I am thinking a lot about LOVE today. No, not love. Not you and me kind of love. I’m thinking of even a bigger LOVE. As in God is LOVE. That’s what the Bible says and I say I believe the Bible. Yet somehow I don’t believe that He really loves me like He says He does. Why is that?
Romans 8:37-39 tells us, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1 John 2 tells us to not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. It talks of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life and how it comes from the world and not of the Father. I lust and I’m proud and I hate it. I hate that I’m pretty comfortable sitting on my high horse and looking at the choices other people make and think it’s good that I didn’t do that. Guess what? Maybe I did, but nobody knows because it’s hidden in the recesses of my heart.
I love the things of this world. I love this world. I love my iphone and my house and my computers and my books. I love my tv shows and late nights. I love so many things of this world that I’m not supposed to part of. I love the idea of meeting the man of my dreams. I dislike the fact that I’m still officially married and that thoughts of my dream man really show my adulterous heart. Even if I were divorced I’m pretty sure that I shouldn’t be thinking on those things anyway.
I keep saying I want to be free, but I realize that I am free because HE has made me free, but that’s not what I mean. (Um, is it okay to have 2 buts in the same sentence?)
I am also thinking about death today. Not in a morbid sort of way, but in the way that the Bible tells us to crucify our flesh. Frankly, I don’t wanna. I want to stomp my foot, fold my arms across my chest, and say no. Jesus won’t fight me. He won’t force me to walk with Him. He is fierce yet gentle. Though personally, I only understand the fierce part. I don’t understand gentility or grace or that love that waits patiently for me. Galatians 5:24 says, “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions [amplified version adds the word appetites here] and desires.” So, am I not Christ’s, then? I don’t feel like I’ve crucified those things. Ephesians tells us that if we have heard Him that we put off our former conduct, our old man which grows corrupt and that we put on the new man which was created according to God in righteousness and true holiness.
I crucify, I put take off and put on, I die.
Yet Ephesians 2: 8-10 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
The Bible also tells us to continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, for it is god who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. The amplified version uses words like cultivate, carry out to the goal with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ.
Ouch. That last one gets me. Jesus, I am sorry. I am truly truly sorry for how I discredit your name.
I was talking with my good friend today about how Jesus prayed in the garden asking the Father to let this cup pass from him. I want things to be easy. So did Jesus, but he also wanted to do the Father’s will. So do I. I have spent a lot of time feeling guilty about feeling anything but joy, yet I am told that Jesus’ soul was sorrowful even to the point of death. He asked his closest friends to stay to watch and pray with him. They fell asleep. (I fall asleep while praying, too. Ugh.) He asks, “Couldn’t you keep watch with me even one hour?” I wonder if he was hurt. Did he think something like, “Father, my homeboys won’t even stick to me. I am truly alone.” I feel that way sometimes. Jesus prayed three times for the cup to be taken from him. It was not.
I feel like I’m kind of there. Of course, I don’t have the sins of the world weighing on me and really, I don’t even have my own sins weighing on me. That’s been taken care of. Then why do I feel this way?
Time for Truth to live in me. Time for death of me so that He can live in me. I wonder what people think when they read this. I wonder if they think I’m crazy. I wonder if I am indeed a little nuts.
All I know is that I want what He wants. Even if it means giving up everything I know and everybody except my kids. Even if it means I move into the realm of unfamiliar leaving behind what I know. It seems to me that what I think I know is built on illusions anyway. So, let us get on with it, eh?