Monday, February 7, 2011

Compelled. {re-post}

 [Originally posted Nov. 12, 2009]

Last night, during an "impromptu" meeting, I was addressing some concerns and observations. In my conclusions about what was happening in life and what my place would be...I decided that "I would rather not". 

Those are interesting and difficult words for me to say. Trust me, I walk NOT in false humility. I truly have been humbled...and it wasn't fun. 

I have felt I earned and, even deserved things in life... 

and I have had important things washed away like sand castles during high tide. 

I have felt rejected, lost, hurting, and soaking wet at times in the middle of storms and I have carefully tried to remember those feelings and remain humble. 

I know, my personality is 'matter of fact', and I rarely put up with foolishness for very long....but don't make the mistake of wrongly associating those traits with pride or self-elevation... 
These things I tread lightly around...

I say all this to say that by the end of that meeting, my conclusion was no longer simply "I'd rather not" but became, instead, "Okay, I will...but I'd rather not"... 

See, there are a lot of things I would do for the people I care about without even giving a second thought...I think about giving organs to loved ones, even giving my life to protect my family...I sometimes give my lunch to the guy standing at the stoplight, I would give money, clothes, shelter to friends...all out of love for them..and I think MOST of us would say the same thing. That doesn't separate me from the masses. 

But in this case? 

There was only ONE reason why I agreed. 

I was compelled by the One that has given his life for me, and in return, I have given back the life I owe, to serve him.

Weeks ago, God began impressing on my heart 2 Cor. 5:14-15:
"For the love of Christ compels us, because we are convinced of this, that One died for all, and therefore all have died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again." 

I love that verse. My spirit jumps every time I read it...but I didn't really understand the "Why" of it all...Sometimes, as a minister, I feel led to immediately research scriptures. To dig to the depths of a thought or verse... but in this case? I just kept reading it.

Over and over... Until last night.

It was then that I really needed to know the depths of Paul's words...because it was then I recognized that they were no longer Paul's words alone, but now they were my words also. 

I was compelled by my love for His love for do something that, in all honesty, I would be fine without. 

You see, the idea is that Christ's love so completely controlled and dominated Paul's life that he had NO CHOICE but to preach. He wasn't forced in the negative sense of the word, by way of a gun to his head or a threat looming over... He had just come to the careful conclusion, by thorough examination and analysis, that Christ HAD died for all... and that by reaping the benefits of having him on that cross, representative of our sinful nature? All had died with him... 

So, for Paul (and me) there was no other option but to live fully, 100% for Christ...even to the point of doing things I (in my humanity) would rather NOT do. To serve Him...

No one here on earth can force, sway, or influence my decisions anywhere remotely close to the way Christ can, simply through His love for me...

How could I say no?

How can ANY of us say Him....?

I have been reading some amazing commentaries on these few verses and may make a series of posts digging deeper into what Paul was REALLY saying here...

But, do we even need that? 

Isn't this enough for today, or any day for that matter? 

What else do you need to know to start living your life for God? 

Because to live your life for "yourself" as "the master of your own destiny" is to truly serve sin.

Freedom (in the manner we choose to use it) is an illusion.

Your life has already been purchased. Your only choice now, is to serve the one who loves you, or to serve the one who wants to destroy you. One has already given you everything.

Isn't that compelling enough?


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