She speaks with such passion, this petite, blond-haired woman. Her stories of her work with orphans in Mozambique are incredible. Her words inspire something deep within me. They resonate. They spark. They burn.
I want what she has, I think.
Not the international ministry, nor the speaking engagements, not the name that people recognize, no… that’s not it. I want the love relationship she has with Jesus. It is so profound, this intimacy that she shares with him. And she hears his voice, moment by moment. That’s what I want.
There is another who speaks like that, with such passion and love. He works with orphans and widows in the Ukraine. Born and brought up just a few hours from where I live, in the home of a tomato farmer, he used to look up at the planes passing over him and wish that he could one day fly. And now he does. He flies all over the country, sharing what God is doing in the lives of orphans who finally understand that they have a Father that loves them. Immensely. That they are not abandoned children, but precious, loved sons and daughters of the King of Kings. Loads of Love in Ukraine
But what do these two people have in common? They both speak of saying ‘yes’ to Jesus. Saying ‘yes’ to living life his way. Saying ‘Not my will, but yours be done today, Father’. Not only that, but they both speak of being ordinary people – people like you or I. They were not born with extraordinary gifts or talents. They only know that they have said ‘yes’ when God opened a door. They said ‘yes, Lord’ when God asked them to go.
Their ‘yes’ did not come from a dogged sense of duty, nor out of a rigid ‘should’. It was not a ‘yes’ that came from quaking knees full of fear in front of a dour, scowling, angry God. It was not a ‘yes’ with a sigh of resignation. The ‘yes’ of which they speak comes from their hearts full of love. Their motivation is simply their love for Jesus.
So how do I get there? How do I get to a point where my love for Jesus overrides the fear I have of stepping out? And I’m not living in a developing country, surrounded by hungry children. I’m not surrounded by orphans in my life in North America. Or am I?
Perhaps the orphans and widows are those who have lost hope, those who don’t understand that there is a God that loves them. Maybe it’s the lonely teen down the street, or the woman I meet at the grocery store with sad eyes. As Heidi Baker says, “Stop for the one. Love the one in front of you.” What if we did that each day? What if we knew that God was going to place one person in our way each day that we are to love? Perhaps we are surrounded by God’s hungry children here too. We just don’t recognize them. Perhaps we could pray to see others the way that our loving Father does… maybe we could pray for “Jesus goggles”. 🙂
The thing is, I cannot manufacture love for others. I cannot conjure it up myself. It has to come from my heart that is full of the love of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit. It has to be a love that is overflowing from the living water that lives inside my spirit when my spirit is connected to the Spirit. And how do we have this living water bubbling up from within? Our first love must be our love for God.
Jesus talks about the greatest commandment being to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. (Lk.10:27)
Notice that the greatest commandment is to first love the Lord with everything you’ve got. From this position, of putting our love for God first and foremost, I think that we will then be able to love others in the way that Jesus wants us to. Not in our own strength, but out of his.
If you have time to listen to this Heidi Baker talk, I highly recommend it. It’s about 45 minutes long, so perhaps while you chop the veggies and boil the pasta for dinner, or fold the laundry, you could have it on in the background? Heidi Baker – Radical Love