When I came to my quiet spot, this morning, I sat with my Bible and journal and felt horrible. ...conviction? ...shame? ...guilt, poured on by the enemy of my soul? I don't know. But I had a sickness of soul and heart. I had the distinct thought raging in my head, "When will you give up on me, Lord?!"
As I prayed, my thoughts and questions poured out, "When will you throw your hands up and just be done with me?! When will Your love run out? When will you be fed-up? Will You be 'done' with me this morning, Father?"
As the thoughts pummeled my mind, I was interrupted with another Voice. In a moment, I had sweet thoughts flood into this torrent of questions.
My love endures forever.
My love reaches to the heavens. My faithfulness reaches the skies.
I wrote it down. Truth. I know this Truth and it was setting me free. With this blowing of Truth, came instant relief and peace to my heart. The sickness of soul began to dissipate as I sat and rested a moment in the amazing Truth of His love!!
And, then, I had another thought flood, like a bright Light or a fresh breeze...
The problem is not with My love... but with yours, Stephanie.
Do you love me more than these? Do you truly love me?
He was asking. And, like Peter (John 21) I was hurt and pained by His piercing question. Tears flowed. Do I love you, Lord?!
I knew my response. My heart welled up with longing, desire and confidence, You know I love you, Lord!
But, He asked again. And, then He asked again. In gentleness, He pierced my thoughts with the question: Do you love me, Stephanie, more than these...?
And, each time I said to Him, "Yes, Lord, you know I love you!".
He whispered. He nudged, "Feed my sheep".
Feed my sheep. ...Do what I ask of you. Do My work. Follow me.
If you love Me, He says, you will obey my commands.
It is not law, or rules, that drive this obedience and this work. It isn't duty or a "should". Obedience and following Him is driven by, motivated by, love.
I paused and opened my devotional book. Would you believe that today's assigned reading was in John 21:15? "He said to Simon, Do you love me more than these?"
Coincidence? I think not. ....It made me smile. He knows me that well.
And, the quote from the devotional reading, "Only love is strong enough to keep us faithful." ~Ruben Job
The problem, Stephanie, is not with My love... it is with your love. My love for you endures forever.
Love me more, Stephanie. And, feed my sheep.
Oh, Lord Jesus! I do love you, Jesus! Teach me to love you more. Strengthen my love. Create in me a new heart, a clean heart. Make my heart faithful, true and steadfast. Increase my faith and my love, I ask. Your love endures forever. ...I am so grateful.