Thursday, September 12, 2013

Loves Power

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:16-18

 Gods love surprised me. Again. I mean, I know He loves but I really don’t always live as though I know it. Sometimes extended periods of trials make me so weary that I begin to get used to life being hard all the time and accept it without question. I get surprised by His goodness when it is revealed afresh.
Recently I was reading “Les Miserable”, a great classic that deals a lot with human suffering and good and evil.  I had come to a part where two individuals surrounded with great dangers and obstacles, decide to meet secretly every night to declare their love for one another. They are so absolutely consumed with love that nothing else exists or matters. One line reads that; “Marius and Cosette never asked themselves whither this (their love) was to lead them (to a certain destination). They considered that they had already arrived.”

Maybe it’s just where I am in my reading of 1John about Gods love and the greatest commandment to love, but God totally spoke to me through that quote. “They considered that they had already arrived”, that great love they experienced was their destination! So strong that the trials to be expected were non existent  and ignored! The author goes on to write “It’s a strange claim on mans part to wish that love should lead to something”.
The bible says; “ See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.” 1John3:1, 2:25. Those two passages alone is enough to jump up and down in joy exclaiming “I have arrived at my destination! I’m His and nothing else matters.”

But I don’t, do I. So often  I strive and labor to fight obstacles and trials, forgetting to allow His love to sustain me. Instead of abiding in it, remembering  that all Gods promises have their yes in Christ Jesus, I strive and wrestle, as though I didn’t have a loving provider.  Why is it so hard to live out of that experience? To allow the weightier truths of the Word to energize me and sustain me through trials?
I believe the answer is that we are simply not perfected in His love yet. The Bible says that perfect love drives out fear. The reason I work and strive and try to overcome trials is because I fear being destroyed by them instead of trusting the character of God. The reason I don’t trust is because I don’t know His love fully. We trust and love Him to the extent that we know Him and we don’t always choose to love the Lord our God with all our soul, might and strength. Sometimes we choose our own mission in life and the striving and labor of our flesh again takes over. Our relationship with God can become dry and reduced down to a Sunday church routine and an occasional scripture that speaks to us once during a week.  We forget being in love and the flesh takes over again drying us up, forcing us to work.

The following story illustrates this difference of love.
“As a sixteen-year-old, washing the family car was one of my Saturday chores. The law was laid down, and I followed it: I squirted some water on our green Buick Skylark, flung a towel over it a couple times, and went on my way. But that all changed when I thought I fell in love with a girl named Stephanie. You see, because Dad gave me permission one weekend to use the Skylark to take Stephanie out to dinner, I washed it, dried it, waxed it, buffed it, shined the chrome, polished the hubcaps, vacuumed the interior, and washed the windows. I transformed the Skylark into a thing of beauty. Why? Because of love—for while the law made me wash the car, love made me do the rest.” (Loosed from Legalism by John Courson)

Take inventory right now. How many things in your life right now is a “have to”? How can Gods promise in that area energize you to do it in His strength?  I have to watch my kids all week, but love makes me enjoy  them. I have to serve my husband, love makes me go above and beyond for him without expecting anything in return. You fill in your own “have to’s”. Love is the difference and the miracle that takes place when you really grasp what Jesus Christ did for you and how much He cares about you, it’s no longer, “I have to have devotions,”—but, “I get to talk with You today, Lord.” And we end up doing much more  with greater joy because  “He renews my strength.” Ps 23:3


1 comment:

  1. LOVE THIS!!!! Just what I needed to hear today! Thank you, Maggie, for allowing God to speak through you. :)