God has an enormous payload of pure love for each of us. It is our gift from Him. He gives us this love freely with no strings attached and continues to love us, no matter how ugly our hearts might be or how unloving we are at the moment. Yet He does something amazing. He allows us free will so we can love Him back and serve Him and His people and even earn higher rewards in heaven or we can reject Him and end up somewhere we are not comfortable discussing. Free will had always perplexed me because it seems such a great responsibility for our limited minds. Our short life’s decisions dictate our eternal destination. It is incredible to wrap your head around. And yet, my thoughts as to why is related to His love. When we love Him back, it is our choice to and a gift to Him and a gift that is forced is not a gift at all but a duty. Then further thinking about this love thing, I pondered the ever romanticized idea of “forbidden love” and how the entertainment industry has made millions on that draw. If a love is forbidden and can not be conveyed for a particular reason, no matter what it is, that is not love. There is lust that should not be entertained and yearning for love certainly, but the whole notion of love it in its pure form can never be forbidden. In fact, God commands those who willingly choose to serve Him and accept His love as our breath and strength to love. In fact, He even wants us to love our enemies. And truly, when love is what you really have for a person, even one you may have been tempted to desire where it should not be for whatever reason, you will not pursue sin with them or wish it for their lives because you would know that sin always leads to death if followed through its natural course. So, I object to the term “forbidden love” because what people speak of with this inappropriate term is really selfish lust that is wanting to sin with that person which would ultimately lead to death. So, I would think twice before pursuing the temptation to follow the deception of romantic excitement Hollywood loves to sell you and realize that true love is our goal and is never forbidden. I am tired of the enemy twisting good things into bad ones. We have to take the truth back and speak truth with every word from our mouths and thought of our heart. Purity and revival demand it. God requires it. I want it.
Openness. The key to purity is living your life as an open book. I heard a quote today I have been reflecting on, “Something done secretly is sorcery.” I dismissed the quote at first but the more I pondered it, chewed on it, I realized there is much truth there. When you think no one is looking, like you are in incognito mode or passwords are up or you are alone in your office or car, you have a draw, an excitement that is no longer in check and is much more easily given into. Not just porn or sexual impurity but also stealing from the office or drinking when you shouldn’t or gossiping or worrying to distraction or whatever purity/sin issue you have fallen for in the past (because that is where you’ll be attacked again). The key is really to live your life in the open as much as humanly possible. Keep your door open. Don’t have a password. Welcome people coming in at odd times. Invite people over. Keep busy. Actually do your work. The main point is that when you go into secret mode, the enemy has you right where he wants you and you are his dupe again. Knowledge is power. Know the enemy’s methods and you can defend yourself. Don’t allow a surprise attack. Remain out in the open and you are much more able to resist being pulled somewhere you think is safe to sin. Because you are always an open book to God. There is no secret place from Him. The enemy can’t even hide from Him. So, He always knows when you’re screwing up, even if no one else does. So, purity is admitting that and saying that you don’t want any distractions to come between my relationship and prayer life with God. Live open, like you are an open book, and I tell you the purity will be there and you will win the victory over sin and distraction and walk in sweeter friendship with the all mighty and loving God of the universe. And He who is always faithful to you will reward you for being faithful to Him. And you will sleep deeper and feel great!
The wonderful children in the children’s choir that I have the honor and privilege of working with for this summer musical drama we are working on have taught me a lot. They are flexible. By this I don’t necessarily mean the rubbery way they seem to bounce off the walls, but when one kid didn’t show up after assigning roles, another kid had no trouble stepping into her part. There is an innocent flexibility a child has to roll with the put chez that inspires me to look at the punches a little more simply and roll with it. There is also a trust that inspires. A few are a little nervous about the upcoming performance, but they believe me when I tell them it will be okay and they trust that I won’t attack them if they mess up. It seems little, but how many times do we let the fear of a possible event stagnate our lives and keep us from living fully when if we just let it go and focus on the task at hand, trusting that God knows what He is doing, the show would go on. And we have to know in our hearts that the only things we go through in life are those that God both knows about and allows for some reason. It is a child like and immensely pure and beautiful quality. I think this is why Jesus said we must have hearts like children to get into God’s kingdom. We must trust and not doubt, never letting fear hinder our service and remain flexible to bend when we need to without breaking. We have to give God the control of our moment every moment until it is habit. There is a richness of life, a treasuring of now when we try to live like children do. They do not worry about tomorrow. They are so focused on this minute that they can enjoy it better and remember it fully. Joy in the moment strengthens character and spirit. And the last thought is that children are enthusiastic, things are new and exciting and along with that is an enthusiastic teachability! How wonderful would our lives be if we dismissed the distractions and just basked in God’s amazingness and allowed Him to teach us whatever He wanted to learn, excited about all of it, just loving to be a part of it all! Wow, what a blissful thought!