Thursday, January 8, 2015
I Used To Think That I Loved God...
I used to think that I loved God, but now I know that I can’t.
All my adult life, I’ve been telling my story – how I came to a point where I realized God’s love for me and I was permanently changed. I would love Him forever in return. Or so I thought…
Then I began to understand the flesh vs. the Spirit battle better. The truth is that I am nothing but a broken, empty vessel. I can try to love God, but pour as I might, nothing comes out because any love I may have within me seeped out the cracks long ago.
My only hope for any effectiveness in God’s kingdom is in my restful dependence on
Him. The moment I cease trying to love and simply let His Spirit breathe life into me and fill me, is the moment those around me feel His presence.
I have been completely empty a lot lately. Something about 16 hour days with several intense conversations a day ranging from spiritual warfare, to disciplinary confrontations and personal development; then teaching a Bible class for 2 hours and sitting down to study for the next day, just seems to drain me. I find myself struggling just to read the passage for the following day. I make it through that with zero energy to spare and can do nothing but collapse on the floor facedown, begging God to make this lesson into something because I can’t. I don’t experience a sudden jolt of supernatural energy or inspiration, just a longing for God to show up. I go through the rest of my day tottering on the brink between despair at the prospect of failure, and resting in dependence on the LORD. Finally, I go to bed and sleep only because I know God keeps His promises, not because the cause of anxiety is gone.
I wake up with an unexplained conviction that I need to emphasize a certain point in that day’s passage and the race is on for the day. It passes in a similar fashion to the last one but this time, some of the conversations are spurred by the topics covered in Bible. People are growing as they soak in the Word. The end of the day comes and several students share that their highlights of the day were what God taught them in Bible class.
I may not be able to love God, but it sure doesn’t seem to slow Him down when He wants to do something in me or through me.
To wrap up, I’ll share a few quotes from Wm. R. Newell that have influenced my thinking as I was reading through Miles Stanford’s The Complete Green Letters.
"To 'hope to be better' (hence acceptable) is to fail to see yourself in Christ only."
"To be disappointed with yourself is to have believed in yourself."