I woke up at 5am with the thought sitting in my spirit: "God, I want to be wholly possessed by Your love."
Something bothers me. When it comes to love, I stink! I used to think I was pretty good at it, but the older I get, the more I realize that giving the kind of love that is altogether selfless is not how I'm naturally cut out. Sure, I can write love notes to my family...I can spend time making them their favorite treats...I can make sure my husband's clothes are ironed and his lunch for work is packed...I can spend hours cuddled on the couch reading with my children...I can even give up that last brownie when everything in me screams to eat it before anyone notices it! But when it really comes down to the nitty gritty of TRUE love...the kind that doesn't take offense when someone hurts my feelings or the kind that takes no thought to my own sacrifices...well that's when I know that I simply STINK when it comes to love. It's not that I don't try. I really really DO try! But sometime in between dawn and dusk (and usually closer to dawn!), I fail at loving with this whole-hearted love.
So, this morning my spirit must have been tossing this around even in my sleep. When I woke at 5am, I lay in bed and prayed adamantly that God PLEASE possess me because I cannot love on my own initiative. I wanted to be so overtaken by His Love that I was simply saturated so densely that all I would need to do is just let it ooze out...hey, even just a drip, drip, drip would be improvement on my dried-up can't-quite-muster-enough-in-me-to-wholly-love-you love. I lay there for an hour and a half trying to do something, say something, pray something that would result in an incredible overshadowing of me...where He would possess me so fully that I'd get out of bed a new woman. But alas, it was getting late, and I needed to get my day started...so I got out of bed the same person I was yesterday. But really, the thought of failing again at the greatest thing (love) was too much for me to bear!
I found my cozy spot to be alone with God, and my faithful cat curled up on my lap. And there I sat again, going over it all again...praying to be fully possessed by God's love...reminding Him again that I'm a failure in this area and that He simply MUST do it through me. BUT HOW??? That became the search I was on again this morning. HOW do I become fully overcome by His love so that it saturates me and drips out on everyone I come into contact with?? I really wanted to know HOW.
I read in my Bible and in the book I had just finished for the 4th time (Compelled By Love by Heidi Baker). (Really...you'd think that after reading that book FOUR times, I'd have a handle on the love issue, right?) So, in Heidi's book, she says, "God does not want us to merely love like Jesus. His desire is to possess our very nature with His love." Yes, that is what I want! But HOW??? I read through several parts of the book that I had highlighted. The theme started to rise to the surface: be meek, empty ourselves, go lower still, humble ourselves, give our lives.... Slowly this answer began to surface...again (this answer always bobs up and down, but I've yet to grasp it fully enough to claim it as my own)...
HOW do we become fully possessed by His love? We drink deeply of Him every day...seeking Him in quiet times, reading His Word, praying fervently. Then, filled up, we seek the rest of the day to stay put in the lowest place...to look at everyone we see as better than ourselves...to look to each person's needs as more important than our own (in fact, to meet the other person's needs, while we trust God to meet our own needs)...to empty ourselves over and over again, trusting God to fill us back up. It's about wearing the "brown robe of holy humility," as Heidi puts it...the same way Jesus did when He walked this earth.
On the day when Mother Teresa realized the importance of serving others, she was on a trip to attend a spiritual retreat. She looked out the train window and was overwhelmed at the plight of beggars. God's voice was heard in her ears: "My dear, you must see your beloved Jesus in each one of these miserable people. You must love that Jesus, serve that Jesus and look after that Jesus. Never forget His voice when He says, 'Whenever you did if for the least of these My brothers, you did it for Me'."
2Corinthians 5:11-21 talks of being compelled and controlled by His love. He died for everyone, and we have died to our old life we used to live. We no longer live to please ourselves but please HIM.
So, HOW do I get what I asked for this morning? HOW do I become wholly possessed by His love? By letting Him fill me as I soak in His presence...and then making a conscientious choice to seek out the lowest spot in my home, in my community of friends, in my ministry...to humbly go lower still...to become poor so that I can make others rich in His love (do you see it...we POUR OUT all He's given to us...we empty out...we become poor so that others can be soaked in His love)...to do as Mother Teresa did in seeing Jesus in every person and choosing to serve Jesus, love Jesus and look after Jesus by doing that to those we come into contact with every day.
How can I (a love-challenged person!) actually do this though? God answered me in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." It's not about me...EVER! It's all about Him...and His favor is all I need. My weakness in this area gives Him more room to work because it will be HIM doing it, not me.