A Fresh Encounter with the Love of God

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Do you ever feel like love is underrated? John Eldredge urges us to keep loving.

Dear Friends,

This letter began with a stone.

Well, actually, it began with a question. The answer to which was a stone.

I wandered into my bedroom looking for a tip to the arrow I was carrying. (Don’t you do that’s sometimes – wander around playing with some object in your hands as you think about or pray about something entirely else? Please tell me you do.) As I was reaching into a little bowl of stuff I keep on my dresser, I asked again, “What do your people need this month, Lord?” I put my hand in hoping to retrieve the missing arrowhead but instead pulled out a little stone I had completely forgotten I’d put there.

On the stone a word is engraved: Love.

We need love.

Now, I’m gonna be honest with you. That’s not like a super amazing insight or a new prophetic word or some revelation from the deeper secrets of the scriptures. In fact, it seems a little anti-climactic, doesn’t it? Yes, yes, of course love is important, but it’s just so…I dunno…over-used? Commonplace? Churchy? Maybe this is just a guy thing; maybe you ladies are already resonating, “Yes! Love! That’s exactly what we need!” Except, I know a number of very fine ladies and the questions they are asking and the answers they are seeking from God right now seem a lot more urgent or weighty – one needs healing, another needs major direction and a third needs work. Doesn’t love sound a little obvious and kind of like a concession prize? A comfort and balm when the rest of your life doesn’t work out?

Over the past several months – months which for me have had their fill of middle-of-the-night-spiritual trials – I have often asked God, “What do I pray, Lord? What do I need?” And his answer has been, My love. That my Love would fill your heart, fill you and surround you. And my response has been along the lines of Really? It seems like guidance would go a long ways right now, or breakthrough, or angelic help or how about power and glory?

God seems to feel that love is far more urgent, or necessary.

I found myself drawn to this passage from Ephesians,

I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole 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 saints, 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 (3:14-19).

The last sentence grabbed me: “That you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Yes, that’s what I want! I want to be filled with all the fullness of God! The path to this is what surprised me – knowing deeply, knowing truly, in the depth of my being, the love of God. Really? This leads to that?

I don’t think I’m rooted and grounded in love; at least, not as I need to be. Bad news still throws me; I’m cautious about dreaming; I’m driven; I seem to care just a bit too much about what others think of me; my relationships feel guarded; I still feel guilty about things that are decades old; and my prayers don’t seem rock solid. I think if I was rooted and grounded in love I’d approach life much differently.

I think you would, too. We need love.

Flash to a conversation I had with Morgan a few weeks back. We were talking about what was current in our lives, battles we were facing, what we found ourselves praying and he said, “I am asking God for a revelation of the Father’s love. I’m done with information. I want a personal revelation of the Father’s love for me. I’m asking for this every day.” It sounded to me exactly like what Paul was so earnestly praying for us in Ephesians.

I wonder just how marvelous this would be – if we each had a personal revelation of the love of God for us, frequently.

So let’s ask for it! Let’s each of us ask God daily, or as often as we can remember, for a personal revelation of his love for us. AND for the grace to accept it when he gives it.

I’m hopeful,

John

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