“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 4:18
Love. This is the word the Lord has pressed upon my spirit for the New Year. Love- a simple four letter word with more meaning than all the words in the dictionary can define. Love is something we all desire and yearn for. For me personally I know this word has been pressed upon my spirit in regards to how Christ loves us. To make it more personal, how Christ Loves ME. I have spent the majority of this last year in anxiousness. Striving to fix my brokenness or cover my brokenness up with momentary pleasures of life. What am I looking for I ask myself? The answer is Love. I can feel my Savior whispering to me ever so sweetly—“I am Love. I am the Love you are looking for. I’ve been here with you the whole time. Don’t you see me? Don’t you feel me caressing your broken heart? I’ve never ever left you. Please come fall into my arms.” That is Love. When I think of the places I’ve allowed my mind to go these last 12 months, from deep sadness, to exploding anger, to disgusting selfishness, to icky worldliness, but yet, here is my Jesus pursuing me, calling to me in the middle of my darkness. This Love trumps any romantic shallow term of love. This Love I’m referring to is an out of this world, undefined, knocks you off your feet and challenges you to run to the cross kind of Love. It brings you to your knees in repentance and leaves your dirty ashes shining like beautiful sunflowers. The kind of Love that turns unimaginable earthly pain into a purpose for His glory. There is nothing that compares to it. So why do I forsake it daily?
I’m stuck. I am stuck in my immature mind of expectations of life not being met. I am so focused on what I am starving for when in reality I have no reason to be hungry at all. I have the answer to everything living in my heart already. I have the wisdom of the Creator of the universe residing inside of me. Why do we as Christians live weak and depressed lives when we know this truth? Why are so many of us allowing the enemy to trample our thoughts and steal our peace and joy? Where is our David kind of boldness ready to sprint on the battle field and conquer fear? Where is our warrior spirit that rises up and steps into the Love that Christ is?
Can I be transparent? I am tired of being sick and tired. I am tired of allowing fear to win. I am tired of waking up every day and remembering how life used to be or allowing a desire to enter my heart of what I think I need, want or deserve and my life reflects zero of those expectations so I mentally and emotionally throw a fit and raise a fist at God. How selfish. This life is not about us. How have I become so self-centered in my journey? Maybe you feel this way too. I feel so off track spiritually.
I feel like the Apostle Paul when he writes “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Romans 7:15. So contradictory, yet so true. Don’t we all do this? It is time to wage war on the things of this world that tarnish the gospel. It is time to wage war on what we allow our minds to dwell on. It is time to wage war on what we allow our ears to hear or eyes to see. It is time to wage war on all that keeps us from running into the Love that is Jesus. We are the only thing that separates ourselves from experiencing the fullness of Christ. He does not withhold himself from us. Can you imagine that kind of earthly love? Where someone never withholds themselves, their feelings, their affections or emotions? A kind of love you can trust without a shadow of a doubt? A kind of love where you never question where you stand or wonder if you’re even loved at all? A kind of love that you know would always sacrifice? A kind of love that you trust would never leave you or forsake you? I don’t think that spotless and flawless love exists in human form. But we can experience it through our relationship with Christ when we surrender our fears and brokenness. Our spiritual walks become blurred when our minds are focused on this world.
Romans 8:5-8 tells us “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law, indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
To operate in a spiritual Love is getting yourself off of your mind. It is living to glorify the Lord in all you think, act and speak. Love is waging war on all the filth that enters our minds and homes. Love is walking in God’s Will for our lives. Love is living in obedience to His Word. Living a life of this kind of Love is passionate and thrilling. It should never be boring because living a life with Christ is far from boring and the most epic, passionate, life-altering Love story our human minds can possibly imagine. It is being an intricate part of something that is galaxy sizes bigger than our selves. It is partnering with the creator of the Heavens and the earth and allowing Him to work through us to save souls to live out eternity in Heaven. That is our purpose. That is what our goal should be. Not to have a nice home, comfy job, perfect family, or great wealth and fame. Those things all fade and are gone in the blink of an eye. This epic Jesus Love compels us to run out of our comfort zones in the name of Christ. It creates an urgency in our souls to become more eternally minded and live with spiritual reckless abandon because we know that we have the power to show someone the hope of heaven rather than watch them live a life that heads to hell.
Love as Christ Loves. Do not treat people how they treat you, treat them how Christ Loves you. As Christ followers we have the power to change the world and show others a life-changing Love.
“Love is patient, is kind, does not envy, or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things hope’s all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
I challenge you to join me in pursuance of this kind of Love for 2019.
I Trust my God, I Trust my God, I Trust my God.