Butterfly Sparks Designs

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How He Loves.

Not long ago, during my quiet time, I tried something a little different than usual. I was in a bit of a dry season. You know what I mean, right? Maybe it’s just me, but there are times when I don’t feel connected to God in my prayers, or when I simply don’t connect with God’s Word. I wanted to go deeper and overcome this separation that I felt from God. So, I put to practice a prayer method that I had learned about some time ago, but had never tried myself. Lectio Divina is an ancient, intentional approach to reading Scripture and experiencing God's Presence and His Word through reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation. First, the Scriptures are read slowly, with an open ear to the voice of the Spirit identifying the new truth He desires to reveal. Then, time is taken to meditate upon what was heard,  which leads to prayer (dialogue with God), and finally, a time of simply resting in His presence. It’s a beautiful, intentional, longer-than-my-normal-quiet-time process. And one that I intend to repeat often.  Very, very powerful.

After I had finished with that part of my quiet time, it was blatantly clear that God was revealing to me through His word that I do not accept His love, forgiveness, or grace very well. I so often quantify His love and grace by my performance. Can you relate? Is it hard for you to truly accept His love because you’re not “good enough”? It’s just so difficult to understand His love for us with our narrow, human, finite minds!

I wanted to continue my time with Him, so I felt led to put on some worship music and just continue to rest, and to praise. I heard…

“Oh…How He loves us so. Oh, How He loves us…”

You know the song, right? In my view, one of the most incredible worship songs ever written.

He had my attention, and I was in the zone. But then something happened. I tried to personalize the song, to truly claim His love for me.

“Oh…How He loves me so….Oh, How He loves me…”

I couldn’t do it. I literally could not form the words and melted into my fear, shame, and guilt. I was overcome with embarrassment over His love for me. How could he possibly love me? After all of the things that I have done, how could he possibly love me? Realizing that even if I was the only one on earth, He still would have sent His son to die for me sent me into a pit of shame.  despair.  unworthiness.  pain.  guilt.

A pit of lies told to me by the enemy of my soul.

The reality of the depth of the condemnation that I held against myself for what I had done, even though I “knew” He had forgiven me, hit me hard.  Even though I knew He had forgiven me, the old and already-canceled sin still held power over me.

A-Ha.  I found my wall.  I found my breaker.

In the time that has passed since this experience, there has been breakthrough.  Some walls have come down and I’m learning to more freely receive God’s love and grace. We can’t give what we don’t have, so we need to receive His love and grace so that we can pour it out to others.

You’re going to see more posts from me about the strongholds that are being knocked over like Lincoln Logs by an angry 2 year old. They’re going down, one after the other, and it’s amazing to experience a new level of intimacy with God that I didn’t even know was possible. Yet even still, sometimes it remains challenging for me to accept His love and grace freely given.

I have come to realize that I do indeed receive His forgiveness. But here’s the part I was missing. Not only does he forgive our sin, but He actually breaks the power of canceled sin over me. How awesome is that. Many of us have sung the very words many times, from the hymn “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”. Check out the last verse.

“He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free”…

Do you get how awesome that is? God KNEW that even when we receive His forgiveness, that we in our nature would allow ourselves to continue to feel condemned at times. But the Truth is that upon repentance, God sees us as blameless. Not only does he cancel our sin, but he breaks the power of that canceled sin over us.

Hear it again: He forgives your sin. And then He breaks the power of that canceled sin over you.

Receive it. Freely.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
 Oh, how He loves you so.

1 comment:

Manda said...

We sang that very song in worship on Sunday, and while everyone around me was singing "oh, how he loves us" ~ I felt lead to sing "oh, how he loves ME"... tears poured down my cheeks. But what a breakthrough the Holy Spirit did in me.
I am sitting here amazed that He was showing you the same thing!
((( BIG HUGS )))
Oh, how He loves Melissa...