This excerpt is from John's February 2020 book Get Your Life Back. When you pre-order the book, you'll receive several free gifts - including the first few chapters and a one-hour video teaching from John about everyday practices for your soul in a world gone mad. After you pre-order, go to JohnEldredge.com and fill out the form to receive these gifts.
More of God comes to us as we love God. The more that we love God, the more we are able to experience him. Part of this has to do with the nature of God, and part of it has to do with our own human nature.
You understand from your own relationships, your story of love, that you don’t give your heart away to just anyone. You don’t give access to the deeper places in your soul to just any idle acquaintance—certainly not to someone who is at the same time keeping themselves distant from you. We know from our own experiences that when someone loves us, we are much more ready to make ourselves available to them. What we keep forgetting is that God feels the same way.
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. (2 Chronicles 16:9 NIV)
The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me.” (Psalm 91:14 NLT)
The Father himself loves you because you have loved me. (John 16:27 NIV)
I’m really surprised that the human race expects God to pour himself and his blessings into their lives when he is not even the slightest priority, let alone a close and dear friend. Would you give the best of your life to people who couldn’t care less whether or not you exist? God’s outpouring of himself is conditional. I know, I know—we’ve been told all about the unconditional love of God. Absolutely—his grace is unconditional; his forgiveness is available to all. However, intimacy with him, the treasures of his presence, the outpouring of his vibrant being into our thirsty souls—that’s for those who love him. Even in the best friendship, the act of giving and receiving love ebbs and flows with the willingness of the two involved to make it a priority, to invest themselves. God’s heart is very much like yours in this way, for your heart is made in his image.