After a pretty intense 8-week study, I had a sort of idea of how I was supposed to love God. And there are some people in my church who seem to do it pretty well. One friend, Karin, is one of those people who is LOUD in her love for God. She dances, she "AMEN"s in church, she writes of her passionate love for God on her blog.
Last night I was reading a chapter in Chan's book about people whose love for God outshines anything else in their lives. These are some crazy life stories. I asked God last night: why don't I love you like that, with that passion, that intensity, that fire? Help me love you more completely, God! Bring it on!
I got kind of a weird answer. Seems I'm not my friend Karin, and I'm not those other people either. I'm not wired like them; I'm wired just like me. My love may show in different ways. I'm not sure how that works yet, but I'm working on it.
While I was praying last night, and doing my best to listen to God instead of doing the babblebabblebabble that I'm usually guilty of, I heard Him... I heard Him tell me what I told you above. And then I heard a slightly different "voice," similar but different, that I knew wasn't God the Father. Somehow I realized instantly that this was the voice of Jesus. He told me that living with His love unleashed in my life doesn't tie me down; it unfetters me. It FREES me. I had this mental picture of shackles -- cuffs -- falling off my wrists and ankles. Then I remembered a well-known verse: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" (Phil. 4:13)
The next morning, when I woke up, I read the next chapter of Chan's book. In it he says that "our talk doesn't match our lives. We say things like, 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,' and 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart.'" Um, W O W. Someone trying to get my attention?
There is power in these statements, in these promises, and we leave it lying there. We don't trust in God. We don't know that we can do all things, so we don't go into areas that require any more than our own puny strength.
I have one life. One. One life on this earth, and it's short. I don't want to settle. I don't want to forget the power that I've been freely given, the power that Jesus died and rose again to bestow on me.
God, please don't let me forget again.