“…And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:19 ESV
I woke up in the desert this week. Just ten days before, I had been pouring myself out in ministry to pastors and leaders in Africa. Suddenly the trip was over and I found myself back home, pedaling as fast as I could to catch up with administrative details and finance questions and county regulations. Without warning, I began to experience a condition we used to describe in Alabama like this: “I didn’t know if I was going or coming!” It lasted for days; kind of like walking around in a dust storm. Nothing was clear. People asked if I was okay. I smiled but I wasn’t.
This morning, I was desperate to be with God. I retreated to my prayer place and “shut the door.” I surrounded myself with the Word of God in various forms and a copy of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I pulled up a blanket and wrapped myself in the Word of God. Within just a few minutes, I could almost feel the heart of God beating close by me.
Oswald Chambers cited Peter’s message from God, “Be ye holy as I your God am holy.” Chambers writes, “Today we have far too many desires and interests, and our lives are being consumed and wasted with them.”
Paul admonishes the Ephesians 5, “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
The ways of God are mysterious. Like the wind, he chooses to work without always revealing his comings or his goings. I told God about my pitiful feelings and he told me about his magnificent plans. After days of parched, spiritual wilderness, I began to sense the water of life stirring in me again. The Holy Spirit gently pointed out sins and oversights in my life that were blinding me to the heart of God. In little more than an hour of time with the Father, I experienced a status change all the way across the gauge from “E” to “F.” It was hard not to pray. It was hard to stop and go back to ordinary life. But I had my marching orders and a full head of steam. How does God do that?
You can’t describe the love of God. You can’t even express it very well. But history and experience show us time and again, you can be changed by it. If you’re in some kind of funk today, block out some time and sit down with the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God. If you’re desperate, cry out to Him!
And lift up the Cross!