Monday, June 21, 2010

Love compels... even when fear tries to stop it.

I got two emails already this morning confirming speaking arrangements at two different men's prisons. Last week was a tremendously busy week. I was invited to speak at three. But one I didn't feel comfortable accepting. Because of a previous experience there, I honestly felt God had kindly and gently shut the door there before I was even asked to go. And so I declined both times the coordinator of their Re-Entry Program asked me to. And wildly, my knowing of where I wasn't supposed to go, it seemed to reaffirm the rightness in saying "Yes" to the two that I did.

Still. As it always does, fear gripped me with even the thought of it. But again, as God has reminded me of so often, "Love casts out fear." Love goes whether fear grips you or not. Love isn't frozen in fear. Because love cannot help itself. Love doesn't just say it loves. Love has to do something. Love has to act! Love doesn't think of self. Love is compelled. Love goes to help another.

We often hear that "love is blind," and perhaps it both is and it isn't. For sometimes love is blind. But sometimes love sees, but goes despite it... because love is focused on the thing it loves and so runs past its danger.

Ex: One's house can be on fire, but love runs into it anyway in hopes to save the one that's loved inside it.

My fear isn't of them. My fear is in self. In my inadequacy. In my insecurity. My fear is self-centered, not other-centered. And self-centeredness is never what we're called to.

God tells us that He is our strength in our weakness. He equips with the sending. He empowers with the obedience. In Him I have no need for fear. So it's me (the "in" me) that always presents the problem. It's the "in" Him that moves me to go anyway... trusting in my God who is able.. and feeling confident not in myself, but in my Savior!

Twice just recently I heard two completely different stories from two completely different places of God reminding me that "I am not Jesus."  I laughed so hard when I heard them. I laughed even more realizing that they were for me.

Every time I've spoken in prisons before, even scared as I was, afterward I felt a HUGE want-to to go back in. A panic inside that felt it had to. I needed to say more. I needed to see them again. I needed them to know how much I care and how much I've been praying and I'm pulling for them. To remind them of how much God does and is... and will do if they'll stay determined and let Him. It's after the last event of this that God reminded me that I am not Jesus! That I'm not their Savior. That He's the only One Alone that has sent me.... I've said what I needed to... He's perfectly capable and able to handle the rest. It's not entirely up to me. And He continues to work even after I've gone. His word that was sent forth is fully capable of doing what it was sent forth to do... without my pounding it into them.

"I am not Jesus." Isn't that nice to know. Comforting. Refreshing. Safe. A good feeling.

Oh Jesus, prepare my heart and my mind and my words for the next group of guys that You're sending me to. Help me to love them regardless of the fact that I don't know them and haven't seen them before. Fill me so full of Your love that it's felt the minute I walk into the room. Help them not to see me, but to be enamored with You. Awed. Overwhelmed. Drawn. Convicted. Whoa-ed by Your wonder. Help them to feel soo loved.. that they cannot help but love in return. Help them to feel so drawn, that they cannot help but for the rest of their lives continually, whole-heartedly, seek their Savior. Help them as they get out to walk society's streets again to feel Your love, to feel Your protection, to feel Your heart beating for and IN them. And help them then, when they get released, to go in search to help another! Help them to always remember where they've come from, and help them to be fantastically compelled to keep others from going! You came to set the captives free, Lord, free them forever with a freedom that they've never even imagined before! May they now be yoked to You alone... seeking to serve You and living the rest of their lives on this earth with a fire in their bones that must tell of the love of their Jesus! May they go out blazing Your Glory!

No comments:

Post a Comment