Rooted and Grounded in Love

It was the comment that changed everything.

The kids were down, husband was out, and I was washing dishes.

Alone on the other side of the world, standing barefoot and pregnant at the sink,  kitchen door propped open with a jug of laundry detergent to beg a breeze in.

It was stifling hot.

And there I was. Trying to learn all I could from those who had gone before, trying to imitate those who through faith and patience inherited the promises.

Trying to figure out how to do this thing.

God heard my silent cry, the cry of my heart that I couldn’t even articulate. Doesn’t He always?

I had downloaded the content from the internet, blessed gift, cord of connection to the outside world.

Derwin Grey was sharing his testimony…but it was God who had a message for me, because the words that came from Derwin’s mouth pierced such that they lodged in my memory { and that is saying a lot for this mommy brain that has put the cheese in her purse instead of in the fridge and that can’t remember the book she read last month. }

He said, “A false god is never satisfied.”

It entered and pierced and shook me up and turned me inside out and exposed what I was already beginning to suspect: that I didn’t really know God. Sure, I knew what church had told me. I knew what everyone else knew about God. But I didn’t really “get” Him. I didn’t really understand His heart.

I thought I understood. But I was, in fact, dead wrong.

Because God is satisfied. He said “it is finished.” He fulfilled Heaven’s demands Himself. He took our matters into His own hands so that once and for all it would be completed and the job would be accomplished without fail and He sat down at the right hand of the Father upon its fulfillment and as an act of cessation.

And He still sits.

But the God I worshiped never seemed to be satisfied.

That was the beginning of a sifting process in my life…the sifting out of all the worthless views, ideas, and notions of God I held. Beliefs passed down to me from my past church experiences, from others who had modeled un-truth cloaked as truth, from life experiences that had communicated messages about God and His goodness (or lack thereof.)

I had a lot to sort through.

It wasn’t easy, but God was faithful. {He still is.} And the wonderful thing is that each worthless view gets replaced with a precious one…a true one I can stake and center my life around, such as…

If God doesn’t chiefly desire my obedience…then God chiefly desires relationship….with me! I don’t have to perform.

If God doesn’t taskmaster me…then God leads me as a Shepherd. I can view His commands as a loving staff, not as Egypt’s whip.

If God doesn’t condemn me into good behavior and works…then God can give me a greater motivation to serve Him than self-condemnation. I can let go of berating myself and be motivated by God’s love instead.

If God doesn’t coddle me as a victim…then God empowers me to get off my mat and walk. I can define myself differently.

If God loves me based solely on His own faultless, unfailing ability…then God does not turn His nose up at my failures. I can receive God’s forgiveness even in the stinking-est of sin.

If God is for me…then who or what can be against me? I can be confident of God’s YES on my life.

It became clear that the root of all my misunderstandings about God could be traced back to one thing: I didn’t really believe that God was love and that He loved me unconditionally and that He was fully, without a shadow of turning, completely and utterly committed to my good.

Sure I knew it theologically. But I didn’t know it in life methodology, in ways that my life could grab a hold of  and stand on and be centered around in my coming and my going.

Isn’t this the problem of us all, from first Eve, to me, Arabah? Knowing something in our heads is completely different than trusting it fully with our hearts.

Doubt and Distrust lead us to self-direct our lives. Make our own choices. Rely on our own resources. Believe it is “up to us.”

And that great cloud of witnesses, those that I have watched carefully to see how they inherited the promises, they tell me the chief responsibility of the overflowing believer is to be rooted and grounded in love.

“And be Rooted and Grounded in Love…so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

Our “precious faith” is to find it’s footing in this one thing: the Love God has for us.

We cannot be filled up with God’s fullness, overflowing with His bounty, pouring out with His lavish grace, without being rooted and grounded in His love.

That is why Jude, that brother of our Lord Jesus, instructed us to “Keep yourselves in the Love of God.” (Jude 21)

This is our duty. This is the discipline of all who have come to understand the essentials of the faith, from saints like Thomas Aquinas to contemporaries like Francis Chan and Ann Voskamp.

