I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Eph 3:16-19, NLT)
I said to a friend yesterday that “I think it’s finally sinking in, that the gospel is truly free. (At least free to me, the cost to God was great.) The problem is now I don’t know what to DO.” She said to me, very slowly, “N O T H I N G!!! Just rest in the knowledge that Christ did it all for you.”
I laughed. I know this truth, I have known it and yet it’s so hard for me to truly believe I am loved and there is nothing I have to do. I can not gain anymore love or lose His love. All the love God has he gives to me.
What I am speaking of is unconditional love. A love that is freely given because the person chooses to give it, not because I’ve done anything to deserve it. It’s a hard concept for me to live out. Even in the moments I think I get it somewhere in the back of my mind I think “so what does this person want from me?” Or “is this the ‘last straw’ and they are going to leave me?”
In the first 19 years of my life I knew very little of unconditional love. Looking back I know there was love, but at times it mostly felt like I needed to DO something in order to be loved. This feeling isn’t uncommon, especially in young girls who have been abused. Often abusers will say to you “if you love me you’ll….” and if they are people in your life that should love unconditionally then in the mind of a child it gets confusing.
Unfortunately this is one of those areas that even when healing has come and forgiveness given it can be a deep fear. A fear that says, “if you do not perform you will lose my love.” This fear is carried into my relationship with God. I know truth, I read it in His word to me. God can not lie. He says He loves me. He sent His Son to die because of His great love. I know this and yet too often I feel I must do something to gain His love and His approval.
Unconditional love. What is it? What does is look like? God, this amazing God who loves me gave me an amazing husband and children who love unconditionally. It’s taken a long time to get to the point that I can just accept it. To rest in the knowledge that I am truly, and deeply loved by them and always will be no matter what my attitude might be on any given day. :)But it’s not just family. God has also given me some dear sisters in the Lord who choose to love me deeply – no matter what.
What I have seen through the years is that when you KNOW you are deeply loved you willingly serve them. You want to DO for them. You want to make them happy.
This is where I need to be with God. Doing/serving out of the knowledge that I am loved, not doing in order to be loved.
I do believe it, at least in my head and I will choose to walk in it whether I FEEL it or not, knowing that in obedience the feelings will come.
WAIT! is that me trying to DO something?
Oh Father help this beloved daughter of Yours get it and live it out in her daily life! Help me to just rest in the knowledge of Your great love. Forgive me for my lack of faith and trust in Your love. Forgive me for the fear that still rises up in me that says I might lose Your love. With a love that never fail Father continue to draw me to Yourself. Amen
Long ago the LORD said to Israel: "I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. (Jeremiah 31:3 NLT)