There are times in a believer’s life when he or she has what I call a divine revelation, a moment that challenges them and radically changes the way they view life. Recently, I had one of those moments, and I’m still reeling from the daily lessons God is teaching me. My worldview has changed, and I’ve realized I’ve been going about life all wrong. And it all started with one prayer.
For the past two years, God has continuously brought me back to a passage in Scripture found in Ephesians 3:14-21. I have felt compelled to read these verses daily. For those who aren’t familiar with it, it says:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
God graciously answered that prayer, but over time, He had me start looking at the rest of Ephesians 3:14-21. No matter how hard I tried, He wouldn’t let me skip past the part in verse 17 where it says we should be “rooted and grounded in love.” Before I started studying the original language in which the passage was written, I thought it meant I need to know and understand God’s love for myself and be saturated in it. However, that’s not what it’s talking about at all. To be honest, it surprised me. You see, the more I listened to sermons and read books about God’s love, I realized that Christians are missing the mark in a big way when it comes to God’s love. There is so much out there about how big and wonderful God’s love for each of us is, and it is, but rarely do we hear about how we are supposed to love God. Somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten that a genuine love relationship is supposed to be reciprocal, meaning not only does a person love us, but we love him/her in return. Yes, we are supposed to love people even when they’re unlovable, but if one person is constantly pouring love into the relationship and the other person just takes, there is a problem.
So, I started each day asking God to help me love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. What I’ve realized since then is I haven’t had a clue how to love God the way I should. For me, one of the biggest areas He challenged me in is my love for reading. Books have always been a way of escape for me. I’m able to get enthralled in a good story and forget my pain and sickness for a brief time. Although reading isn’t a bad thing, when I let it become more important than my relationship with God, it’s a problem.
I think if we’re honest, the majority of us have things we love more than God. For some, it’s their grandchildren. For others, it’s a job. Some people might love social media more than God. And though our first inclination is to say, “I love God,” would He agree?
God will never stop loving us. One of the Old Testament words for God’s love literally means “to be attached to.” God cannot and will not let us go. His love is unchanging. God holds onto us even when we let go of Him. Don’t you think He deserves the same?
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing… But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-3,13