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Invitation to Love

November 24, 2008

I have been spending A LOT of time in 1 Corinthians 13 and 14 lately. It’s kind of creating a new vision statement for my life. In fact, the intensity with which the Lord has been directing me in the ever-famous love passage is what led to my little description in the new box under my profile picture on facebook:

I am choosing the most excellent way. It’s going to kill me, but it has to. I will pursue perfection until faith, hope, and love are the truest things that can be said of me. I WILL love, at the end of the day. God lives in me. It’s not in vain.

Ultimately, it is a journey into discovering God’s heart in ways that far surpass anything I have ever seen or understood before. But this journey, setting myself to gaze on the beauty of His love, is also the means of my transformation. It’s a life-long pursuit, not just a fun new study focus when I open my Bible. And it is a daily discovering of my need for God, my need for the power of the Holy Spirit in my daily life. I really do want faith, hope, and love to be that which is truest of me, and I’m not going to get there without Him.

Recently, the Lord began asking me to choose love in a couple of situations where my original action-plan was… well, not love. It wasn’t the first time he gave me a special invitation to actually obey the command to love. So I knew how painful it was going to be. But there was such grace on it, so I said yes. (Not to mention, obedience and responding to God’s invitations are generally… wisdom.)

I began to spend long periods of time in 1 Corinthians 13, just crying and growing in wonder… and conviction. Honestly, I was getting more sting from 1 Corinthians 13 than mushy-gushy happy feelings. WAY more sting. But it was good. And I was beginning to make more and more of those little choices in the direction of love.

Honestly, most of my time in the Word, since moving to IHOP, has revolved around the revelation God gave of himself in Exodus 34:6 – the Lord God gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. (I just kind of smooshed together a few translations there… I’ve been singing it for enough years now that I figure I am allowed to just pseudo-quote.) God’s patience, compassion, steadfast love, and faithfulness are the constant testimony of the whole of Scripture. You cannot escape these themes. This is who God is and how He relates to us.

So… fixing my gaze on God’s love was nothing new. I am simply continuing in that same pursuit. We’ve just reached the point where it is starting to get REALLY personal and REALLY painful.

I’m not gonna lie… the process of my transformation sure doesn’t feel like it’s “from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3). I tend to associate really positive (and shiny) things with the word glory. Not death. Not failure. And not weakness. Oh how much I have to learn!

So, as I’m stumbling along in this wholesale attempt to follow the most excellent way, you are probably going to see a lot of love-talk on here. And you can probably expect that it is going to posses virtually nothing of a gooey nature. As Wendy keeps reminding me, love is death.

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