Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Our house church family recently explored the idea of God’s amazing love for all of us. As we read scripture after scripture about how God’s thoughts about us are more numerous than all the sand on the planet, and how God rejoices over us with singing, and how God would rather die than live without us, a few people began to confess that this truth was almost too much to believe.
Immediately, several others nodded and said they felt the same. So, I took the opportunity to just begin to confess to God that we had trouble fully receiving the awesome reality of His love for us. I asked Him to help us, as a Body of believers, to really see, and to know like never before, that we really are loved with an everlasting, sacrificial, extravagant love.
As I prayed, the verse in Ephesians where Paul prayed something nearly identical for the ekklessia in that city came to my heart:
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:14-19)
Over the next few days, I began to experience the fruit of that prayer in my own life. My early morning prayer times shifted into simple times of reflection on God’s love for me. Sometimes I would just lay on the carpet and say, “Ok, God, please show me how high…how wide…how long…how deep…your love for me really is.”
More and more I’ve begun to grow more aware of His love as I go through my day. My times alone with God have started to become less about doing stuff (i.e. – praying, worshipping, reading the Bible, etc.) and less about my expectations for wisdom or knowledge or revelation. Instead, I’m realizing that this is a relationship with a living, loving being who deeply and desperately loves me with a fierce and unending passion.
Yes, I know, I don’t deserve His love, but He’s drenching me with that love just the same. He loves me because He is love and love is what He does best.
After a few days of meeting with the Lord like this, and simply asking Him to reveal the love that surpasses knowledge to me, I had a small epiphany: I don’t need God to do anything different in my life. I don’t need Him to give me anything extra. He’s already pouring out His boundless love to me – and has been my entire life – so all that I really need is to have eyes to see the astounding love of God that is already all over me and around me.
In other words, you and I are swimming in God’s phenomenal love right now. His unintelligible love is in our lungs, our hair, our food, our field of vision. There’s nothing we can experience that isn’t doused in His limitless love for us. What we need most is to have the power (as Paul suggests) to grasp the scope of this unspeakably awesome love that God is blasting us with twenty four hours a day. Even while we’re sleeping God’s love is singing over us like a still, small lullaby of unearned adoration.
My prayer for you, and for myself as well, is that we could all receive the gift of knowing the love of God more and more in our hearts and lives. The funny thing is how meditating on God’s love will change your attitude. It makes it nearly impossible to be in a bad mood. It makes it very difficult to stay angry at someone. It makes it challenging to look at other people without being confounded by God’s love for them as well.
May we all have the power to grasp this magnificent love of Christ, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment.