Read His Words Before Ours!
“Man, it’s so hot in here.”
I mumbled the words under my breath as we made our way from a tiny hut in the middle of the bush in Uganda to the clinic in town for my last malaria treatment. The African heat was on fire that day, and since I was already running a fever, it felt as if it was at least 120 degrees inside the pick-up truck. We had about ten or so minutes left in our commute when the truck started to make an all too familiar noise.
Within an instant the car shut down.
We had run out of gas.
Up until this point, I had never been in a car that has run out of gas. I’m one of those ‘if it shows it’s got half a tank left then we should immediately get more gas’ kind of people. So imagine the look on my face when the driver got out of the truck and told me to wait there, as he was going to walk and get more gas.
I put my feet up and allowed the soft breeze to cool me off as I reflected on my situation. Why do so many people here never fill up their car all the way? How can they be okay with running on empty? I know I’m not a mechanic, but I do know that running on little fuel on a consistent basis, does more harm than good. Why not give the tank a good fill-up?
My questions quickly turned from being about a car to being about my spirit.
Do I walk around like I’m half empty with my gas gauge quickly approaching the red zone?
Am I seeking the Creator regularly to make sure I’m fueled up and ready to love beyond my borders as the Holy Spirit works in my life?
When we’re given gifts that require us to do some work, but throw them aside simply because we’re not willing to do it, we’re doing a disservice to ourselves and those around us.
I’m so guilty of this– making it about how I feel, and my own comfort level, rather than denying self, releasing control, and allowing the Spirit to move in my life.
I forget way too often that we were freed to love.
When Christ died for our sins on the cross, He left behind the Holy Spirit who lives inside each believer and fuels this freedom.
Paul describes this freedom to love so beautifully in Galatians 5:14-15. He makes a clear cut understanding between how we should respond in the spirit vs how we should respond in the flesh.
For you were called to FREEDOM, brothers.
Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity
for the flesh,
But through love
serve one another.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
A few months ago, I received word that one of my best friend’s husband had passed away. His time here on this earth was cut short too soon as he suffered from a long time mental disorder, resulting in taking his own life. Upon hearing the news, I knew what I needed to do. I hopped in my car and drove the four hours to be by her side. The entire drive to her parents’ house I prayed. I asked the Lord to give me the words to say, and not to say. I asked Him to give me insight as I navigated through one of the toughest seasons our friendship would endure. I asked Him to comfort not only my friend, but their children as well, as they had just lost their daddy.
I could not love my friend and her family fully, through my flesh.
I needed the Spirit to guide everything that I did, as through the flesh I was an absolute mess and losing energy quickly. I couldn’t stop crying, I couldn’t think straight, so with a deep breath I prayed, switched my mindset and moved forward to be there for her.
The circumstances weren’t going to change just by me showing up and being there for her, but it did help her know that she was loved and not alone. We sat on the guest bedroom bed, just the two of us, for an hour and just laid there and cried, talked, and prayed.
Choosing to surrender our selfish view of love, based on what we should get from the relationship, to a Spirit-fueled love frees us to love like Christ!
And when we love radically, filled up with Jesus’ love, the weight of performing and worrying about what you will get out of the relationship, falls from our shoulders.
So, take a breath, dear sister.
Allow the Holy Spirit to fuel His love inside of you.
Be there for someone today that needs it.
Send a text, or write a letter, to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Call your mom and say I love you, just because.
Take a walk, and see if the Lord puts someone in your path that you need to share the Gospel with.
Unleash the freedom of a Spirit-fueled love!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!