This journey is the journey of faith in Love, the unending cord that weaves through each of our lives, stitching us all together as the bride of Christ, the garment of Love.

This is the journey I started in that overseas kitchen with hands dipped in soap suds, swollen feet leaving damp prints on the floor. I began learning the habits of love. It is a journey that continues…that I look forward to walking every day of my life.

The Habit of Love

For the next few Mondays, I will share from my journey the habits of Love. How does one root and ground herself in love? How does our theology work out into our methodology? How can we make it practical so that God’s love for us is something we LIVE?Join us this month to find out how and to share how you do it too.

One additional thought for those who have an extra moment?… {this is the double feature post}

I’ve often wondered why believers I have seen and worked with in other parts of the world seem to be so full of Jesus, so full of life, so powerful in witness?

In local language, it’s “mei you banfa.” “There’s no other way.”

It’s either full trust in Jesus or utter ruin. There simply is no other way.

There is no daily Starbucks fix.

There is no cush furnishings to come home to, no comforts to pad life with.

No SUV to retreat to and run off in, no vacation to entertain, no weekends off to look forward to.

No pill to pop.

No money to spend.

No rectangular screen to go numb in front of.

No resource but Jesus.

No provision but Grace.

And most of us don’t want to live that kind of life. {Just stark honesty.}

We (me included) can be afraid to give up our perks. We can be unwilling to live without our comforts. We can be scared stiff of letting go of everything and clinging solely to His love. We don’t know what that will mean for our lives.

We’ve been duped into thinking that our way is safer. Better. More fulfilling.

When did we begin to believe that these things are life’s “can’t live with-outs?” How did we become so duped and blinded?

Have I reached the place where I don’t really need only the love of Jesus because I have so many other little things that can step in the gap?

I mean, I have the bag of chips that man has created for my satisfaction, why reach for the goodness of a carrot? Grown from love of Creator God just for my nourishment?

I have the screen and the clicker and the earphones and the touch pad that man has invented to make me laugh and entertain me, why open my eyes to the birds outside my window or the faithful witness in the sky that instructs me of the unfailing lovingkindness of my God?

In a million different ways, the tragedy is not that we have these man-made things, it is that we let them replace the love of God.

This is what living overseas among brothers and sisters who have nothing but Jesus has taught me.

God warns us not to remain blinded and numbed by our so called “resources” but to approach Him for true treasures, for real provisions. He tells us how to break free. (See Revelation 3:17-20).

Then we can be filled up with the Fullness of God and we can live lives that really count and we can use the resources He has blessed us with on behalf of others, to promote the name of Christ, and to carry forth His Kingdom into all the world.

Amen and amen.



7 Comments on “Rooted and Grounded in Love”

  1. Renee says:

    Amen, indeed people around here are getting upset about the economic right now, complaining about having to get rid of the “second” car, so poor homemakers *have* to stay home, I founds those complaints funny, cause lets face it, we are so rich!!!!

    instead of complaining, more thankfulness is in order

  2. Jodi says:

    oh sister, you slay me once again with the Word of our Lord. You know what I love about your blog? It’s like a book that you just hate it when you come to the end. This book just keeps on coming, and I just can’t help but learning how He love us. How He loves me… Thank you for continuing to write out your Heart as it is washed in His love. I’m so appreciative that God has given me such sisters as you, to relay to me, from what I read in the Word, to true and undeniable grace and truth.

  3. […] Heb 5:12-14 WEB For when by reason of the time you ought to be teachers, you again need to have someone teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God. You have come to need milk, and not solid food. For more on this topic you can read: A great related post about this: Nice related topic here: On the same subject: […]

  4. […] month, we are discussing the habit of love and how to be rooted and grounded in God’s love for us. The best place to start is at the beginning, before time, in the heavenly places, with […]

  5. […] month, we are learning the Habits of Love: How to be Rooted and Grounded in Love; How to Walk in God’s Eulogy; How to Really Know God Loves You. Join us next Monday for a […]

  6. […] Rooted and Grounded in Love […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s