It is time to raise the bar!
Hello Sweet friends, I know that we are suppose to be walking through the Epistles of John, and I am trying with all that I have to stay on task, but I hope you will indulge me today, because I had a revelation that couldn't wait:) I so love the Epistles of John which is why I have us reading it together. Often, I feel we get bogged down and even turned off in genealogy and timelines and battles, and we miss the goodness and the loving-kindness threaded so beautifully through His Word. My hope is that encountering 1 John may awaken the desire in some to get more in the Word.....to find a love of it. My thought was to embrace the words that stir deep within, and what women doesn't want to talk about love....and 1 John is all about love:) Amen!
I was listening to a sermon yesterday by Bill Johnson titled "City on a Hill," when his words just caught hold of me,
"When a person discovers who God designed them to be truly sees it, they will never compromise their life for inferior things."
I just love this. Read it again and again. I so loved it that I posted it on my Facebook page, so I saw it again last night as I was finishing my day and turning to 1 John to prepare for this morning. And this thought hits me..... there is something missing in the great command from Deuteronomy 6.....Love me with all of your heart and then love your neighbor as yourself. And these verses with Bill's words collided, and it hit me......we are missing the love ME part!
I see this so often when praying over women and young girls, and especially young girls. I can not tell you how many precious little heads I have prayed over the words...I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I know this full well. I am chosen. Set Apart and He searches for me like a precious pearl. Endless number of girls and women have heard me proclaim these words over their lives, because endless numbers of both struggle with the love me part of this equation. How can you possible love him and then love others as you love yourself, if you don't love who YOU are? It isn't possible! And then you miss the gift of 1 John.....as you love others His love is made complete in you.
I remember some years back that I was a "guinea pig" for a woman in life coaching training, before I went through training myself. She gave me an assignment to create a vision board of all the things I wanted to see manifest in my life, so I began cutting pictures from magazines and taking words and blessings and filling my board with the things I wanted in my future... a picture of a woman laying on a hammock in the sunset- Rest, a family, health, love, speaking career, more Jesus, God girlfriends, books published, a trip to Italy, and tons of scriptures of proclamation for my life. She called me a week or two later and asked how my board was coming, and I replied that there were just a few empty spaces, but I was almost done. She proceeds to tell me that the exercise was not to fill every space of the board, but to capture my dreams and hopes and plans, and watch the power of visualizing change my circumstances. And then she asked me if my day-timer looked like my board with very few empty spaces.....and I proceeded to tell her that the board was empty compared to my daytime. And then she gives me some loving, but hard to take words about this being reflective of my lack of self love. You see, I had to fill every space of my board and every space of my day, because heaven forbid, I had to sit with me. Heaven forbid, I had to deal with pain or heal or let go or forgive or take care of myself. No, I would stay so busy that no one would notice (not even me), that I hadn't learned to love and accept and forgive MYSELF!
It is easy to look into the life of another, and see the sadness of someone that is living outside of their potential or settling for so much less than they deserve, or carrying darkness when they were created for light. I suppose my revelation, in part, was simply that we must in pursuit of loving Him wholly and holy and loving others selflessly and sacrificially, we must offer that same love to ourselves. Easier said than done! We are the children of the most loving God. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are chosen and set apart. We are His light and His sheep and His pearl, and He calls us precious and says His love for us we can not fathom.
If we could see, as Bill said, all that we were designed to be, we would never compromise our life for inferior things. My ultimate revelation would be that this "self-love" is a given.......there was no need to put love me with all of your heart then learn to love yourself, so that you could love others as you love yourself, because it happens organically. When we truly love Him and seek to know Him, the Grace of God changes us in a way that we see ourselves for the value that we are and for all that we are in Him....freed, redeemed, chosen, forgiven, worthy, crowned, loved, pursued, protected, set apart!
It is then that we can allow this love to spill over into the lives of others as we are called to do. So if we are doubting who we are, or if we are struggling to love this skin that He put us in, perhaps we are still missing His love? It is time to call on Grace to draw us in to the perfect love that cast out all fear, and allow us to encounter the love that births love of thyself and neighbor!
Today, may you hold tight to this truth.....You were created for MORE!
Seek. Love. Follow.
In His Wings, Ro