This morning I did as I always do when staying in a hotel. I woke up early and went down to the breakfast area long before anyone else besides the workers would be there. I walked in and sat down with my Bible and laptop, stuck my headphones in, and was excited for the next hour of just studying the Word. However, God had another plan. The night worker kept walking by and I kept feeling the pull to talk to her. Now, clearly God knew I was trying to study HIS WORD, why in the world would I stop studying the very Book that has the power to teach me, mold me, set me free, just to talk to someone who would probably rather I go back to my room?
Let me state that this seems to be a growing pattern with the Lord. Last time I was in a hotel lobby pretty early and was just sitting and discussing the Word and Jesus with my friend Rachel we ended up praying for the worker who was discouraged and very sick with cancer and other issues.
After feeling the pull and feeling the pull, I finally got up walked over to her and began to talk to her. I was able to take time to listen to her, show love to her, and encourage her. Then I just grabbed a cup of coffee and made my way back to my Bible awaiting me at my seat.
"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passed knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:14-19)
"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma." (Eph. 5:1)
What is it that "keeps us in our seat"?
Is it shocking to believe that at some point God wants us to come out of our quiet time and see His greatest creation.... people. Then not just see them, but love them?
When I consider what keeps us in our seat, obviously this morning it was selfishness, loving my self more than I loved this woman, sometimes it's fear, doubt, insecurity, distraction, stubborness, hardness of heart... etc.
In Ephesians 3 Paul prayed that we would be rooted and grounded in love, so that we could comprehend the depth of Christ's love, and then we would be filled with the fullness of God. So what did God say to me when I sat back down in my seat?
It takes being rooted and grounded in love to be able to comprehend the depth of the love of Christ, and it takes knowing that love of Christ to be filled with all the "fullness of God".
So my comprehension of the love of Christ is directly related to my obedience of Jesus' commandment to love.
As I begin to be obedient to love others. Not just my family, not just my friends, those are the easy ones, but to go a step farther and love a stranger, love the person you dislike, love the person who hurt you. How am I at loving those that are hard to love? ... As I begin to be obedient to love others THEN I will begin to grow in my understanding of the love of Christ for me and then I will be filled with the FULLNESS OF GOD.
You are filled with the fullness when you know the love of Christ. When you know the love of Christ for yourself, for the church, and for the lost world.
The greatest call of the New Testament is to love.