I am reminded today of a word the Lord gave me some 20 years ago.
“As you look over the timeline of your life, I will be the only constant connecting it all. Relationships will come and go, but in the end, I will be the only One.”
When I heard this word, I had a sense of its gravity but not the responsibility that would be required of me. At first, it just said to me, “Don’t get too cozy; everything can change in a minute…” But where I’ve come to with this word is that I am ultimately called to respond to Him, not people. That seems safe…huh? Nope! Let me go on.
In my fearful self, I would think I had to guard and defend my heart. And this word rang to me of exclusivity. But what I’ve learned is this word was calling me to give Him to others with open arms and with no defenses. “Wait a minute, exclusivity is just You, right?” Not exactly! It’s the inclusion of any He wishes to love through me, without reserve and with abandon, knowing full well it may be over tomorrow. This is so terribly vulnerable! I am called to love as if it’s for a lifetime, but in reality it could be just for a moment in time.
I’ve often responded to this reality in bitterness, believing the Lord was playing yoyo with my heart. But what He’s revealing is that Love is to be poured without reserve, where He wishes it to be poured. What’s more, if I hinder Love’s flow, I will be preventing my own seeing of Him. To pinch off Love is to squelch the flow of the Spirit. Yikes!
So here comes the complimentary call, “Love like a child!” How does a child love? A child loves fully, completely, openhearted and with abandon. A true child loves the one in front of them with all the love they have, as if that person were the only one. A child doesn’t parcel off bits and pieces as if leading the way back to the trailhead with breadcrumbs. No, a child loves the one they love with every last drop. It doesn’t matter if they are moving away next week, they are all there is right now.
This is how God is leading me. “Let Me love the one you are with, fully, completely to the bottom of your toes, for as long as I choose to love that one through you. And when I am done, there will be another.” It might be a day, it might be a lifetime, but it doesn’t matter. I am called to let love flow as He wills.
We tend to love as if we’re making an investment that must pay dividends. What God’s revealing to me is that He is my dividend. It’s His deposit, and He is my return. Like a Levitical priest, I am owned and own nothing. I can live free by releasing others from my demands and expectations to reciprocate. To reserve some in order to remain safe would just rob everyone, including myself, of Christ. To have defenses up is actually just defending myself from God. At its core, this is all really about ownership.
As a vessel of the indwelt Life of Christ, I am to give Him free access to show, reveal and express His love. If He owns my heart, He will protect it as well. I am not His martyr, I’m His vessel and as a vessel, anointed to see and experience Him.
My safety is found by giving way to Him, allowing Him to spend me, as He will. Love with no control, no expectations, no tomorrow and no reward but Jesus Himself.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:7-11