If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (I Jn. 1:8,9 NLT)
I’d been saved several years when I went through a season I did not understand. God wasn’t speaking through His Word. I read it every morning, but nothing came to life. I felt bereft of spiritual insight. I wondered if I’d really been walking with God. Had my salvation been just an emotional gig? A literary adventure?
At the time, the possibility seemed plausible and frightening.
Then one morning, during my usual time in the Word, I read the verses above.
I read them differently than I’d read them before. Read them as a revelation. And I didn’t like the message. He somehow let me know He hadn’t shut the door on me.
No, I’d shut the door on Him when He asked me to forgive someone—and I’d ignored Him.
Of course, with my conscious mind I knew all along that I should love this difficult woman in our church. But it hadn’t become part of my inner response when He sent the gentle nudge my way.
And I hadn’t expected Him to be so sensitive. He hadn’t been in the past.
That morning God set a new standard for a new season: Love Me—Love my children. The two go together.
And as a mother, I understood. It’s so obvious, so simple. Why had I ignored His voice?
Something happened that day that’s happened more than once—or twice—or three times—or many times since. God seemed changed, different.
But He hadn’t changed and He wasn’t different.
I was changed and I was different. He had opened my heart to receive Him as I hadn’t received Him before.
Of course, it isn’t always easy to love, so the call to follow Him in love was and is ongoing. But that’s another post on another day. Suffice it to say here that if I truly understand His love for me—and His love for others—I can truly walk in love.
I know. It really makes no sense at all. I think, perhaps, that after salvation, loving others is one of God’s greatest miracles.
The point, however, is hearing Him when He reminds us to love. He’s the One who lets us know when we’re falling short.