How Often Do You Hear God Say, “I Love You”?
By Steve Backlund
What do you think God is most interested in telling you?
- About His love for you?
- What you are doing wrong?
- What you need to do?
Your answer to this question will be a key factor in how much fulfillment and influence you have.
Recently, I was deeply impacted by something my wife, Wendy, said. “A parent does not tell their child at age two, ‘I love you. Please remember this because I won’t be saying this again.’” She went on to say that good parents tell their children every day, “I love you.” As I heard this, I realized if I do not hear God tell me this every day, then I am probably not hearing God’s voice as well as I think I do.
Our Heavenly Father is a good parent to us. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11). One of the best gifts we can receive from our Heavenly Father is hearing and feeling the words, “I love you.” If we are not experiencing this, then we are invited to ask Him to open our spiritual ears so we can hear it.
Psychology tells us that love from parents is the single-most important factor in raising well-adjusted kids. When children believe they are unconditionally loved, they will develop a secure attachment to their parents (which dramatically increases the likelihood of healthy relationships and healthy emotions when they become an adult). One of the simplest and most effective ways to keep this attachment strong is when parents verbally express love for their children.
God is continually verbally expressing love to us, but many cannot hear it because of faulty belief systems that hinder their hearing. Truly, our perception of God determines our reception from Him. If we perceive God is more interested in telling us what to do than in deepening His connection with us, we won’t hear the deeper things He is really saying.
As I ponder this, I am reminded of a past blog I wrote called “Five Ways to Change the Channel in Your Self-Talk.” Just as we can listen to radio stations in the natural world, there are also spiritual channels we can tune into in our thinking and self-talk. The devil has some popular channels like:
- “You Are a Failure” Channel
- “It’s Too Late” Channel
- “There Are No Solutions” Channel
- “Your Prayers Are Not Working” Channel
We are listening to the wrong channel if what we hear does not give us hope. Listening to and believing truth will fill us with hope. “Now may the God of hope fill you . . . in believing” (Romans 15:13). Even when God corrects us there will be hope.
What are some of God’s most important channels we can choose to tune into?
- “I Love You” Channel
- “My Promises Are True” Channel
- “I Am Meeting All Your Needs” Channel
- “You Are My Beloved Son/Daughter In Whom I Am Well Pleased” Channel
Let me say it again: If we say we are hearing God, but are not regularly hearing these words, we are not hearing God as well as we think we are.
Are these the only things God is saying? Obviously not; but if we are not hearing these regularly, then we will not have the security and safety in our relationship with Him to interpret what else He is saying in a healthy way.
“I am the disciple whom Jesus loved.” This is how the Apostle John described himself (see John 19:26; 21:20). He heard these words so much that he created an identity from it. It apparently became the central focus of his self-talk. He was secure in the love of God, and it became the foundation to hearing well what else his Heavenly Father was saying.
“Jesus loves me. This I know. For the Bible tells me so.” It does not get much better than that.