"But we make His love too narrow by false limits of our own; And we magnify His strictness with a zeal He will not own."- Old Hymn: "There's a wideness in God's Mercy"
Someone sent me this beautiful hymn that had these lines in it. They beautifully sum up the reality I think I had missed for so long. Life is such a funny thing sometimes! I often find myself in the midst of it thinking "I get it" only to realize that my understanding is so far away from the reality of what God has created this life to be. One beautiful thing I can tell you is that God is molding me into someone who truly understands those lines of the hymn to an un-explainable level. The reality is that before I was a Pharisee. I saw God as a strict unloving ruler who expected me to consistently meet standards and expectations I could never live up to. I had my list of rules and believed that as long as I lived by the rules God would be happy with me.
I think it all boils down to one truth that for so long I had been missing out on, and that is that - love wins. The reality is that the entire gospel is cruxed on the concept of love. Think about it, the bible says that God himself is LOVE (1 John 4:8). It tells us the greatest thing out of "faith, hope, and love" is love (1 Corinthians 13:4). The bible says "we LOVE because he first LOVED us" (1 John 4:19). John 3:16 is the gospel which reminds us that "God sent his one and only son" because he LOVED us. The greatest commandment is to LOVE God and then LOVE people (Luke 10:27).
I had lost the passion I once had for the simplicity found in letting love win, and I had become someone who tried to box God in with standards. Now, God is healing me of this black and white mentality. He has led me back to a place of falling in love with my first love (Revelation 2), and he has helped me to remember that his mercies are renewed daily (Lamentations 3:23). Now I know that all I can do is make the best decisions I can with what I have. At times I will succeed, at times I will fail. No matter what his love for me remains, and I will do my best to walk towards him in a love that he gives me to love him back with!
I pray for you that you have or can find the same freedom! There is freedom in allowing love to liberate us from our greatest demons because in the end the demons always tremble at the presence of God! Why? Because God is the very embodiment of love. Nothing can touch the beauty, glory, magnificence, selflessness, and purity that comes from a verb like LOVE. Our God is a verb, and he expects us to be his action, not because he needs us, but just because he knows the joy that we find in doing so!
Love and Blessings,