I was carrying out much-needed clearance in our basement the other day and had reached the far end where stuff was piled high. Perched on the top was an old briefcase, that had been there so long is was gathering mould. I looked inside, thinking it could come in useful for carrying some of my art materials. It was empty except for a sheet of paper. I turned it over to find a page of Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest” that had been typed out.
It was for February 4th “The overmastering majesty of personal power” and was speaking about Paul who said he was overruled, overmastered, held as in a vice, by the love of Christ. Ossie Chambers goes on to comment that very few of us know, what it means to be held in a grip by the love of God. Not our love for Christ, but Christ’s love for us!
All thought of clearance vanished as I read it over and over. It was as if this was a ‘God moment!’ I felt gripped and challenged. Something was stirring within. I asked myself the question: Is the love of God really the number one motivation in my life, controlling all I do, I wondered? I’m not like Paul, I’m ‘me,’ but I want that absolute dedication and identification that he had. I felt a longing within and wanted to get alone with God.
I often think that there at least three ways in which we can know God loves us:
First of all, we know Jesus loves us because it says so in the Bible. Like the old children’s song, “Jesus loves me! this I know, For the Bible tells me so.” When this truth sinks in it changes our lives and we are turned upside down. Nothing short of a miracle!
Next, we know that God loves us because he answers our prayers. It can be staggering to think that God cares about every little detail of our lives that He actually answers our requests.
Finally, we know God loves us because he has loved us. That in our experience we have known and know Father loving us. It’s this abandonment to the love of God that makes all the difference. This is where the power lies.
When we are first impacted with the love of God, it’s as if our heart is pierced. But it’s only the start of a full-blown love affair and along with it goes a longing for more. But in my experience I know only too well that the love affair needs heart-to-heart cultivating and given top priority or it is in danger of fading like the briefcase and may even stagnate. However, God know us to well and loves us too much to leave us that way. So he will always use whatever means are appropriate to get our attention, to draw us closer, to go further and deeper with Him. He then waits for our response.
I am now cleaning and polishing the briefcase and filling it with materials so that it will be ready to be used with creative vigour at the Artist’s pleasure.
There is much more in the “My Utmost for His Highest” devotional for Feb 4th which you can read here:
“For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us,” 2Corintians 5:14 Amplified Bible
“Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes.” 2Corinthians 5:14 The Message Bible