:
"The LORD said to me, 'Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes'" (Hosea 3:1, NIV).
God yearned for His bride to be faithful, to repent and to return to Him. When Hosea took Gomer back he modeled God’s continuing love for the Israelite nation even though they lusted after ‘raisin cakes’ that represented their idolatry of other gods.
What are your ‘raisin cakes’? In what ways might you have been unfaithful? You may even feel too ashamed to believe that God could love you anymore. Perhaps you think you don’t deserve God’s love—and you’d be correct. None of us do! But Hosea’s love for Gomer reminds us that we don’t get what we deserve. We deserve punishment and rejection. Instead we are welcomed back by a loving God who showers us with love, grace and mercy.
Old School Third Day—Listen to "Gomer’s Theme" from Conspiracy No. 5 or listen to "I’ve always loved you" from Time.
Written by Pastor Nigel James
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