Warning: This post will be all over the place. I'll add pictures to make the length more bearable. ;)
Shall I mention how much the enemy hates this grace? Two posts ago I wrote a letter to him -- not something I want to do regularly or flippantly, but something that happened to spew from a pounding heart and racing fingertips.
How he hates me. Or Him, mainly. Jesus, Who I'd rather write to and about. These words sum up my past few weeks:
But still I get hard-pressed on every side
Between the rock and the compromise
Like truth in a pack of lies fighting for my soul
I got no place left to go
Cause I got changed by what I been shown
It's more glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin' on
Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I'm free to love once and for all
And even if I fall I'll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup
Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levees and my bluffs
Let the flood wash me
-Josh Garrels, "Farther Along"
He is irresistible to me. The more I taste, the more I crave, yet I never lack any good thing. Life with Him is abundant and no less. The more I discover of how abundant this life can be, the more I want to share it just to say to His people that there is MORE that we can know of Him here. And whatever "more" there is, I want it. More than anything. It is the only desire I have that can stand alone. Because He is good enough to stand alone. To know Him more...to trust Him more...to rest more...to receive and disperse more of His love.
And I have to say...it has been interesting lately. Years ago I prayed that He would lead me through unchartered waters of trust. Recently, presently that looks like Him showing me His desire to love, showing me it's my desire too since He is in me, and telling me that I am free. In the past, He would be so specific with me. "Move to Mom's from Dad's. Winter 2006." "Mexico. Winter 2007." "North Africa. Summer 2010." "Middle East. Summer 2011." "Go to Meijer. Pick up the Asian lady on the side of the road." "Knock on the door of that house you've never been to."
I was so confused when He first started showing me this free-to-Love thing. I would heed His voice and hear no direction other than, "It is for freedom that I set you free." That didn't seem specific enough based on my history with His voice. However, the ways I wanted to love were very specific. Specific, though, in ways that left me trembling with my heart wide open. But I wouldn't trade that lot for anything. This is what it seemed to come down to:
"The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." Galatians 5:6
"Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently from the heart." 1 Peter 1:22
"...know the love that surpasses knowledge..." Ephesians 3:19
"We have come to know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." 1 John 4:16
The thing in me that is begging to be expressed is Jesus. He is love, and that leads me to believe that if I know what the love in me wants to do, then I know what He wants to do. The love of Christ compels me, and I have His mind.
He makes it so there is a vital role of trust involved. He changed the game for me when I stopped worrying about which steps would be wrong or right or bad or good. Trusting Him is right. Loving Him and His people is good. And I just don't think it has to be any more complicated than that. Freedom...IN Christ. With Christ. Because of Christ. There is freedom no where else.
A few rhyming words:
Carrying His heart in mine
My steps became the dotted line I searched for
Wondering all the while
Of wrong or right while in denial
Of grace that mends the wrong to right
Because anything goes as long as love is in flight
And...and...I would like to mention that He is giving me the ability to have rest in a mystery and bravery without certainty. I didn't know He could do that! I'm not surprised that He can, I'm just amazed that He does. He amazes me ALL the time. Matchlessly.
Jesus, let me abound in the hope that is You. (Romans 15:13)
Let me abound in the hope that does not disappoint. (Romans 5:5)
Give me grace to trust You, the God who does not disappoint. (Psalm 22:5)
You do not disappoint because You love, and it dissolves every fear, so I can live freely in Your love. (Romans 5:5. 1 John 4:18, Ephesians 5:1-2)
Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not even [now] see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy. [At the same time] you receive the result (outcome, consummation) of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 AMP