I read first John this morning. it was all about Love. God’s love for us, Our love for him, how love shapes who we are, and the fact that our love can become so great that the world would hate us. I read about love being more than a thought or a word. True love is in our actions (1 John 3:18).
1 John 3:13 “Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.”
we concern ourselves so much with the possibility than we might offend people if we are bold with our love for God. We worry about social norms and propriety and our own reputations. Have you ever been in a room with a couple who were so intently focused on each other that they’d forgotten you were there? Think about the awkwardness of looking in on that intensity and love. We’re taught to accommodate people and make an effort to see to their comfort. In so many situations this would be a good, even loving act. that is not true when it comes to our relationship with God. I want that kind of love. To be so intent on my relationship with him that it makes the people looking on squirm in uncomfortably :) I want to be so wrapped up in him during my times of worship that I forget all of Wesley is in the room. They should simply fall away when he is in my sight. last night I wanted to dance so badly and I all I could manage to slip past my pride was a subtle swaying back and forth. And I let myself be satisfied with that for fear that I would draw unwanted attention. I’ve had this feeling week after week and I always end up subtly swaying back and forth, contemplating how great my embarrassment would be if I were to suddenly start spinning around.
1 John 4:18 “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.”
OUCH! I don’t know about you but I carry around plenty of fear. Not the adrenaline-charged, fearing for my life kind of fear but the quiet little bundle of fear that gets steadily louder every time I try to step out of my comfort zone. The fear that keeps me swaying during worship and carefully choosing my words when a person asks me about my God even though it would probably have a much greater affect if I just proclaimed how much he’s done for me. it’s a fear that affects how I dress, speak, act and even how I pursue God. I’m always afraid i’m going to commit that one great faux pas that lands me outside the door on my butt. it would be so freeing to have that perfect love. I want that perfect love.
1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of him.”
I’m trying to believe this and to live like I have confidence in it. it sounds so simple here. If you obey him and are willing to ask him than you can have the desires and needs of your heart. You will have the power to heal, intercede, love and serve with complete assurance that the Lord is with you and will not abandon you. it says it right there, black and white, in the bible we all call the truth and still we struggle. My attempts at this confident prayer have ranged from “Lord please let me pass this test” to “Lord, Please raise him from the dead”. The problem with this complete confidence is not trying to dissect the Lord’s intentions when he’s willing to help me pass a test i didn’t study for but chose not to raise the man I prayed for. It comes back to that ” The Lord works in mysterious ways” disclaimer that people always throw out there. We just have to keep asking. Praying not with “if it is your will” but “I love you and this was your promise to me”. Then we have to remove the blinders and realize the simple fact that every prayer is answered but not every prayer is answered in the way we thought was best. We have no idea what is best and even that should be freeing.