The song "Hallelujah My Soul Sings" is a song of encounter, a song about being with God in His presence. There is something about this theme that resonates deep within us. It's because we were all created to be with God. The echoes of Eden still reside inside of every human heart. Augustine said it this way, "our hearts are restless until they find rest in God."
There's a restlessness that resides in us because we long to be with God in the way we were meant to be. We were made for nearness, for intimacy, and for relationship.
The good news for us is that we are not the only ones desiring a relationship. The most beautiful news is that the One whom our hearts long for, God himself, is pursuing us. In fact, without His pursuit, we would never even be able to find our way back to Him. God's pursuit of us is what much of the Biblical story is about. The God who created us is the God who we sinned against, and we are the ones who broke the relationship and hurt our Father's heart (Rom. 3:23). Yet, in His divine grace and radical mercy, we see Him continually drawing closer to us and making provision for us to come back into a relationship with Him. Undoubtedly the most extraordinary grace and provision ever was Jesus himself, the Son of God sent to save us from our sins.
Through Jesus' sacrifice, our sins can be forgiven, our wrongs can be washed away, and our salvation can be secured. But we must not stop there; Jesus didn't just come just to provide some transactional exchange so that we can get to heaven. Jesus came to bring us back into the relationship we were always intended to have. In him, we can find our hearts' deepest desire. To put it simply, in Jesus, we get God again!
It is vital to grasp this truth because if we are not careful, we can relate to God in less of a relational way and more of a transactional way. We can come to God only concerned with what we want. Our prayer life can devolve into a list of requests that we think might make us happy. We can read the Bible and attend church out of duty rather than love. We can forget just how priceless our relationship with Him is.
Living in this way, we turn toward anyone and anything but God to fulfill the restlessness in our hearts. Material possessions, personal status, and achievement become our aim for satisfaction. We all know that none of these things can fill the void of God himself. But we certainly try.
There must always be a ministry of first importance in the life of Jesus' followers. The most important calling for you and me is cultivating and remaining in a relationship with Jesus. Jesus himself called this "abiding" in him (John 15). To abide means to "continually remain" in relationship. It's an ongoing and active relationship, not a segmented inactive one. This abiding is what you and I are invited into, continual, constant fellowship with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is genuinely the most incredible invitation of our lives. May we all grow in what it means to sit at Jesus' feet, to listen to His voice, and to value just being with Him. As we abide in Him, may we find ourselves increasingly amazed as we see with new dimension just how holy and excellent He is. May our "souls sing" in God's presence all of the days of our lives.