Life without love is meaningless. It makes sense to have love in one's life. If it is from Christ it is best because it is unconditional, we do not have to earn nor work for it; we just need to believe in it and it gives us joy. When it comes from our fellow humans, it may momentarily leave us giddy with happiness but is usually time-phased and depends largely on what we can give in return. This may be our money, our time, our bodies, our love or our commitment. Whatever it requires, if it is coming from men, it is usually conditional.
Christ loves us unconditionally. It does not matter who we are or what we have been in our past lives. He embraces us to Himself with one plea only, that we may draw near to Him and sin no more. He understands us and what we struggle with. Hebrews 4:15 says that we do not have a High priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin.
When we give our lives to Him, He reveals more of Himself to us. But there may come a day when we may feel separated from Him, when it will feel as if He is neither with us nor listening to us. But we must remember that our relationship with Him is not about feelings, it is not about what we think about what is going wrong. This is a relationship based on faith; one that is based on the knowledge that even though He may feel absent, He is with us. At such times, it is our faith that will thus sustain us.
Sometimes, however, we step out of the realm of God and waltz with the devil in the hope that God will understand. Always remember that the devil does not venture into places that he has not been invited but as the evil one nears us, the presence of Christ will be felt less and less because He is holy and cannot share a dwelling place with the evil one.
And so we must sit with ourselves and try to understand where the separation anxiety is coming from and how we have contributed towards it. It is in contemplation and meditation that we see how we have slowly eased the devil into the realm of Christ in our lives. We may see how we have disobediently partaken of things that are unscriptural and probably knew were wrong such as yoking with unbelievers in love relationships yet stubbornly hoping that the Lord would understand our deep feelings.
We may have done things to satisfy the cravings of our bodies yet the Bible categorically asks us not to satisfy the cravings of the sinful body for it will forever struggle with the spirit. We may have contributed to or been sources of unwholesome talks in our offices or we may not have moved away when course language was used in our presence. We may no longer be producing nor sharing the fruits of the Holy Spirit of love, peace, kindness and compassion as they have become alien to us; maybe we do not believe in them anymore. Maybe we have conformed to the rat race of the world and forgotten that as Christians we are to use godly rules to play. We have forgotten Romans 12:1 which asks us not to conform to the patterns of this world but to instead be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Maybe we have been waiting for God's promises over our lives that we now think that we imagined them. We forget that God is not man that He should lie nor change His mind. Maybe we have started reasoning that this holiness that is demanded of us is too burdensome and only meant for pastors and preachers
Whatever it is, the enemy who has been crouching at our doors has gained the courage to enter our hearts with a roar as he tries to dislodge the presence of God in us. And emptiness now engulfs us.
In such moments, we should look up to the Master, Jesus Christ. He who never leaves nor forsakes us; He who says that if we really seek Him, we shall find Him. When we come to Him all dried up, empty yet contrite, broken and repenting, He will embrace us and fill us with His loving presence and tell us 'sin no more'. He will order our steps onto His path because Psalms 139:15-16 tells us that He saw our unformed bodies long before He created us; all the days ordained for us were written in His book. We realize, as the Psalmist did in 139:7 that we cannot hide from Him, 'Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?'
The Lord, through Christ, is our refuge. He is our protection from evil. He ensures that His presence fills us up when, like sheep, we have wandered away from Him and walked into the enemy's domain. He fills our emptiness with His embrace, forgives us, sanctifies us and replaces our emptiness with His peace that surpasses all human understanding. But above all He fills us with His unconditional love, a love with no boundaries, no conditions, no payment, for in Him all is YES! Psalm 145:8 gives us an assurance, 'The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love'.
May these words (sermons), from various men and women of God be a blessing to all.
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