Loving Wholly!

Wholly means completely and to the exclusion of all else, and God’s message for me this morning was that He wants me to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, spirit, and strength. In other words, He wants me to love Him wholly! I have the tendency to hold back when it comes to love. I’ve let the deep hurts of my past cause me not to trust love, even God’s. That sounds silly when I say it out loud, but God knows it is true and wants more for me.

God reminded me this morning that the Holy Spirit will help me love wholly if I will just let Him.I love the Holy Spirit and am amazed by the holy mystery that allows Him to bring comfort and love in ways I cannot understand. He is teaching me to be a loving presence and redefining love for me, and I have made progress. God showed me this morning that I have much more to learn when it comes to love.

Whole is better than half. We all know what happens with half:) I’m guilty of being half and part and some when it comes to love. Growing in regard to love means getting whole so I can love as God desires and have the relationships He has in mind for me. I’ve settled for less than whole with love because I’ve not been willing or able to love wholly myself. I’ve loved those who cannot love me because it was safe. I thought it would hurt much less to love that way, but I was wrong. God has given me the choice of moving on or wallowing in my pain. It’s up to me as it always is.

God is whole and gives all when it comes to love. Commitment isn’t about enabling or fixing, and it is not to be part time. I’ve been deeply hurt when it comes to connecting, and I’ve allowed that hurt to lead my heart. A whole spirit, soul, and heart is required for the love God desires. Some is not acceptable when it comes to love.

I can’t pick and choose with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. They are whole and holy and want the same for me. Holy means spiritually pure, and the goal of this journey is to head in that direction. God gives a choice at each fork and intersection, and I have to decide which way to go. That decision is based on desire and readiness. The past two months have been a time of wrestling with God that has left me worn, weary, worried, and ready to let God lead my heart.

When God teaches me, it’s always about getting to the core of my heart. It involves getting to the place of spiritual exhaustion that causes a sigh of release and repentance. I have to turn in a new direction, and that involves change. I like to think of myself as progressive and forward thinking. That’s true unless it involves change:)

I finally cry Father! That’s more appropriate than uncle when wrestling with God. When I’ve had enough wrangling, He shows me what I need to see before I can move forward. It’s never easy to see, and that’s why I wrestle. I have kept love at arm’s length all my life, and God showed me that isn’t what He wants. He used Thanksgiving in powerful ways to help me see the importance of wholly loving and living.

Each time I come to a difficult leg of the journey, God provides sweet assistance in the form of family and friends who love me, and He always gives me a beautiful reward when I finally get it. I’m having lunch with one of my dearest friends today. I haven’t seen her in seven years, and I know the lunch isn’t a coincidence. Ali hears my heart across the distance, and we are sweet kindred spirits. She knows and loves me in a way I can’t describe. Actually, I can; she loves me wholly:) She has been an important part of my journey, and God placed her in my path at a two crucial intersections. It’s perfect that she would be here as I’m encounter another. God knows just what I need just when I need it, and I love that about Him!

Going With His Flow:)

Flow has a number of meanings and many applications.  All relate to a source and continuous movement which beautifully describes love as it’s meant to be. Love flows from God’s heart and causes love to spring forth in mine. God is the source of all love, and Christ’s manifestation of God’s love is the single greatest expression of love ever known.

Like the living water in John 4:14, love not only flows into the heart, but it also creates a spring from which love will flow continuously and spill over into the world around me if I receive His love. 1 John 4:7-9 says it well.

 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” NASB

Loving God and not loving others is no more possible than jumping into a lake and not getting wet. It can’t be done, and that is the sobering message in 1 John 4. It is a simple statement that makes me check my own heart. If God’s love is in me, it will spill forth beautifully into all I say and do. If obligation, guilt, or need motivate me, my heart will be dry and weary. Love is the most powerful force in all the earth, and water is a great comparison when it comes to strength as we have seen in Hurricane Sandy.

Dryness cause death, but stagnant lust rots the heart. Sourness, bitterness, hatred, and jealousy bring out judgment as misery looks for company in kindred spirits or somewhere to point and direct attention away from it. The sad state of the world today is due, in large part, to the fact that many do not know the Source of love, hope, and peace; but nothing creates a more miserable state than Christians who do know God but refuse to go with the flow of His love or attempt to contain and define it in ways that cause stagnation.

The beauty of God’s love is that there is more than enough for all to have an overflow. In fact, the only way God’s love will flow is when complete access is given so it can do just that. God will not force me to let His love flow through me, and I do not have to accept the fact that Christ’s precious blood starts the flow. When I do accept Christ’s love and let God’s Spirit open those flood gates, it is more powerful than the flood Noah encountered. The big difference is in what it does to me and my heart.

Earthly floods flow in a way that destroy everything in their paths. God’s love makes that flow look like a trickle. His love also destroys everything in its path, and that’s a beautifully cleansing feeling. The only thing in God’s way is my stubbornness and need to be in charge. High waters show me how little power I have; God’s love does same. Being swept away by His love is dizzying, but it forces me let go of all to which I cling.

The flow of God’s love in my heart over the past two weeks has not been like the juggernaut created by hurricane Sandy. That was unstoppable and destructive. God’s love is stoppable, and that’s the most frightening thing about it. He lets me get out anytime I want and gives me free reign with my heart until I’m willing to hand those reigns over to Him. That’s what I did, and the result has been purging in more ways than one:) God uses all circumstances to teach the messages He has in mind for me. He used a nasty virus and a hurricane to help me truly see Hebrews 9, Mark 12, 1 John 4, and John 4:14.

God’s love brings life to my love and healing to my heart. I can’t take a little here and give a little there. Only total immersion, which not only soaks but also creates a spring in my own heart, will do. Love will not be contained or cut off; by its very nature, it must flow and flow freely from a pure Source. God’s love is the Source of the spring He has in mind for my heart. Christ came down and tapped that spring when He took my place on the cross.  Knowing His love is the Source of all love allows me to go with His flow:)