Multitudes of people seem to be searching for a meaning to this life. Even so many believers wonder, “What is God’s will for my life?” God tells us clearly what he want us to do. Christ himself (Mark 12:28-34) repeats the word of the Lord provided in the ancient texts and says these are the greatest commandments.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul & with all your strength” (originally found in Deuteronomy 6:5)
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (found in Leviticus 19:18)
We want to believe that we do that….but do we really? What does it mean to love him with all our hearts, all our soul, with all our strength? What does it mean to love others as ourselves?
God’s mission is to restore us to the condition
and purpose we were created for.
We are to love him and reflect his love to others.
How can we reflect God’s love when we are blemished…when we are covered in a mask made of our own shortcomings and the hurts others have inflicted upon us with theirs. Even the so-called “little” sins must go! They separate us from the Holy One. Complete obedience is essential. Nothing must stand in the way of our being cleansed. Not our pride, not our lust, not our fear. The Lord calls us forward to be made clean, to be restored. But what do we do? We run! We are like rebellious children who run when called by a parent when it’s time to stop playing so we can come get in the bathtub to clean away the filth of the day. We don’t want to stop playing. We are having fun. We are comfortable in that dirt. We are familiar with it. We are afraid of change. We are afraid of pain.
We may try to convince ourselves that we are clean but God knows the depths of our hearts. He knows what yuck lies in the crevasses. He wants to clean it all out. Not to bring harm to us or to frighten us but to restore us. He knows our potential. He knows our hearts. He knows how much more He created us for. He doesn’t want to “ruin our fun” (as so many are prone to believe) but wants to provide the ultimate joy that the world cannot even come close to offering.
We cannot stand before a holy God because of our sin. Those who have accepted Christ have been covered by the blood that cleanses and allows us to receive eternal life. But there is more. He doesn’t just want to cover our sin…He wants to remove it. He wants to cleanse us. There is a fullness of life that so very few ever find on this earth. A life Christ died to give us. It’s not just about where we are going to spend eternity…heaven or hell…but it’s also about a life full of joy and abundant love, here on earth that He wants to give us. We never seem to move past the “getting into Heaven” part. We want to hold onto the small treasures instead of reaching for the real and lasting treasure He offers. Isn’t just taking care of ourselves, seeing that we and those who are dear to us get into Heaven a reflection of selfishness? There is an entire world out there full of people who are lost and going to hell! They don’t know the Way. They don’t know the Truth. They don’t know that there is One who loves them with a love deeper than any they have ever experienced. God wants us to reflect His love to others who are lost in this dark world so they can find him.
We are called to be restored. We have to be restored so that our hearts are clean and ready to reflect this awesome Love. To be restored we have to stop running from the Master. We have to believe that He means us no harm. We have to believe that He is truthful when He says that He loves us and will never leave us. We have to believe that what He offers is better than anything this world can offer. Why settle for just getting our foot inside the door of Heaven when we can stand, unashamed, before the throne of our Creator? When we can get past our fears (or whatever else hinders this process of cleansing), we will be made new. We can learn to love as God loves. There is no greater freedom. Indeed, no greater joy than to be able to walk with confidence in who we are in Him. To be able to stand, unashamed, in a world dark with sin. To be able to reflect God’s love into a dark world whose inhabitants crave love and search for it daily through a variety of ways that never brings completion (and, in many cases, only brings destruction). The Love that God offers is the only love that brings completion to our hearts. Once we stop believing the lies this world feeds us about where love is to be found, run to the Father who created us and knows us better than anyone, allow Him to finish the work He began in us, only then we will be complete.